Welcome to my website!


Wanda & Beloved Joy



Hoosier Hugs!

Wanda Lou Willis is a folklore historian who specializes in Hoosier folktales and historic research. She is a feature writer for the Indianapolis Star’s “Seniority Counts” section and regularly appears on Fox 59 Early Morning show. She has taught folklore for many years at IUPUI and is a popular presenter at schools, universities, libraries and historical societies. She is a fifth generation Hoosier and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana

You will find out a lot about me, my books, my dog, and what I find compelling, interesting, and perhaps even mysterious in the world of folklore and storytelling.

Welcome to my website! Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you will enjoy your visit, and that you’ll come by often.

Please feel free to contact me and my webmaster with suggestions on how I can make my website even better: Contact Us

Hoosier Hugs!
Wanda (Folklore Historian) and Hope (My Foxy Foxhound)

Las Vegas circa 1980


Went to Vegas with my boyfriend at the time and three of his friends.

The picture was taken at a restaurant after I’d won a super jackpot at a one arm bandit machine.

I’d taken the winning back to the room and locked them in my suitcase. When I came home I deposited them in the bank.

I used those winnings to fund my education at IUPUI.

My Dear Friend, Great Horned Owl — Lancelot


Great Horned Owl, Lancelot

This is me with my Great Horned Owl, Lancelot. Yes, he was a wild bird and alive. And no, he wasn’t biting my finger. I had my finger under his chin so he’d raise his head for the photographer.

No one else could hold him. I never ever wore gloves, his beak was not filed nor his talons. He only tried to bite me once. He grabbed my index finger. I knew better than to yank it out. His beak would’ve torn it to the bone. I instead, shoved my finger far back into his mouth which forced him to open and I pulled my finger out the side.

We were great pals. He used to ride on my electric typewriter carriage. When I pushed the return he’d flap his wings as it moved. He used to sit on my shoulder while I worked. I know the picture is kind of faded but . . . the bracelet that I’m wearing was given to me by my boyfriend at the time. We’d gone to see the movie, “Ten Commandments” which came out either 1956 or 1957 and that’s what the bracelet depicts.

Pets Growing Up

Yep, we had a lot of pets.


This is me with our goat Billy. My Uncle Perry Willis, Daddies older brother made the cart for us.

Billy the goat, Willie my black lamb, Pretty Boy pony and before him there was Tony.

Then there was Gertrude the squirrel. When mother and I sat on the front porch she’d lay flat at mother’s feet like a little rug.

When I sat in the backyard in a lawn chair with my legs crossed she’d come up and bat my leg and of course I’d let it swing a little, she’d back up and then bat it again. It was our game.

When she tired of that she’d climb on the back of the chair with her front end resting on my shoulder and the hind end on the back of the chair.

There were also chickens, turkeys, ducks, parakeets, canaries, hamsters, fish, and of course, cats and lots and lots of dog.

Hoosier Hugs,
Wanda (Folklore Historian) and Hope (My Foxy Foxhound)