Suffolk abounds with stories, and its people are still creating tales to explain the unexplainable

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With its rugged coastline, rolling fields and dark, shadowy woodlands, Suffolk is a mysterious and magical county.

Now Kirsty Hartsiotis, who has a lifelong love of folklore and history, has penned an enchanting collection of tales of ancient ghosts, strange beasts and nefarious tricksters that roam the countryside in her new book, Suffolk Folk Tales.

The stories uncover the dark and entertaining folk stories from destinations across the county including Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Ipswich.

When compiling her book she was frequently told “Suffolk has hardly any stories”.

In the introduction to her book, storyteller Miss Hartsiotis says: “That was the suggestion from both books and people when I first investigated the tales of my home county.

“Having grown up in East Anglia, I knew this wasn’t true. Indeed, it was hard to choose which stories to include in this selection of 30 tales.

”The 30 traditional tales take you into a hidden world of the green children of Woolpit, the wildman of Orford, of lovers from beyond the grave, demonic black dogs and tricksy Stowmarket fairy folk.

Shaped by generations of Suffolk wit, the stories discover the county’s last dragon, the secret behind Black Shuck, saintly King Edmund and heroic King Raedwald, haunted airfields, broken-hearted mermaids and the exploits of Suffolk’s cunning folk.

Miss Hartsiotis added: “Many stories were already well-shaped; these I have simply retold in my own words.

“Others in this book I composed from the myriad of local legends and fragments of tales I have found. I have prioritised stories with imaginative or supernatural elements and mostly avoided stories that are simply tales from history.”

The book is available to buy from the Amazon website and The History Press.

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