Teigarhorn, a farm in Berufjörður in East Iceland, is renowned for its zeolite crystals and is, in fact, a designated natural monument and nature reserve. But, RÚV reports, during the annual Dagar myrkurs, or Days of Darkness festival, it’s also host to an entirely different kind of attraction: a horror-movie theatre in a sheep shed.
The horror-movie theatre is the brainchild of Teigarhorn caretaker Rúnar Matthíasson and his wife. “I thought it was an absolutely great idea,” remarked Gréta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir, who is the Economic and Cultural representative for the Djúpavogshreppur municipality. “To watch a sort of sinister movie, and to do it in a sheep shed, in the dark, that’s really something – if people dare to come,” she adds.
Rúnar and his fellow theatre organisers set up folding chairs and put up creepy décor around the barn – bodies lying in the hay, skeletons hanging from the rafters, spider webs – and the district council director himself is in charge of making the popcorn.
The Days of Darkness festival, which began in 2000, is “an eastern phenomenon” says Gréta Mjöll and is meant to “… celebrate the darkness” and give locals something fun to do in the long, sunless days that stretch between the end of summer and the start of the Christmas season. The calendar of events spans all over East Iceland and includes activities for people of all ages, such as scary story readings for children, and a nighttime Ghost Walk around the town of Djúpivogur. Local schools even get into the spooky spirit of the festival and plan activities for their students such as slime-making for kindergarteners.
The festival is much-beloved by locals, says Gréta Mjöll, who might otherwise start feeling down during the monotonous winter days. “It does a lot for a town like ours to have some variety, something different to do.”