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"A good storyteller makes sure that the story isn't about them, but is about a pattern and that people can immediately tie into it and say...I understand that I see that."

October 20, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen

Two southeast Idaho storytellers are gearing up for an event perfectly paired with the Halloween season, a night of ghost stories. 

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Lori Hansen, one of the founders of The Great Bear Folk Theater and a local storyteller told BYU-Idaho Radio. "It's going to be spooky, maybe just a little bit creepy, but it's going to be an event that talks about humans and how we deal with loss, how we deal with the other world...and a little bit scared." 

Lori and Omar Hansen love a good story, especially during Halloween when a ghost story or two are well in order. As professional storytellers and the founders of The Great Bear Folk Theater, both say that while telling stories is fun - even the kinds that make audiences jump a time or two, the heart of storytelling is about finding and deepening human connection and understanding. 

"If the audience member or the listener is hearing my story, but also remembering something about their own life or their own story, then that's when I know I have really done my job because it does not stay about me, it  then becomes about them and that's what I want, is them to reconnect with their own stories," Lori Hansen said. 

Both say though the upcoming "Candlelight Hauntings" event is full of spooky stories many audiences might recognize, listeners can expect the same experience of understanding and discovery even while listening to something like the "Corpse Bride."

"We don't read from books, it's like you get up and hear a person perform and hopefully you'll laugh, sometimes you might cry and maybe you'll do both," Omar Hansen said. "The best folktales tell us about patterns of life, mythic patterns, that we all tie into whether we know it or not. We become the hero, we become the orphan, we become the warrior, we become all those things that are in stories...and a good storyteller makes sure that the story isn't about them, but is about a pattern and that people can immediately tie into it and say...I understand that I see that."

The event is on October 30th at the Romance Theater in Rexburg. There will be two showings at 7 pm and 10:30 pm. Tickets and information are available here.

You can listen to the full interview and a sneak peek of one of the stories from the event below.