Were-Wolves and Will-O-The-Wisps: French Tales of Mackinac Retold - Mackinac State Historic Parks | Mackinac State Historic Parks

Were-Wolves and Will-O-The-Wisps: French Tales of Mackinac Retold


French legends in tale and song brought to Mackinac by the voyageurs during the French fur trade. Rich folklore deals with ghosts, goblins, and other creatures.

From the book: “During the long Mackinac winters, those hardy French families who wintered at the frozen Straits had many long hours to devote to story telling. Around a roaring fire, with the bitter wind blowing through the cracks in the bark-roofed log cabins, skilled raconteurs spun tales and legends which they had learned as children. These traditional tales, which originated in eastern Canada or even France, were often given a local setting to make them more humorous or frightening.

Customs and costumes change, but the world of earlier centuries lives on in folklore. Tales, dances, songs, all remind us of simpler times, of entertainment passed down verbally through generations … In order to preserve this rich French heritage which has made such an impact on the Straits of Mackinac we are here presenting some typical tales and songs translated from the French. We trust you will enjoy their retelling as much now as when they were originally told at Mackinac.”

The stories in this book inspire the popular “Fort Fright” event at Colonial Michilimackinac the first weekend in October.

Author: Written by & Illustrated by Dirk Gringhuis
Publisher: Mackinac State Historic Parks
ISBN: 0-911872-14-0
106 pages, Illustrated, 1974
Price: $6.00