Tales by Candlelight transports you into a fantasy world by scent and storytelling

Credit: Walk the Night

It’s dark outside in the middle of the forest, and there’s an earthy smell that is permeating through the air. If one were to focus, shadowy figures can be seen, as if giving out a warning. The trees are huge, yet they are dwarfed by a larger forest glade inside a giant cave. Everything starts to shake, and I’m running away from this place before it can swallow me whole. As I hurried past the grove, my legs start to get heavy. It starts to stiffen, and I can no longer move. There is a sense of fear as if my life was about to be snuffed out, forever lost in the forest. This is Tales by Candlelight from Walk the Night, a collaborative storytelling experience driven by scent, and I delved deep into my imagination to create my own story, sitting in a room that resembles a wizard’s study room.

Los Angeles is home to many immersive experiences, and Tales by Candlelight does something different by having a really intimate setting and including the use of scent. You can have up to two guests, and the storyteller will guide you on your journey. The room you enter resembles a wizard’s study, with candlelights setting the mood. At the center is a table with different scents. You’re free to open or close your eyes, but closing them will improve your imagination. With the collaborative storytelling, you get to come up with your character, how you’re dressed, what your role is, what kind of world you’ll be exploring, and how you progress. The storyteller is there to help push your tale forward and to keep your imagination growing. It’s all about letting yourself go and truly giving in to the story, no matter how bizarre or strange. Tabletop role-playing gamers will feel right at home.

Before the whole experience starts, Walk the Night’s Spencer Williams greets me outside a building at night, and he helps prepare me for what awaits inside. It’s all about letting go and letting the story take over, and that’s what I decided to do once I’m inside. Williams then leaves with Cantrip Candles’ Christoff Visscher taking his spot as the storyteller. You start off by describing the world, and Visscher builds upon that. He has a way words, making you feel like you’re really there. We go back and forth, and he helps me get really creative by describing what I’m seeing and what I’m doing.

I’m wearing adventure gear as I traverse through a forest under a giant glade inside a cave. With the scents near me, the imagery of my make-believe world is more potent. There were moments that I felt like Indiana Jones, exploring a lost civilization, and the element of the unknown had me on edge. What will I find in this secret area? How is this place thriving? There are many questions, and the deeper I go, the scarier it gets.

It’s all about unlocking your mind, and the more imaginative you are, the more you’ll get out of the experience. I discovered a hidden festival, an ancient godlike being, dark spirits, and disturbing environments. I was scared, excited, and curious.

Tales by Candlelight is done through storytelling and scent, and you get to take a part of that experience with you. Individualized soy candles from Cantrip Candles will be sent to you two weeks later. The specialized candle is a reminder of your travels, and it combines the different scents that you’ve experienced. Additionally, you’ll receive a sheet describing your tale, scents, character type and statistics.

Tales by Candlelight transports you into a fantasy world that evokes beauty and darkness thanks to collective storytelling, scent, and the imagination. Picture this as an intense form of meditation, one where the unknown can take a hold of you. The scent really does enhance the experience as you instantly relate it to specific items and locations. It’s part campfire stories, part roleplaying, and part immersive theatre. It’s truly an experience that will have a lasting impression once you leave the building, and the candle you get to keep will bring you back into that world where fantasy and the imagination meet.

To book tickets, you can visit https://towalkthenight.com/talesbycandlelight#tales-by-candlelight.

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