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Kirsty Logan draws inspiration from Loch Ness for eerie tale The Two Witches

By Alasdair Fraser

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Author Kirsty Logan was inspired by local folklore for The Two Witches.
Author Kirsty Logan was inspired by local folklore for The Two Witches.

A SPOOKY Halloween tale by an award-winning Scottish writer could be set to stir fresh visitor interest in Loch Ness and its folklore.

Cruise and tour company Loch Ness by Jacobite more usually caters for tourists eager to discover the loch's beauty, while delving into the mysteries and legend of the elusive monster.

But the firm has now teamed up with novelist and poet Kirsty Logan to bring to life an existing local folk story and present it to new audiences through social media.

The 35-year-old Glasgow-based writer has woven her eerie seasonal tale The Two Witches, around long-standing superstitions surrounding a stone protruding from the loch's waters at Brackla, near the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel.

Locals have long spun the tale that the stone was planted there during a fierce argument between two witches.

Described as a "social media horror story fit for all the family", it will be aired live as a book on Jacobite's Instagram Stories, with an audiobook being published on Jacobite's website from October 31.

The hope is to inspire potential day-trippers and holidaymakers to journey to the area to discover even more Highland folklore in person.

Ms Logan recently published her fifth book, Things We Say in the Dark, a collection of feminist literary horror stories. Her prize-winning works frequently draw inspiration from Scottish fairytales and folklore.

She said: "I grew up on Scottish folktales but I'm also a child of the internet, so it was a real treat to be able to combine these experiences to create something new.

"Scottish folklore is crammed full of strange and beautiful stories, and they're a constant inspiration to me."

Loch Ness by Jacobite managing director Freda Newton said: "The majority of people who come aboard our boats are, of course, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie.

"But aside from the beautiful scenery, it's often the lesser-known histories and folktales told by our guides which have the greatest impact on our guests. That's something we'd like to build on and develop.

"People are increasingly using Instagram to source ideas for their next holiday, so we wanted to find a way of bringing more of the magic of Loch Ness to them in this way.

"Kirsty Logan has breathed new life into a tale which few people outside Inverness will be familiar with.

"She has created something which will undoubtedly capture the imagination of those who read it, whether they're planning a trip to Loch Ness, are interested in Scottish culture or just enjoy a good story."

The full audiobook will be available at www.jacobite.co.uk or at Instagram Story Book on www.instagram.com/lochnessbyjacobite

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