The Mystical, Magical, Terrifying Supernatural Cats of Japan

From Shapeshifters to Demonic Corpse Eaters, Centuries of Catlore on the Prowl

Japan loves cats. A quick glance at anything related to Japanese pop culture will show you this: Hello Kitty. Cat cafes. Wearable electronic cat ears that respond to your emotional state. Massively popular comics like What’s Michael? and A Man and His Cat. The popular tourist destination Gotokuji, a temple in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo that claims to be the original home of the ubiquitous Maneki Neko, the “Lucky Cat.” The famous cat shrine Nyan Nyan Ji in Kyoto that has an actual cat monk with several kitty acolytes.

Cats …

Why Americans Need to Believe in Bigfoot

The ‘Monster Roaming the Countryside’ Helped Lure Us Back Into Nature

Why are Americans so devoted to Bigfoot?

You can find Bigfoot everywhere. Its image adorns coffee cups, T-shirts, bumper stickers, bottle openers, and other sundries. Bigfoot is the Canadian-American version of …

Were the Bald Knobbers Law-and-Order Folk Heroes or Murderous Thugs?

In the Lawless Post-Civil War Ozarks, the Vigilante Bald Knobbers Took Government's Place

When I was seven years old, in 1983, my family took a road trip from Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Branson, Missouri, a family-oriented resort town deep in the Ozark Mountains. …

Even the Ghastliest Monsters of Old Were Better Than Real-Life Horrors

How This Rediscovered "Book of Miracles" Calmed the Fear of Massacres, Plagues, and War

“There be monsters here,” old maps warn, of oceans as yet uncharted. But there are monsters even in well-trodden territories.

Let’s start with the blade-wielding clowns lurking in American woodlands …

Here’s Your Snickers. Just Don’t Kill Me.

Halloween Has Gotten Milder Over the Years. But—Take It From a Vampirologist—It’s Still About Rule-Breaking and Bargaining.

I am a vampirologist. I have a blood-red business card to prove it. And a doctoral dissertation in Slavic folklore. Because of that, people tend to give me things they …

No One’s Going To Murder Your Cat Today

Halloween May Feel Sinister, But That’s Mostly Because of Untrue Stories

Depending on whether you tune in for The Walking Dead or prefer the antics of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, you’ll find Halloween’s imagery either devilish or delightful. For all …