The Golden Leg and Other Ghostly Campfire Stories.


130 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 978-1-897317-07-5
DDC j398.2509718





Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


Jarvis, who holds an M.A. in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a storyteller by avocation, has written two other books about the “spooky” aspects of his province, Wonderful Strange and Haunted Shores. In his Preface, Jarvis explains how his becoming involved in telling ghost stories at a summer camp for a most unusual audience contributed to his writing this book.


The campers attending Newfoundland’s Camp Delight are all between the ages of seven 7 and 17, and they either have cancer, are cancer survivors, or are siblings of cancer patients. Jarvis asserts, “The stories in this collection are meant to be read out loud, told and retold,” and he encourages adults working with youth-serving organizations and institutions to use the book’s contents freely in their programs. Though children capable of independent reading could access the collection’s contents, Jarvis’s inclusion of a concluding 19-page “About the Stories” section in which he provides information about the stories’ origins and sources, including their motifs according to Stith Thompson’s Motif Index of Folk Literature, suggests that he would prefer children to access the book’s contents through their ears, rather than their eyes.


Most of the 26 ghost-based stories, which range in length from two to seven pages, are based on folk tales and local legends, with the contents of 15 being rooted in Newfoundland. Though half the stories are accompanied by a pen and ink drawing, the illustrations are really unnecessary as the storyteller’s rich prose will create its own creepy pictures in readers’/listeners’ minds. Recommended.


Jarvis, Dale Gilbert., “The Golden Leg and Other Ghostly Campfire Stories.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,