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* FutureSelfReveal: In "Who Else Could I Count On?", [[spoiler:John is asked for help by an old man who has traveled from forty years in the future to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. The reveal comes after it occurs to John that the man is old enough to have a younger self in the present, and he asks the old man what will happen if he meets his younger self.]]


* CelibateHero: John, until he weds Evadare

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* CelibateHero: John, until he weds EvadareEvadare.
* CoversAlwaysLie: As shown above, John never plays a song on his guitar for a winged demoness, though admittedly it's the sort of thing he ''might'' do.



* EvilSorcerer: Multiple examples.

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* EvilSorcerer: Multiple examples.examples, usually shown terrorizing the local countryside before John comes along.

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* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: Hoph from "You Know the Tale of Hoph" is implied to be one, though it's not stated. He has hair, fangs, and claws, and feeds on the blood of beautiful women. He's also only vulnerable to a SilverBullet, which John promptly puts into him once he tries to attack someone.

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* HillbillyHorrors: Scary and supernatural happenings in rural Appalachia. Unlike most versions of this trope, however, the hillbillies themselves are generally depicted as pretty decent, ordinary people.


* SouthernFriedGenius: John has a Ph.D.-level knowledge of American myths and folklore, as well as deep insight into the belief systems if several Native American tribes, and he as also invited to record folk songs for the Library of Congress.

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* SouthernFriedGenius: John has a Ph.D.-level knowledge of American myths and folklore, as well as deep insight into the belief systems if several Native American tribes, and he as tribes. He was also invited to record number two on the short list of people considered for the job of recording folk songs for the Library of Congress.Congress, though he privately admits that Bascom Lamar Lunsford was the (ever so slightly) better choice.


* EvilCounterpart: One story pits John against another musician with an ebony fiddle, who seems to have gotten his skills from a [[RockMeAsmodeus less holy source]].

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* EvilCounterpart: One story "Nine Yards of Other Cloth" pits John against another musician with an ebony fiddle, who seems to have gotten his skills from a [[RockMeAsmodeus less holy source]].


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* PiousMonster: In "Nine Yards of Other Cloth", John explores Hosea's Hollow, a valley that's reputed to be haunted by a terrifying man-eating monster. A local legend tells of a man named Hosea Palmer who went into the hollow to deal with the monster; after that, the monster never raided beyond the hollow, but Hosea Palmer was never seen again. In the hollow, John finds an old grave, with a wooden marker inscribed by an unknown hand with Hosea Palmer's name, and eventually learns that Hosea befriended the monster and gave it religion, and the monster buried him when he died. It lets John and Evadare pass through unmolested because they pray at the grave and sing hymns and behave like decent people; the villain of the story, who does none of those things, never leaves the hollow alive.


* FunetikAksent: Most of the series characters' are from the Ozarks and speak the dialect, which is done properly. [[ShownTheirWork Wellman lived in the Ozarks for decades, and did his research.]]

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* FunetikAksent: Most of the series characters' are from the Ozarks Appalachians and speak the dialect, which is done properly. [[ShownTheirWork Wellman lived in the Ozarks mountains of North Carolina for decades, and did his research.]]

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jtb_7.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Silver John on the cover of the ''John the Balladeer'' short story collection.]]


The series includes both short stories and novels.

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The series includes both short stories and novels.
novels:

*''Who Fears the Devil?'' (Arkham House, 1963) (short stories)
**''John the Balladeer'' (1988) (Ed. Karl E. Wagner, revised collection containing all Silver John short stories)
**''Owls Hoot In The Daytime And Other Omens'' (2003) (Ed. Night Shade Press, also contains all Silver John short stories)
**''Who Fears the Devil?'' (Paizo Publishing, 2010) (reprint of AH edition with two additional stories)
*''The Old Gods Waken'' (1979)
*''After Dark'' (1980)
*''The Lost and the Lurking'' (1981)
*''The Hanging Stones'' (1982)
*''The Voice of the Mountain'' (1984)

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* RecklessGunUsage: Rixon gets taken to task for it by none less than the ghost of "Devil" Anse Hatfield. He tries to explain it away as a joke, but Anse remains unimpressed.
--> "A mighty sorry joke," said Devil Anse. "I never yet laughed at a gun going off."


* EldritchAbomination: Wellman was a fan of the CthulhuMythos and it shows in his work. A ''lot'' of the monsters John meets are described as something utterly ''alien'' to normal human life. [[NothingIsScarier That is, when they're described at all.]]

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* EldritchAbomination: Wellman was a fan of the CthulhuMythos Franchise/CthulhuMythos and it shows in his work. A ''lot'' of the monsters John meets are described as something utterly ''alien'' to normal human life. [[NothingIsScarier That is, when they're described at all.]]

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* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: In ''Voice of the Mountain'', the [[BigBad main villain]] [[EvilSorcerer Ruel Harpe]] is described after embarrassing a young witch in his service as being rather like "one of those parents who enjoys embarrassing their children on purpose."


** In "Old Devlins was A-Waiting", a character has a theory that rituals for summoning up the dead are actually a form of time travel, bringing the subject forward from the past, not up from the grave. Their ritual succeeds in summoning [[{{Badass}} Captain Anderson Hatfield]], but the question of whence is left ambiguous.

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** In "Old Devlins was A-Waiting", a character has a theory that rituals for summoning up the dead are actually a form of time travel, bringing the subject forward from the past, not up from the grave. Their ritual succeeds in summoning [[{{Badass}} Captain Anderson Hatfield]], Hatfield, but the question of whence is left ambiguous.


* LiteraryAllusionTitle: Several of the stories are named after/inspired by American folk-songs.

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* LiteraryAllusionTitle: Several of the stories are named after/inspired by American folk-songs.

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