Visit Sweden’s latest tourism promotion aims is introducing visitors into a spellbinding tale tied to its woodlands. But there’s a catch—you have to be there, in one of Sweden’s forests, to hear it.
Titled “Spellbound by Sweden,” the new initiative has applied Swedish mythology to an audio story penned by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist that is set within Sweden’s woodlands.
The trailer for the campaign can be seen here.
“The deep forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquility – but also drama and mystique,” said Nils Persson, Visit Sweden’s chief marketing officer. “ ‘Spellbound by Sweden’ is a campaign where people visiting Sweden get the opportunity to experience a chilling short story, based on Swedish folklore, in the middle of the Swedish forest. It’s a mythological adventure for all senses, and one you’ll only experience in Sweden as the audio track is only available here.”
Visit Sweden isn’t kidding about having to be physically present in Sweden to hear “Kiln,” which is the name of this recorded story.
According to Persson, this audio track cannot be downloaded. It’s geo-restricted in that it can only be listened to within Sweden’s national parks; they have various ties to Sweden folklore or look like something out of a fairytale.
Listening spots include Åsnen National Park in Småland, Tiveden National Park located between Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern, Tresticklan National Park in Dalsland, Vålådalen Nature Reserve in Jämtland and Fulufjället National Park in Dalarna.
You can learn more about these parks here. When visiting one of these locations, travelers can hear the audio track on Spotify via a link on Visit Sweden’s website.
“The story is meant to be experienced with all your senses, not just your ears. And as it’s written in the first person, the listener can walk in the main character’s own steps while exploring one of Sweden’s many forests,” explained Persson. “This makes for a unique experience for everyone visiting Sweden’s nature.”
“Kiln,” a short story by Lindqvist, was written exclusively for the tourism board. Lindqvist is referred to as the “Stephen King of Sweden.” His stories mix Nordic noir, social realism and supernatural horror. Since the release of his debut novel, “Let the Right One In,” in 2004, Lindqvist has published 20 novels, short stories and dramatic works.
“The purpose of the story is to give an insight into Swedish culture and mythology, which has its roots in Swedish nature,” explained Erica Gruvberg, a consultant for Visit Sweden. “In the past, people believed that different creatures lived in the forest. With this story, we allow people of today to experience what it could be like.”
Firmly rooted in nature, Swedish folklore holds a rich anthology of mythological creatures that have long inspired Swedish culture. Many of them have their origin stories within Sweden’s forests, and “Kiln” was written to resonate with them.
“The story is meant to be experienced with all your senses, not just your ears,” said Gruvberg. “And as it’s written in the first person, the listener can walk in the main character’s own steps while exploring one of Sweden’s many forests. This makes for a unique experience for everyone visiting Sweden’s nature.”
Learn more about “Spellbound by Sweden” via Visit Sweden’s website.