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The Enchanted Glade

Fictional drama involving a witch who casts a spell over a group of picnickers

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Description

Credits, against an illustration of a witch. Captions throughout give the story. A group of friends climb into two cars outside an ivy-covered house and drive off down the lane. The witch casts a spell to the ground, and we see the group of friends heading towards her. She creeps around the hillside, casting spells to the group, and disappears into the trees. The picnickers spread out their blankets and settle down. There are shots of the group enjoying the open air. A young man and lady walk off somewhere, and the others hand out the food amongst themselves. Meanwhile, the witch rakes the ground with her stick, and paces in a circle casting a spell. We see a close up of the food, and then... it disappears. The group is stunned. Then it appears again, and a man tries to grab it. But each time he gets close to the plate, it leaps somewhere else! Eventually it ends up in his hand... The witch doubles up with laughter, but hasn't finished yet. More and more things disappear, and the witch curses the terrified group. Then, the group members start to disappear, one by one, until they are all gone. The witch dances for joy. The young couple return to find the group gone. With a further flourish, the witch turns the young woman into an old crone, and the couple flee in horror. They get into the car and drive off. The startled group reappear on the lawn by the ivy-covered house, and the car returns with the couple, the young woman back to normal much to everyone's relief.

Questions & Activities

Questions

  • What type of people are depicted in this film?
  • Why are witches usually portrayed as old and evil?
  • Who and what is missing at the end?
  • How were these tricks achieved?
  • What local legends have you heard of?

Activities

English: Download the footage, strip out the inter-titles, and add your own dialogue and soundtrack to enhance the comedy of the narrative.

Primary: As a predicative activity pause the film before the spells and ask what happens next.

English / Halloween: Look at local myths, legends or stories in your area and try to construct your own story, graphic novel or film about this.

Drama / Media Studies: Storyboard and film your own version of the film or a film along the same theme.

Geography: Look at Bearsden in the early Twentieth Century and discuss what its development shows about the changing demography of Scotland. Look at your local history and how your town grew.

Gender / Social History: Research the representation of witches and witchcraft in Scotland and examine to what extent the demonisation of women and natural healers was provoked or exacerbated by King James VI of Scotland (James 1st of England).

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-217-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1702
Date 1933
Genre Drama, Amateur, Fiction
School Subject English, Drama, History, Social Studies, Geography, Gender Studies, Media Studies
Who Bearsden Film Club (sponsor)
Where Bearsden
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 9:18
Film Length 9:18
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