These days, Valentine’s Day gets a bit of a bad rap. This is kind of because of Hallmark but also kind of because it’s a day that can come with a lot of pressure and expectations, whether you’re single or paired up!

So, this year, we are RECLAIMING Valentine’s Day in the name of folklore! If you love Valentine’s Day, this course is for you. If thinking about Valentine’s Day makes you want to roll your eyes until they fall out or binge watch movies with lots of explosions, this course is also for you. Through a combination of video lectures, written tales, extra resources, and group discussion, we will lead you through some of our favorite Valentine’s Day tales and lore!

This course is closed for enrollment.

Here's What We'll Be Teaching!

In our enthusiasm, we’ve packed a truly absurd amount of material into this mini course. We’ll be talking about the legends and superstitions that inspired the holiday, including some really lovely lore about birds. We’ll guide you through some seriously demented fairy-tale weddings and then discuss how the murder and mayhem gradually gave way to the idea of “fairy-tale romance.” And we’ll talk about what romantic relationships actually look like in fairy tales – the good, the bad, and the... liminal?

Above all, we want to re-establish Valentine’s Day as a holiday of kindness and love – not just romantic love, but all kinds of love. For our friends, family, creativity, animals, and the world writ large.

Here's What You'll Get!

  • 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 Madame Le Prince de Beaumont!

  •  4 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 open the door to our virtual living room, have a cup of tea, and let us welcome you to the conversation. These 4 videos have over 100 minutes of content!

  •  A further reading page full of 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!


  •  A beautifully designed Valentine's Day folklore grimoire page - 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.

  •  Access to our private Facebook group just for students of this course - While participation in the course Facebook group is optional, it really is one of the best parts of the course. We have an amazing community of kind, creative, and very smart students, and the discussions that unfold in this space are always a delight. In fact, we learn new things from our students every time!

  •  Discussion questions for learning and self-discovery - Even if you don't want to join the Facebook group, we'll make sure you have access to our discussion questions. 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


  • 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? - Everything for this course will go live on February 13th! You'll receive an e-mail from us when everything is available. In this e-mail, you'll be prompted to join the private Facebook group and to access the materials for the course, which are hosted on Teachable.

  • What if I can’t look at any of the materials on February 13th? - 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 :). February 13th is simply the day we'll post the mini-course and open the Facebook group! 

  • How long will the Facebook group be open? - The Facebook group, where you can interact with your fellow classmates, usually stays open about a week or so. If the conversations are still really lively, however, we've been known to extend that time!

  • 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, grab a warm mug of tea, and come join our community. Open your mind to tales and your heart to magic. The gates of Carterhaugh are open!

This course is closed for enrollment.