Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. For folklore is not taught in a formal school curriculum or studied in the fine arts. Instead these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folkloristics.
Paranormal events are phenomena described in popular culture, folk, and other non-scientific bodies of knowledge, whose existence within these contexts is described to lie beyond normal experience or scientific explanation. A paranormal phenomenon is different from hypothetical concepts such as dark matter and dark energy. Unlike paranormal phenomena, these hypothetical concepts are based on empirical observations and experimental data gained through the scientific method.The most notable paranormal beliefs include those that pertain to ghosts, extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects, psychic abilities or extrasensory perception, and cryptids.
Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) is a cryptid in American folklore, supposedly a simian-like creature that inhabits forests. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The term sasquatch is an Anglicized derivative of the Halkomelem word sásq'ets. Scientists discount the existence of Bigfoot and consider it to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal. They note the lack of physical evidence after centuries of investigation, despite the fact that numerous creatures would have to exist in order to maintain a breeding population. Groups of investigators are sustained in their interest by occasional new reports of sightings. Such reports are attributed to persons seeing unexplained animals.