Tale of Islandmagee witches casts spell on local kids

Luan Ingram with her novel The Last Witches of Islandmagee. INLT-44-706-con
Luan Ingram with her novel The Last Witches of Islandmagee. INLT-44-706-con

An Islandmagee author has released her first children’s book after being inspired by the Islandmagee witch trials and The Gobbins path.

Luan Ingram’s colourful tale, The Last Witches of Islandmagee, tells how the three good witches seek out an apprentice to help them battle a fearsome Kraken.

Luan, who works at Islandmagee Play Away play group, told the Times: “The three witches are the last of their kind and they are getting old.

“They are worried that there will be no-one left to cast the spell to keep the kracken away after they have gone.

“They take on an apprentice but she’s not really up to the task and she casts the spell wrong so the witches will have to save the day or the Kraken will come and get them!”

Luan began writing children’s stories when her first child was born, but the new book is her first published work.

She says that she was inspired to write the tale, which has been vividly illustrated by her mother Alison Ingram, after joining Larne Writers’ Group.

“They gave me an assignment to write a scary story and this is what resulted,” she explained.

“Witches have always been associated with Islandmagee and growing up I loved Halloween and spooky stories.

“We used to love the caves at Blackhead and scaring ourselves with the stories.

“This book is a completely fictional children’s story.

“The opening of the Gobbins Visitor Centre gave me the push I needed to write the book.”

The self-published book was released on October 7, and Luan says it is already proving popular with local children.

“A lot of the parents from the play group have bought it and have been reading it to their kids who have been asking for it again, as has my youngest, which is a good sign!” she said.

“I hope the story will encourage kids to learn more about the local area and to explore its history.

The novel is on sale now at the Gobbins Visitor Centre, The Rinkha, the Spar in Islandmagee, The Book Nook in Larne and the shop at Carrick Museum.

Copies are priced at £5.