Thursday 13 November 2008

The Isle of Skye - a ghost story

A traditional tale of a ghostly ship from Holyrood, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, told by storyteller Dale Jarvis, and adapted from his book "The Golden Leg and Other Ghostly Campfire Tales" published by Flanker Press.

Download the audio only in mp3 format.

Thursday 2 October 2008

The Legend of Paddy Mahony's Gold

The story of Paddy Mahony's gold, a tale of buried treasure and its supernatural guardian, from Horse's Head, Little Colinet Island, St. Mary's Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.

Horse's Head was inhabited by one Paddy Mahony, who dwelt in what was referred to as a "solitary hut". Somehow it was revealed to the lucky Paddy that a great treasure was to be found in a certain place near Horse's Head. Paddy lost no time, and set out with shovel in hand in search of the buried treasure.

What he found at the bottom of his pit, and what was found to be guarding it, can be discovered by listening here.

Read by storyteller and author Dale Gilbert Jarvis from his book "Haunted Shores: True Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador" published by Flanker Press.

OggVorbis and streaming audio versions of the story available from

Saturday 30 August 2008

The Lady at Number 16

A ghost story from the city of Valletta, Malta. Told by storyteller Dale Gilbert Jarvis, and recorded live at the "Voices in the Vaults Summer Storytelling Series" on Friday, August 29, in the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

A classic ghost story, incorporating motif E281 - “Ghosts haunt house.” While this story could be told about countless port towns, this particular tale is based on a story from the walled city of Valletta, on the island of Malta. A printed version of the story can be found in my book "The Golden Leg and other Ghostly Campfire Stories" (St. John's: Flanker Press, 2007).

The story is said to be true, and the street in question is St. Ursola Street, in the heart of the old city. An early version of the Maltese tale was written up in Blackwood’s Magazine in the 1800s, and a more recent version can be found in Joseph Attard's book “Ghosts of Malta” (Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group, 1997). Another good source for Maltese stories of the supernatural is Vanessa Macdonald’s “The Unexplained: Ghost Stories From Malta and Beyond” (Valletta: Progress Press, 2001). When I was in Malta in 2006, I had the privilege of meeting Vanessa and her family, and sharing ghostly tales from both sides of the Atlantic. I would certainly recommend her book to anyone with an interest in true hauntings.

Meet the mysterious lady by clicking here.

OggVorbis and streaming audio versions of the story available from

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Foolish Jack

Newfoundland has a great tradition of Jack stories, and I've been telling a lot of Jack tales to my storytelling students in grades 4-6 at Holy Cross Elementary in St. John's. This is a story recorded live with one of my classes on Friday, 11 April 2005.

"Foolish Jack" is a Jack tale from Appalachia, and while I had heard many versions of the story, I had never considered telling it until I heard it told by storyteller Elinor Benjamin last November when we told stories together at a few schools in Conception Bay as part of the St. John's Storytelling Festival school outreach program. For more information on the origins of the story, and for references to other versions, visit:

You can listen to the recorded version by clicking here, if you have the sense you were born with!

Monday 28 January 2008

The Origin of Death - Dale Jarvis

A week ago a friend and valued member of the local arts community passed away, very suddenly. Ever since, I've been thinking a lot about this particular story, so I decided to record it, and put it up here. Just a little something to think about...

Sunday 6 January 2008

The City of Art

A man dreams of a city of art, and upon waking, sets off to find the place he has seen in his dreaming. Told by storyteller Dale Gilbert Jarvis, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. January 6, 2008.

I first heard this story told by Irish storyteller Ray McGrath at the St. John's Storytelling Festival in 2005, and it stuck in my mind. The music in the background is "Estampie" from the Naxos CD "Landini and His Time". Listen to the story here.