The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Folklore and old stories

An Orkney Broonie by Bryce Wilson, logo of the Orkney Storytelling Festival

Most people enjoy a good story and like to be entertained. We like to be able to switch off from the day and relax and it’s likely that this has occurred throughout the ages.

It’s not hard to imagine people long ago sitting around the fire and listening to tales of hunting, fishing and the ancestors.

Stories about past events give people a sense of history and belonging and make them feel part of the community.

As well as entertaining us, stories can educate, frighten us, make us laugh and cry, and spark our imagination in all kinds of ways.

The Orkney Storytelling Festival takes place in October each year, with local and visiting storytellers captivating audiences all over the isles.

In this section we look at all kinds of tales that relate to the Scapa Flow area.

Orcadian storyteller Tom Muir (co-founder with Sheila Faichney of the Orcadian Story Trust) gives us an overview of the creatures that our ancestors shared their lives with in Scapa Flow folklore.

Tom Muir, storyteller