The Hobyahs – Halloween Resource

Trick or Tale? Scary stories of ghosts, witches and monsters are always popular with younger and older audiences. This resource is a simple scary story taken from Tales on the Tongue, a great collection of traditional tales and an invaluable resource for all storytelling beginners.

Contributed by Bob Pegg, who states:

‘This is potentially a very scary story, even in the cleaned-up version given below. Once, after I’d told it to a group of younger children, a hand went up. “What do Hobyahs look like?” asked a tremulous little voice. That gave me the opportunity to say that Hobyahs only exist in people’s imagination and to suggest that the children draw what they thought Hobyahs looked like.

‘It brought home to me the power of the story and its potential to plant the seeds of nightmares. So normally I wouldn’t tell it to anyone younger than six or seven years old. But one way to diffuse the horror is to make sure that the children, at the appropriate points of the story, become the Hobyahs, joining in the chant and the actions of tearing down the house and chasing off the old man and old woman.