Folklore Roundtable Recap: October Events draw many from the community!

The Folklore Roundtable, companion student organization to the folklore program, had a busy fall on campus and coordinated several events in the hopes to get to know the Mason community better.

In early October, graduate student Betty Aquino partnered with the Outdoor Adventures Program to lead a legend-trip hike. Aquino, an avid hiker herself, saw an opportunity to reach new students in a unique way with the help of the well-resourced Outdoor Adventures. A group of 11 students including OA staff headed out on the four-mile roundtrip hike on the Myron Glaser Cabin trail. The trail is located off Blue Ridge Mountain Road in Paris, Virginia near Sky Meadows State Park. Hikers have claimed the trail to be eerie. There are days when hikers claim there have been no sounds on the trail other than their footfalls. The hike is also the site of the 1977 crash of TWA Flight 514. According to local legends, there have been sightings of an airline pilot looking to hitch a ride back to Dulles Airport along the road. The trail was full of beautiful fall foliage, some rocky sections, and a tiny waterfall that led up to the Myron Glaser cabin, owned by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. After the hike, students gathered on the porch of the cabin to exchange ghost stories and other favorite legends.

The Folklore Roundtable hosted their first ever Legends & Lore Walking Tour of Mason’s campus on October 20 and welcomed nearly 20 students and community members for an hour-long walk. Graduate students Angie Di Nardo and William Patterson shared stories about campus rituals, traditions, and rites of passage. Allie Stanich, Betty Aquino, and Kathryn Casey shared ghost stories and legends, and Amanda Ellard and Alyssa Tsukamoto helped with logistics, planning, and support. Guests heard about legends like the Bunnyman, discussed folk beliefs like not stepping on the Mason seal in from of George Mason’s statue, and even participated in a rite of passage by leaving a few decorations at the foot of the statue. The evening ended around a fire in front of The Hub with cider and donuts. Be sure to keep up with the Folklore Roundtable here to see what events they are hosting next!