Elves, Trolls, and Hidden People

1 09 2012

In Iceland people do not readily profess their belief in mythical beings, but few will deny they exist. On my very first walk around town, I was surprised to find elf houses in a nearby garden. And this discovery got us talking. There are many kinds of mythical creatures described in Icelandic lore but 3 dominate the tales. The first are the Elves. These creatures live in the underworld right under the ground in rocks and hills. Many times roads and buildings are diverted so their dwellings are not disturbed.

Actual footage of elf houses!

The Hidden People or huldufólk are another supernatural group. Legend claims God came to visit Eve and she only had time to clean up half of her children. Hiding the dirty ones, she denied their existence. God replied that the children hidden from him would remain hidden from man for all time.

Trolls are hideous, greedy creatures said to have erupted from the rotting corpse of a giant, and banished to the deep underworld. Should they be caught above ground at daylight they turn into stone. This explains many of the unusual rock formations throughout the country. I am told that eventually I will begin to see faces in the rocks too.

Not only do we worry about the effect of the seasons on our own sanity, but we also began to wonder what effect perpetual daylight might have on Trolls. It is our hypothesis that humans experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (see link below) during the endless nights of winter, while the Trolls experience the same symptoms during the 24 hour summer light. What misery it must be to remain below ground all day!


With a magical landscape like this… no wonder these types of tales have persisted!




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