Claire Chase

Claire Chase
Jericho, VT

Claire Chase was born in Winooski into a Franco American family. As a child she spoke only French and it wasn't until she was six and attended school, that she began to learn English. From her childhood she recalls the importance of family, the extended family and the significance of being part of a greater whole. She particularly remembered New Years where her mother would ask her father for his blessing, the songs, the delicious food and then more songs. Her grandfather had a huge repertoire of songs and stories and storytelling was a regular part of Claire's daily life. Her parents would tell her bedtime stories they had heard as children and on holidays, but the grandchildren particularly enjoyed it when their grandfather would hold forth. The only light would be from the wood stove and he would begin every tale with "I will tell you a story, however, it's not a story. It's a fact. It happened back home, a long time ago." Often these stories were scary, fantastical legends and stories of the supernatural. Most of these stories make up Claire's own repertoire which she passed on to her three daughters and her daughters' children as well.


Claire tells the traditional French Canadian ghost story on which the Vermont Folklife Center children's book,The Ghost on the Hearth is based.

Claire shares another traditional French Canadian story of the supernatural, The Devil at the Wedding.

Claire shares a lullaby sung to the children in her family for generations.