Urban legends

Folk Tales from South-East Iceland

The Troll-Wives of Skaftafell

This is a story about two farmers at Skaftafell, Bjarni and Einar, and the troll-women they were familiar with. A troll-wife lived in a cave above the Skaftafell Woods. One winter she assisted Bjarni in killing a savage who was the only survivor from a stranded ship. Her cave is said to exist today. Einar is said to have known a certain troll-wife and the latter part of this story is about their crossing the Skeidara river and other activity. Einar made a good copper gun, which still exists at Skaftafell.
The Troll-Wives of Skaftafell

The Fire Mass at Kirkjubaejarklaustur

A story about the sermon on Sunday, June 20th 1783 when pastor Jon Steingrimsson called the congregation together to pray. The lava from the Laki eruption was heading for the church but when the people emerged after the prayers they saw that the lava had stopped. This mass has since been called the Fire Mass. The reverend is buried at Klaustur as it is known in local language. The memorial chapel was built in his honor. Stop and take a look at the chapel and the columnar basalt close by. It is called Kirkjugolf (the Church floor) and is an unusual natural feature.
The Fire Mass at Kirkjubaejarklaustur

The Pastor of Einholt

A story from the 18th century about the reverend Vigfus Benediktsson. He was a pastor at Kalfafell west of Hornafjordur. He was subjected to various supernatural trials and tribulations, but he was fortunate enough to have women in his householdwho knew what to do. We recommend the book: A Travelers Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales by Jon R. Hjalmarsson.
The Pastor of Einholt