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Ghost Storytelling: “Monster In The Forest” By Mary Frasier

"Once long ago, human beings wandered through the great forest and gathered food. Until one day – a monster came and began to prey upon the human beings..."

shadows of trees in a blue mist

Photo: fxp (flickr)

"The human beings became afraid to go into the forest and they couldn’t gather their food. They held a council and everyone gathered around a fire to talk about what they could do to rid themselves of this terrible monster…"

For Mary Frasier, the best storytellers are people who look to the essence of a story, “that aspect of a story that’s compelling in a real fundamental human sense.”

Good tellers also have a knack for creating an atmosphere of tension and suspense. “You’re really communicating your own imagination to other people,” she says. “Everyone in the audience will be seeing it differently, but the power of the way you communicate your vision allows them to create the vision themselves.”

Frasier is a children’s librarian at the Monroe County Public Library and has taught storytelling at the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University. She heard this story from a former student, and once that student moved out of the area, she started telling it herself.

It has its origins in the Tlingit tribe from the Pacific Northwest, although Frasier comments, “I’ve known the story so long that I don’t even think about its source anymore.”

Monster In The Forest

Once long ago, human beings did not cultivate food as we do today, but they wandered through the great forest where they lived and gathered their food. And so, the human beings lived at the edge of this giant, primordial forest, going in and gathering their food.

Until one day, a terrible thing happened – a monster came and began to prey upon the human beings. This monster loved to crack their bones and suck out the marrow and drink the blood of the human beings and roast their hearts over an open flame and eat them.

So, the human beings became afraid to go into the forest and they couldn’t gather their food. They held a council and everyone gathered around a fire to talk about what they could do to rid themselves of this terrible monster…

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Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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