Urban legends

Folk Tales from West Iceland

Sacred Hill of Three Wishes

Supernatural powers have been accredited to the mountain Helgafell (Holy Mountain) on Snaefellsnes. The hill was a place of sanctuary, where no person or animal might be killed. People believed they would go into the mountain when they died. A monastery was founded at Helgafell in 1184 but was burned down when Reformation took over. Many valuable manuscripts were burned by the Lutherans. Walk up on the mountain without saying a word and without looking back. Then you go to the ruins of the prayer chapel, turn east and make three wishes. You must never tell what the wishes were. They must be made with goodwill and not be harmful to anyone. If you follow these simple rules your wishes will come true. This is only valid for the first walk up the mountain.
Sacred Hill of Three Wishes

The Elf Church at Tungustapi

Tungustapi is a rocky hill in the Saelingsdalur valley near the farm Saelingsdalstunga. It is thought to be a cathedral and bishopric for elves and other supernatural creatures which live in the earth. During the evening when the sun is low in the sky it shines on the cliff and the hill looks like it has been lit up. This is a long folk tale about two brothers Sveinn and Arnor who lived with their wealthy family at Saelingsdalstunga. The boys on the farm would use the hill for sliding on the snow. Sveinn took no part in this. He was a loner and disappeared every New Years Eve. One night Arnor went to look for him and suddenly Tungustapi opened and it looked like a church inside. It looked like Sveinn was being ordained. Arnor called for him to come out. The elve-pastor ordered the door closed and said that next time Sveinn would see him he (Sveinn) would die. The elves chased Arnor on horses and rode him down. A farmer in the neighborhood found him later and Arnor told him what happened and fell down dead. Sveinn became a monk at the Helgafell monasterye .The father was ernow getting old and felt death was near and asked Sveinn to celebrate mass for him. While Sveinn was singing the Mass the door blew open and he saw directly into Tungustapi. Sveinn collapsed and died and his father moments later. the church was moved after this and the farmhouse is now between the church and the Elf Rock.
The Elf Church at Tungustapi