THE art of storytelling is set to come to life in Alloa this October with some dark local tales over two events.

Jo Ross and Kirsty Grant are rehearsing ahead of the events, which will take place at Marcelle House on Saturday, October 20, and at the Coach House Theatre on Friday, October 26.

Both will be part of this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival and people will have the chance to take in some local folklore at no charge.

Jo recently held an event at Redwell Primary School where she and pupils discussed Wee County folklore.

Indeed, Jo is currently gathering tales and stories from the Hillfoots and Clackmannanshire area and hopes to bring to life some of the most interesting ones in a traditional way.

She said: “Storytelling is an oral tradition and it is a tradition that is dying out.

“We are hoping to revive that locally.”

The tales will paint a darker picture, with Jo adding: “We want people to suspend belief and believe in fairies.

“These tales are 400 years old and at the time, people actually did believe in fairies and fairies were mentioned in church records.

“But they are about local people, it’s set in the local area.”

The event at Coach House Theatre is titled In the Shadow of the Hillfoots and will include a story about a Tullibody man’s wife being taken away by the fairies because she cannot behave.

Another tale will be about wee Tommy Kip of Menstrie, who goes off to chase a butterfly, only to find out it is the devil in disguise.

The event at Marcelle House, titled In the Land of the Black Goddess, will be much more low-key with just a dozen or so places available.

There, Jo and Kirsty will have company in the form of artist and co-host Karen Strang and fellow painter Sharee Currie who will be creating portraits live and a programme with some of their art will also be available on the night.

Jo and Kirsty and bringing different stories to the artists’ studios at Marcelle, including at least one about witches.

Anyone interested in heading along to either of the events, or in helping Jo’s project to collect local tales, can contact Jo on 07980 655 906 or visit the Hillfoots Tales Facebook page.