Spirited Away (audiobook)

Listening time:
Publication date:
April 2, 2022
For listeners:
9 and up
Juvenile fiction:
Ghost stories
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Spirited Away: Fairy stories of old Newfoundland

Written and read by Tom Dawe

“It’s a place of spirits and evil fairies,” an old woman once told me. She was standing on the wooden bridge not far from the derelict house. “They come seeping up from the ground when the mist is rising. I’ve seen them myself. And you might see them too, conditions being right. No wonder the people moved away.
~from 'A Place Like This'

Newfoundland is rife with stories of fairies who mislead, play tricks, or sometimes, spirit folks away. A rustle of a leaf, a glint at the corner of one’s eye—these fairies lurk, menacing and amoral, at the edges of settled life.

The pages of Spirited Away are populated by people who wander onto fairy paths or fall under the spell of mysterious music, who find themselves lost in surroundings long familiar, or find family members grown strange—people irrevocably changed by their eerie encounters.

Passed on as rumours and whispers, told at a remove, stories of fairies are still heard today. These literary renderings of stories and anecdotes Tom Dawe has collected across the island offer an accessible and engaging introduction to one of Old Newfoundland’s most powerful and peculiar folk traditions.

This audio book was recorded and engineered by Chris Brookes at Battery Radio in St. John's, NL, and features music by Christina Smith.

 Spirited Away stands as a companion volume to Dawe and Tomova's chilling An Old Man's Winter Night: Ghostly Tales.

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Other formats available: ebook and print 

What folks are saying about the print edition

  • Recipient of the 2018 Children’s Folklore Section, American Folklore Society Aesop Accolade

"Dawe is a poet, which is reflected in his simple, but lyrical, text. Tomova’s sinister woodcuts, with their muted colours and grotesque figures, draw the reader deeper into the unsettling world of these dark fairies. Together, they’ve perfectly captured the sweet terror that comes when sitting by a flickering light and listening to unearthly tales."

~ Charis Cotter in Quill & Quire (Read the full review.)

"Tom Dawe tells some disturbing stories in Spirited Away, enhancing the atmosphere with the flavour of Newfoundland and coastal Labrador. From the music to blueberry picking and the vocabulary much unknown to me ... these are the stories of the people of Newfoundland. Veselina Tomova's woodcut illustrations, in dark tones and snatches of light, reflect the very setting in which the fairies appear. These are not your Disney fairies. They are frightening, and Tom Dawe ensures that we know that they are real."
~ Helen Kubiw on CanLit for Little Canadians (Read the full review.)