21. Devil At The Dancehall

Tales from throughout the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico tell of a stranger who appears at a dancehall, dancing well, but leaving fear in his wake. Is it all just tall tales? Is it exaggerations of a rakish man’s exploits? Or is the Devil actively looking for dance partners? Matt is again joined by James Tyner, whose family members were present for events in Fresno that seem to match the folklore of the Devil at the Dancehall.

This episode was written by Matthew Armstrong with music by Matthew Armstrong and production assistance from Kaylia Metcalfe. The graphic for this post was found on laptophub.net

There is no transcript for this episode. If you want to help us afford transcription capabilites for interview eisodes, we invite you to become a Patron 🙂

SJames Tyner

Special thanks to poet, librarian, and all around cool dude James Tyner. who was the first poet laureate of Fresno.

Tyner’s poetry has appeared in multiple journals such as Avatar Review, Coal Hill Review, and Transcendence as well as anthologies such as New America and Best Contemporary American Poetry.  He has worked in libraries for 20 years and has presented panels on his library work at CLA, ALA, and PLA. You can email him at fresnopoetlaureate@gmail.com. 

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Show Notes and Sources

Weird Fresno: https://www.weirdfresno.com/2009/07/did-innocent-girl-share-dance-with.html

Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/satans-choice/

Recordnet.com: https://www.recordnet.com/article/19950726/a_news/307269991

University of Texas Student News (the Newsroom): https://www.utrgv.edu/newsroom/2019/10/31-the-devil-still-dances.htm

Sine Logicum blog: http://sinelogicum.blogspot.com/2009/08/dancing-devil.html

San Antonio Current: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2011/10/31/san-antonios-dancing-devil-of-el-camaroncito

San Antonio Express-News: https://www.expressnews.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article/Artists-give-the-devil-at-the-dance-a-11281709.php

The Misadventures of a Reader blog: https://themisadventuresofareader.com/2019/04/04/folklore-thursday-the-man-with-the-chicken-feet/

Calumn McLean: http://calumimaclean.blogspot.com/2014/12/playing-cards-with-devil.html

Brunvand, Jan Harold. 1981. The Vanishing Hitchhiker – American Urban Legends & Their Meaning. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY. 

Puhvel, Martin. 1965. The Legend of the Devil-Haunted Card Players in Northern Europe. Folklore Vol. 76, No. 1 (Spring, 1965), pp. 33-38 (6 pages)


If you have a story about a ghost, some bit of folklore, or anyting else you want to share, please contact me.

Published by kayliametcalfe

Queer,loudmouth,skeptical-agnostic-pagan,book addict,coffee lover,wine drinker, SAHM,writer,editor,producer,podcaster. -She/her

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