Posted by: storypilgrim | November 15, 2010

October 26, 2010 – Scary Stories

This was to be our first try of yet another venue, the Doghouse in Dundee. It is normally a music venue but as Tuesdays are usually a quiet night for them they are up for accommodating us. As it is approaching Halloween, or Samhain, our theme  was ‘Scary Stories.’

Entering the Doghouse I thought the atmosphere was quite congenial for storytelling and had a warmth about it, perhaps a slight eeriness hung in the air to complement the scary element. The Doghouse has recently moved home to this building and they have done a great job in making it suitable for their purposes. It is a building that has had a few different faces since I came to the area but none have really pulled it off. The place is utterly transformed with the Doghouse and it really works. There is a main floor level and a mezzanine level above, around the walls of the mezzanine they have paintings depicting the growth of music through the years, including Pink Floyd and Bob Marley, it is not yet completed but it looks great. We thought it would be best to have the club on the mezzanine level as it would perhaps be more peaceful.

I knew a few of our usual crew would not be coming that evening as they had other plans but slowly a few people began to trickle in, including a couple of relatively new faces. It was a smallish group, about 10 of us, but a cozy number for the evening.

The first name out of our famous hat was Jeroen. He was not sure if there was anything he could tell but he gave us a very simple and poignant poem by Spike Milligan:

Things that go ‘bump’ in the night
Should not really give one a fright.
It’s the hole in each ear
That lets in the fear,
That, and the absence of light!

This was followed by a group of students, I think all French and I can’t remember all of their names at the moment, and they lulled us with a lovely little French lullaby.

Next up was Ruth who had joined us for a lively workshop with Geeva Raghunath, our guest for the International Storytelling Festival. Ruth found herself very inspired by Geeva’s approach to storytelling and the element of drama that plays a strong part in her performances. Ruth gave us a lovely rendition of a ballad that she learned from Duncan Williamson. I can’t mind what it was called,”Seven years…”

Sylvia gave us her version of the ‘Piper and the Boots.’ Hers was from Ireland and involved Paddy the Piper, a fine pair of boots from a hanged man and a cow with an apparently voracious appetite.

I must admit though I felt a slight shiver I had not yet been frightened by the ‘scary’ stories.

Out of the hat came, me myself. Perhaps not scary but I delved into a dark and sinister tale about a church in Wales that was disrupted by crows that it turned out were under the command of a demon that was subsequently banished.

On we went to the creepiest story of the evening brought to us by Zac. It was from the Japanese, who seem to be quite good at the creepy side of things when they wish to, and involved itinerant monks on there way to a festival. The bravest of which went on by himself to end up in a teahouse, enchanted by a woman bearing sake and playing lovely music. But rejecting her wiles he is mysteriously bound and is found by his friends in the morning, only to discover it was all an illusion and the woman in fact had been a spider.

A very odd tale involving Bell Rock lighthouse, talking crabs that collect the sun’s reflection, Lighthouse Bob and Willie the Wick was related to us by Kenn and it shed some light on the darkness.

We were hurried on a bit by this point as there was meant to by video games played on a large screen doon the stair and they were needing to do a sound check. So last up was David and we were off chasing a hare that turned out to be a witch.

It was a wonderful and warm night of stories in the Doghouse, not so spine-tingling and chilling afterall. Oh well, I probably slept all the better for it.



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