5 Supernatural Folklore Books To Read, According To 'Lore' Host Aaron Mahnke

Courtesy Of Aaron Mahnke

Lore fans, you're in luck: Aaron Mahnke, the man behind the beloved podcast and Amazon TV show, has some recommendations for the five best books on supernatural folklore for people who want to make their Halloween extra spooky. These works on American mythology are among Mahnke's favorites, and helped to inspire the Lore TV show, which happens to be produced by the same people behind The Walking Dead and The X-Files.

I have always loved myths and legends, ever since I was a little kid. Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, Mary Pope Osborne's American Tall Tales, and Julius Lester's The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit were almost always in my library bag. As I got older, I enjoyed creative retellings of those old stories, from Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl to Clea Hantman's Goddesses. But it wasn't until later that I discovered just how rich the U.S. folklore tradition truly is.

No, really. Books like K.A. Applegate's Search for Senna and Neil Gaiman's American Gods are all about how Old World deities cope with being forgotten in the New World, but stories like these often ignore the fact that the U.S. has its own rich oral culture dating back centuries, from Native American legends to African tales. Even the Salem Witch Trials were based on a kind of folklorish, if horrific, belief, and all of these old stories have embedded themselves within the grain of American life.

The World Of Lore by Aaron Mahnke

Mahnke isn't just a podcast host who recommends books. He also writes them. His The World of Lore, Volume 1: Monstrous Creatures came out on Oct. 10 from Del Rey, and he's currently touring to promote this tie-in book, which explains how and why the language of folklore became so tightly woven into the American vernacular.

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"Every writer has an origin story," Mahnke tells Goodreads. "It's that nexus of chance and passion, where some event or experience in the past set the wheels in motion that led them to where they are today. For me that moment occurred in the fifth grade, when I was given a book of weird and unusual tales." Mahnke does not say whether any of the five books he recommends on supernatural folklore is The One That Started It All™ for him.

Not surprisingly, Mahnke's best books on supernatural folklore will fit perfectly on Lore fans' nightstands. They might not be the titles that put the podcast host on his road to success, but they could set you on yours.

'Passing Strange' by Joseph A. Citro

Mahnke says: "These are stories from New England, where so many unusual things have taken place over the years. Maybe it's the deeply rich history in that region of the country, or maybe it was just the perfect mix of cultures that melted into one." Learn more at Goodreads.

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'American Monsters' by Linda S. Godfrey

Mahnke says: "[I]f firsthand accounts and physical evidence are enough to make you believe, this book is a fantastic journey into the wonderful world of cryptozoology." Learn more at Goodreads.

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'Mysterious America' by Loren Coleman

Mahnke says: "[T]his book is a wonderful starting point for anyone willing to follow him into the woods, no matter how dark and unsafe they might appear." Learn more at Goodreads.

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'The Science of Monsters' by Matt Kaplan

Mahnke says: "While not necessarily a book of creepy tales, this is a powerful examination of the birthplace of all monsters — the human mind." Learn more at Goodreads.

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'Ghost Hunters' by Ed and Lorraine Warren

Mahnke says: "The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring, Annabelle, and so many other chilling stories were born from the research and investigation of this dynamic couple. Read at your own risk." Learn more at Goodreads.

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