Long ago, the village made a pact with God, and ever since then it has had a magic spell that keeps the place unchanged and invisible to the outside world - except for one special day, which happens once every hundred years, when people from outside can not only see Brigadoon, but also get there.
On this chosen day festive merriment reigns in the village.
Brigadoon is believed to have disappeared in 1754. As Bob Carren writes in his book Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms: Sunken Continents, Vanished Cities, the story is mistaken, and "the spell cast on Brigadoon was actually a means of protection against the infiltration of the Red Mounders during the Jacobist Rebellion." He believes the village still exists today, but it is stuck at a certain point in time.
Anyone who has investigated the Brigadoon myth has reason to believe that it does not have its origins in Scotland, but in Germany.
There is an old German legend about a cursed village called Hermelshosen. It says: its bells sound so loud that the sound is heard from everywhere in the Bavarian mountains. The story was recorded by the Brothers Grimm and later published in a collection of fairy tales.
Karan writes that those people who dared to follow the sound of the bells went away into the countryside - and no one has seen them since. They tried to return to the mortal world, but all their attempts were in vain.
Hermelshosen is supposedly inhabited by dark and evil forces that wish to harm mankind. The sinister village still exists today, hiding in the mountains of Bavaria, invisible to the human eye and ready to lure the careless traveler into its curse. That is why this place should be avoided.
Hermelschosen is thus associated with evil forces, while the village of Brigadoon represents joy and Scottish romance. Today, many people associate the name with the musical written by A. Lerner and F. Lowe in 1947. The musical play is known throughout the world. Its plot centers around the chaos that begins when two American travelers accidentally enter a village just before the day when the residents are about to celebrate a wedding.
Although the village of Brigadoon is just a myth, there is a medieval bridge called the Brig o' Doon. It is located south of Alloway, a former Scottish village, a suburb of Ayr. It is the birthplace of Robert Burns. The poet included his description of it in his poem "Tam O'Shanter," and the bridge has since gained fame.
Some believe that the musical was named after the Celtic goddess Brigids, others believe it is a combination of the Celtic words "briga," meaning city, and "dun," meaning "fortification," all together meaning "fortified city."
The musical Brigadoon was created at a time when, due to the events of the recent world war, everything German was unpopular on the British and American stage. And so Lerner twisted the story by choosing Scotland as the setting; in this way he could use motifs from traditional music of the Scottish highlands.
Whatever the truth, the village of Brigadoon is still a marvelous tale.