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Spellbound by Sweden – a chilling nature experience for all the senses

Spellbound by Sweden
The deep forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquility – but also drama and mystique. That is why we invite travellers to experience a chilling story – using all senses – by stepping into the mystical parts of Swedish nature. Come, be spellbound by the places and experience where fairy tales, culture and nature meet across Sweden.
Photo: Johan Wennerström/Visit Sweden

We’d like to invite you to experience our country’s nature in a way you’ve never done before. Sweden’s nature has always been an integral part of our culture and played a central role in Swedish folklore. Inspired by this heritage, internationally-celebrated author John Ajvide Lindqvist has brought some of our mythological creatures to life in a chilling tale and audio story, now available on Spotify.

Curious yet?

Check out the trailer for the story.

Spellbound by Sweden
Photo: Johan Wennerström/

What is the story about?

The short audio story, named Kiln, is an adventure for all your senses. It’s written in the first person, so you’ll get to walk in the shoes of the main character as you go along and listen in the forest. The story starts off at the remains of a kiln, an ancient earth pit used to make charcoal. But soon enough, you’ll wander off and encounter various mythological beings, until you’re finally enchanted by a ‘huldra’ – a seductive forest nymph.

The seductive ‘huldra’ is known to be kind to charcoal burners but also has a dangerous side. She is usually portrayed as beautiful, with a carefully hidden tail.
Photo: Visit Sweden

Get to know our mythological creatures

Approximately 70 percent of Sweden’s land area is covered in forest. Nature has always played a vital role in our Swedish way of life and growing up, we’re taught to appreciate, respect and, to some extent, even fear the powers of nature. For centuries, our deep forests have been home to legendary spirits such as trolls, the huldra and the ‘nattmara’ (nightmare). Today, you’ll find they’re just as present in our crisp air as in the folklore tales they inhabit.

Can’t wait to get to know our legendary creatures better? Here you’ll find a closer introduction to some of our most infamous characters and their long-standing connection to Sweden’s nature.

Get to know our mythological creatures

How do I take part in the story?

Visit Sweden is welcoming the world to experience the deep forests of Sweden with a chilling short story written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Step into the mystical parts of Swedish nature as you listen to the short story, and you will experience the beauty and tranquility that the Swedish forests possess.

To take part in this thrilling adventure, simply click on the button marked "Listen to the story" to unlock the story on Spotify.

Spellbound by Sweden
The deep forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquillity – but also drama and mystique. Come here, and you'll be spellbound by the places and experiences where fairy tales, culture and nature meet across Sweden.
Photo: Johan Wennerström/Visit Sweden

Places to listen

Even though nature is easily accessible from wherever you are in Sweden, there are a few places we’d like to recommend. Click here to read more about these places and other activities you’ll want to explore while you’re here.

Now, only one question remains: are you brave enough to stay in the forest and listen to the end?

Places to listen


Q: What is “Spellbound by Sweden”?

A: The deep forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquillity – but also drama and mystique. “Spellbound by Sweden” is a campaign where you get the opportunity to listen to a chilling short audio story that is based on Swedish folklore and plays out in the Swedish forest. It’s a mythological adventure for all the senses.

Q: Why is Sweden doing this?

A: Swedish folklore is firmly rooted in nature, with a rich variety of mythological creatures that have long inspired our culture. Sweden is now inviting people to discover this enchanted world through our unique travel and audio experience.

Q. Who has written the story?

A. The short story Kiln is written by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. He is an internationally bestselling author and often referred to as the “Swedish Stephen King”. His thrilling stories mix Nordic noir, social realism and supernatural horror and have captured audiences in more than 30 countries. Since his debut novel, Let the Right One In in 2004, Ajvide Lindqvist has published 20 novels, short stories and dramatic works. His books are published in 33 countries, including Australia, China, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.