The Sussex Centre’s map of folktales in Sussex and the South Downs has been converted into a graph.
Ghost stories are the most popular folktale across Sussex and the South Downs. Sunken bell stories make a close second, although this is partly because, around Alfoldean, one sunken bell story has been claimed by several surrounding villages.
The South Downs National Park is particularly full of ghosts and buried treasure, with witches and fairies following a close second.
The South Downs National Park had the most folktales, with 63 folk tales listed on the map, as well as 36 events marked on the folklore calendar, nine of which are still celebrated today. This may be because it is more rural than other areas of Hampshire and Sussex, so older superstitions and oral tales haven’t been lost through the more mobile populations found in urban areas.
The folktales are distributed very evenly between West Sussex (52) and East Sussex (51). East Sussex has a few more events on its folklore calendar (35), including nine that are still celebrated. Brighton, in particular, is a hotbed of folklore. West Sussex has 30 events on the folklore calendar, of which seven are still celebrated.