Strawberries in the snow.

A ghostly skeleton horse singing at your door.

The countdown to the New Year.

Kindling a Light in the Darkness: Winter Fairy Tales and Folklore will cocoon you in seasonal tales, introduce you to Krampus and his international kin, and help you recognize the winter customs and rituals you already possess... and invite you to participate in a simple ritual with us!

This mini course is small but mighty, taking you around the world and back into your own home in a perfectly bingeable video series.

Come in from the dark, and we'll kindle a little light together.

(Also? At $37, 
Kindling makes a perfect gift for friends and family. You will win Secret Santa with this one. Want to gift it? Email us at [email protected], and we'll get your present delivered, accompanied by a card!)

This course is closed for enrollment.

Here's What We'll Be Teaching!

The Snow Queen
"The Snow Queen"

Hans Christian Andersen’s gorgeous, and surprisingly feminist, literary fairy tale, “The Snow Queen"

The Yule Cat

Scary Winter Folklore

A sampling of some of the most fascinating scary winter folklore, including the German Krampus, the Icelandic Yule Cat, the Japanese Yuki-Onna, and the Welsh Mari Lwyd!

East of the Sun, West of the Moon
"East of the Sun, West of the Moon"

“East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, a story with deep roots in the fairy-tale tradition of "Beauty and the Beast"

Snow White and Rose Red

"Snow White and Rose Red"

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimms’ “Snow White and Rose Red,” a fairy tale about sisterhood, nature, and affection that will warm your heart on the coldest night

Winter Customs

Customs like Hygge and discussions on the importance of creating your own personal rituals to nourish you

And So Much More!

This is just a sampling of what we'll be talking about during the course!

Want a feel for our teaching style?

From December 13th-25th, we'll be posting a FREE video each day for our 12 Days of Holiday Folklore! Come learn about some of our favorite wintery folklore traditions around the world, from fashion-conscious giant cats to Victorian ghost stories. Think of it as a folklore advent calendar, with a new surprise every day.

Click here to watch!

  • All course readings as PDFs and/or Links - We always include ways to access the stories that star in our lectures. Some will be familiar and some will likely be wholly new to you, but they are all worth examining. Prepare to be fascinated and delighted with tales from all over the world, from authors as famous as the Grimm brothers to Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe.

  •  6 lecture videos with Sara and Brittany - Creating our video lectures is one of our favorite parts of Carterhaugh. For each video, we draw upon our combined twenty-six years in higher education and conduct additional research to make sure you’re getting the best, most up-to-date information about these beloved stories and customs. In addition to being PACKED with our combined knowledge, our lectures are conversational, fun, and occasionally goofy. (If you’re studying something as delightful as folklore, you should be having a wonderful time, too!) So we’ll welcome you into our virtual living room, offer you a cup of tea, and welcome you to the conversation.

  •  A further reading page full of winter delights to explore on your own - Want to learn even more, from folklorists and scholars who really know their stuff? We’ll provide a further reading list, so you know where to go next to deepen your knowledge. We'll include a few creative pieces that took inspiration from the material as well!


  •  Two beautifully designed winter folklore grimoire pages - Carterhaugh exists at the crossroads of knowledge and enchantment, and that’s what our grimoire pages are all about. Designed to emulate a weathered, well-loved spell book, these pages summarize our discussions for easy reference and provide a beautiful visual reminder of the magic to be found in these tales.

  •  Discussion questions for learning and self-discovery - These questions will help guide your reflections and determine how the folklore we discuss applies to your own journey.

Your Teachers:

We, Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman, both earned our PhDs in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University. We specialize in folk narrative – folk tales, myths, and legends – and fairy tales, especially the creepy ones, are our passion. We have published academic articles and reviews in Marvels & Tales: The Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, Supernatural Studies, Humanities, Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Center for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy, the book Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, the encyclopedia Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the World, and many more. 

We love teaching – we get to geek out about the weirdest, most wonderful stories, and we get to watch our students create their own magic with what they learn. We want our classes to reflect the joy we get out of the strange and delightful world of folklore, so expect apropos gifs, ridiculous illustrations, and/or terrible puns in our lectures. We’re also best friends, so we will occasionally make horrible faces at each other, make fun of each other, and laugh like drunken pixies… and we want you to join us! 

Sara and Brittany in the Forest


  • What exactly IS Carterhaugh? - The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic is an award-winning online school dedicated to classes on fairy tales, folklore, and all things fantastic. It was created by Sara and Brittany in 2016 as a place for those who dreamed of elven battles while studying economics, those who have always sworn they could see ghosts, and those who longed for a school of magic to send them an unexpected acceptance letter. We aim to use our knowledge and passion for these subjects to share their wonder, solidify their importance in society, and spread a bit of magic into the world.

  • When will I hear from you/get access to the lesson? - You'll get access to everything right away, but you do NOT have to play with the materials on any specific date – they are yours to view whenever is best for you! This is one of the many reasons why online courses work so well – they can fit everyone’s schedule :). 

  • What is a “grimoire page” again ? - Our grimoire pages are basically one page PDF lesson summaries. They’re short but beautifully presented, made to look like the pages of an ancient spell book. The more classes you take with us, the more pages you can add to your own personal Carterhaugh grimoire!


As always, if you have additional questions at any time, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at [email protected]!

Pull up a chair and come warm yourself by the fire. Open your mind to tales and your heart to magic. The gates of Carterhaugh are open!

This course is closed for enrollment.