Urban legends

Folk Tales from North Iceland

The Reaper of Tindar

Once there was a farmer at the farm Tindar in the north. He was a good farmer and had some supernatural skills. This story is about an unusual difficult summer with ice close to shore and cold weather. The grass simply would not grow. Arni, the farmer decided not to harvest the hay but let the grass continue to grow slowly. Sometime later he asked the Devil to mow the grass during one night and if he succeeded he could name his prize. The Devil wanted the farmer. The field at Tindar is full of rocks and difficult to mow. Arni had prepared many scythes for the Devil because he would often hit rocks when mowing. The Devil was almost finished when he came to the ruins of the old church in the home field. Arni had placed the Bible on one tussock and the book of Psalms on another. The Devil could not touch books of that kind and could not finish mowing. The deal was off.

The Reaper of Tindar

Solveig and the Reverend Oddur

This is story about a servant girl named Solveig who committed suicide and the Reverend Oddur, who vanished without a trace in 1786. The girl Solveig was employed by the Reverend Oddur at the church-stead Miklibaer in Skagafjordur. She fell in love with the pastor and wanted to marry him but he did not want to do so. She went insane and killed herself. Her last words were that she wanted to be buried in hallowed ground. The permission was denied. She was buried outside the graveyard without rites. The following night the pastor dreamt that Solveig came to him and said: “ Since you will not allow me a place in hallowed ground, you shall not lie there either.“ She began to haunt the pastor. One day Reverend Oddur rode to a nearby church-stead but did not return. The following morning the pastor´s horse was found outside the farm but no trace of the owner. People were sure that Solveig dragged him down into her grave. The grave was never opened. We recommend the book: A Travelers Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales by Jon R. Hjalmarsson

Solveig and the Reverend Oddur