The Enchanted Forest
The annual light and sound show at Faskally Wood has a mythical theme this year, which should prove perfect for the magical forest setting. Anna Docherty delves into a world of myth and legend
‘ We thought it would be fun to set a fire-breathing dragon loose in the forest,’ says Tricia Fox, one of the organisers for The Enchanted Forest autumn event. She is referring to this year’s Scottish myths and legends theme, for the annual light and sound show in Faskally Wood, Perthshire.
‘The dragon myth is one I hadn’t actually heard of before,’ she says. ‘It’s based around the tale of a fire-breathing dragon that stalked the streets of Dundee, eating young women.’ By using state-of-the-art moving lights and travelling sound techniques, a dragon will seem to roam the forest, breathing fire on everyone. ‘We’ll use pre-recorded sounds, voiceovers and special lighting to bring a selection of famous Scottish myths to life,’ she explains.
Other legendary tales being played out in the forest setting will be Robert Burn’s poem ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ and guests can also expect an appearance from the Loch Ness Monster. ‘With many people coming from outwith Scotland for the event, it is hoped that the theme will be a popular choice,’ explains Fox. And it has to be said that creepy myths and tales of legends are what you’d expect from an event named ‘The Enchanted Forest’.
‘People do often expect faeries and mythical creatures,’ says Fox. ‘In fact, last year some people seemed a little bit taken aback by our Outer Space theme and genuinely wondered where all the faeries had gone.’ This year they have listened to feedback and there will be mythical characters galore. And also, for the first time, the event will concentrate on a selection of little shows, rather than one massive main show. So it’ll be like lots of mini chapters in a big book of creepy bedtime fairy tales.
All in all, it sounds like the event has upped the stakes for 2009 – with an attendance of over 20,000 expected over the two-week schedule.
This year will also see the addition of a food tent – one that will rigidly stick to theme (we’d expect nothing less), with mermaid fishcakes, Nessie burgers and a big cauldron of soup bubbling away. The dragon kebabs are as yet unconfirmed, though.
The Enchanted Forest will run from Fri 16 Oct– Sun 1 Nov, tickets cost £10.75–£13. For more information and ticket booking visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk
Our Favourite Scottish Myths
Loch Ness Monster
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster is a well-worn tale, but probably still one of the best loved and most fascinating. The first recorded sighting was in 565 AD and since then there has been many more, as well as lots of possible explanations – some of which are even more ridiculous than the idea of the actual monster. Our favourite explanations are that it could be an elephant from a travelling circus, a long-necked newt or just an omission of seismic gas.
A selkie is a mythical creature that for the most part lives as a seal, but has the ability to remove its skin and become a human – coming onto land from time to time to interact with other humans. The legend seems to have originated in the Orkney Islands, where there is a large fishing community and it is believed that female selkies often charm local seamen. Some believe that to capture a selkie you have to find their skin and destroy it.
Now these little things we like the sound of, in fact every house should have one. Brownies are good-natured little elves who take residence in farmhouses and country homes, helping out with the chores while the owners sleep. They are thought to become attached to the people of the house and stay with them, even if they move to another residence. However, if they are offered payment for their services then they disappear. They sound just perfect – where can we get one?
These creatures don’t sound so nice and you certainly wouldn’t want to meet one on a dark night. They are water horses that at first appear as a sweet lost pony, but this is just their guise to lure you. If a human then climbs on to the animal’s back its skin becomes adhesive and it will dive into the water and drown the rider. They have the strength of ten horses and are very difficult to overpower. On that note, sweet dreams.