Twenty-Fifth Annual Haunting in the Hills Festival, September 16

Oneida, TN (2017-09-06) The 25th annual “Haunting in the Hills” Storytelling Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 16, 2017 in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  Make plans now to join thousands of folks who will come to the Bandy Creek field for a fun-filled day of stories, music, crafts and more.  Craft classes and concerts are free and open to the public.

This year’s storytelling festival will feature Octavia Sexton, Rebecca Hom, Oba William King, and Lynn Ruehlmann.

Octavia Sexton is a vibrant and engaging professional story teller specializing in the oral traditions of Appalachia.  She weaves tales derived from a number of Appalachian roots, including folktales, the haunted “haint” tales, and Cherokee legends.  Octavia draws upon a rich tapestry of stories passed down to her from her ancestors.  She is a teaching artist of creative writing, drama, Appalachian culture and early American history.  She performs a one woman show as the historical pioneer Jenny Wiley and presents anti-substance abuse assembly programs.

Rebecca Hom never knew she would someday be a storyteller.  With a vision towards the mountains, Rebecca moved from her Iowa family farm to spend her adult life discovering the natural and cultural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  She shares her sensibilities from growing up in the heartland and her inspirations from living by the sea.  For the last 25 years, the thread of story has connected Rebecca with people across the country and on six continents.  She loves stories from all genres–folktales, myth, legends, and personal story–often mixing them together in a single telling.  Rebecca vividly illustrates stories with “word pictures”, taking the listener from present reality into incredible imagination and safely back again.

Oba William King, The Poetic Storyteller, tours nationally presenting programs of story, song, and drum for all ages, all cultures.  He recently appeared at the National Storytelling Festival, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, and was the featured teller for two inaugural festivals:  Evanston Public Storytelling Festival and Storyteller’s Festival at Park Forest Library.  His school and library based assembly presentation and Family Reading Night program continues nationally with rave reviews.

Lynn Ruehlmann can’t resist the endearing people she’s known in her own life or the bigger than life characters she’s met from Greek myths and history.  Lynn’s CDs about some of these people, “Spy! The Story of Civil War Spy Elizabeth Van Lew,” “It Happened in the White House,” and “Mischief! Adventures of a Daydreamy Child,” have won four national awards.  Lynn loves theater and won a Folio Award for Best Actress in a Comedy.  But once she found storytelling more than twenty years ago, she never looked back!  She’s been telling and teaching storytelling all around the country ever since.

Each year, thousands of students in area schools get to experience dynamic storytelling programs by world renowned storytellers during the festival’s outreach programs, which travel to local schools during the week leading up to the event.

Storytelling predates writing, with the earliest forms of storytelling usually oral combined with gestures and expressions.  Stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values.

For more information about the event or for directions to Bandy Creek, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275, or park headquarters at (423) 569-9778.  The storytelling festival is on Eastern Time.  The event is free to the public.  Bring a blanket or folding chairs to settle in and listen to the stories and the music.

For more information about this annual event, please use this link:  http://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/storytelling.htm.