A collection of werewolves, witches, trolls, devils, ghouls and other nasty stuff from Swedish folklore.
Did you ever hear about the girl who married a werewolf? Or the man who was flayed by the Devil? What about the woman who was suckled to death by her own, dead baby? No..? You may have heard them if you were raised in Sweden, but even if you weren't, you're about to have them told to you now. Within the pages of this little book you'll find 17 Swedish folktales that are weird, eerie and downright creepy! They're educational too. You'll learn how to get a snake out of your belly, how to blow up a troll, and why you should avoid men with green beards. And if that isn't useful information, I don't know what is.
Christmas Mass of the Dead
(From the province of Skåne)
Karna Jonsdotter worked as a maid on a farm in southern Sweden. She lived in a small cottage next to the farm, and the farmer had given her a clock that would help her get up on time in the mornings. But sometimes the clock wouldn’t work properly, and she’d be late for work anyway. One year the clock had stopped on the very morning of Christmas Day. Eventually, Karna woke up by herself, but when she noticed that the clock had stopped, she realized that she would surely be late for the Christmas Day mass. Being late for such an event when the whole village was sitting in church was, of course, terribly embarrassing. So she quickly got dressed and immediately set off to the church. Better to arrive a bit late than not at all.
As she feared, she was late. The lights inside the church were shining out of all the windows, and she could hear people in there, singing. She thought she should at least make an attempt to sneak in before the hymn ended. Maybe nobody would notice. When she looked into the church it was packed with people, but she saw an empty seat right by the aisle. With head lowered, she hurried over and stood among the others. So ended the psalm and all sat down. The priest climbed into the pulpit and began his Christmas sermon. But the priest was a man who Karna had never seen before. He also looked terrible pale and his eyes shone with the pale light of the full moon. She turned to the woman sitting next to her to ask what was going on in the church. Then she saw that the woman was her aunt, who had been dead for over ten years!
"What are you doing here?" asked her aunt. "You can’t be here. This is the Christmas mass of the dead, which is held during the night, before the Christmas mass for the living starts. You’ve come here to early! If the dead find you, they will tear you to pieces. You have to leave right away!"
Karna could not utter a sound, but her aunt pushed her.
"Run! Run for your life! “her aunt hissed.