Legends, Ghosts, Myths & Mysteries

From the beginning, people have told stories —  regaling their friends and families with tales of adventure, hard times, interesting people, frightening experiences, and everyday life. Sometimes, these were truths, others were exaggerations, and occasionally, they were nothing more than tall tales. The more interesting of these narratives were passed around from friend to friend and from father to son, sometimes altered along the way or growing in strength to the point that they became legends, folklore, or questionable myths. Oral history, proverbs, jokes, and popular beliefs were interwoven into music, dance, cultures, and sometimes even history itself.

American History is filled with folklore, Native American mythology, and real truths that make for wonderful campfire tales. In these stories, much like earlier European, Greek, and Roman tales, the accounts can often only be guessed whether they are fact or fiction, but they continue to make the rounds of new generations.



In many of these old legends, told around the campfire or a roaring hearth, can be heard the approach of galloping horses, the whispers of phantoms in ghost towns, the far-off sounds of pistols blazing, and the sighing moans of the winds drifting through the ancient trees of hunting, mining, and cowboy camps.


American Mysteries

Folklore & Superstition

Ghostly Legends

Lost Treasure Tales

Monsters & Strange Creatures

Native American Legends & Tales

Witchcraft in America

Rip Van Winkle and his dog by Thomas Nast, 1880

Rip Van Winkle and his dog by Thomas Nast, 1880


La Llorona - The Weeping Woman the Southwest

La Llorona – The Weeping Woman the Southwest

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated January 2024.