Ten Disturbing Scandinavian Folktales

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Enchanted Wood. Artist unknown. (Scandinavian Folklore/Pinterest)

 

Many folktales are concerned with magical tales of heroism and grandeur. Young people head out on a journey of discovery that makes them a better person. They vanquish evil, help others, and make the world a better place. In the end, the dashing young man usually gets the beautiful girl, and everyone lives happily ever after.

However, some folktales don’t have happy endings. Some folktales can be downright disturbing. Many of the tales in Scandinavian folklore, for instance, are not only grim; some are absolutely terrifying. We selected 10 of the most disturbing for you to enjoy…but, keep a candle burning…


#10. The Sacrificial Beggar Child (Sweden)

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The story goes that there was a town named Dalland that was suffering from a disease that was wiping out much of the population and causing many people to flee. The townsfolk were beside themselves with worry about how to stop it, until an old man from Finland came along with sage advice on how to stop the disease.

He told them that only a sacrifice would put an end to it, and explained that they would need to bury a living thing in the ground. The villagers were desperate to stop the disease, so they took his advice. They began by burying a rooster alive in the ground, but their cruel act failed to produce any results, so they upped the ante by burying an entire goat alive. Unfortunately, this also failed.

Feeling there were no other options left, they decided that the only sacrifice worthy enough to end the spread of the disease would be an actual human being. In order to accomplish this, they set their sights on an orphaned boy and offered him bread as bait for their trap. The unassuming child fell for their trap completely and was dropped in a prepared hole.

The villagers immediately began shoveling dirt on top of the hapless child. The boy was terrified and tried to plead with them to stop burying him alive, but they continued on with their work without mercy. Before long, the job was done and the child was simply left to die, in the hopes he would end the spread of the deadly disease.

Some villagers claimed that they could hear his cries from under the ground, even after his death, decrying the cruel act that had been done to him.


#9. The Christmas Ghosts (Sweden)

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This tale begins with a woman who was preparing to head to a midnight Christmas Mass.

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Zombies, Encounters with the Hungry Dead, ed. and with Commentary by John Skip, 2009

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Table of Contents

9 • Introduction: The Long and Shambling Trail to the Top of the Undead Monster Heap • essay by John Skipp
19 • Lazarus • (1921) • short story by Леонид Андреев? (trans. of Елеазар? 1906) [as by Leonid Andreyev]
39 • “… Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields” • (1929) • short story by William B. Seabrook [as by W. B. Seabrook]
51 • The Return of Timmy Baterman • (1983) • short fiction by Stephen King
65 • The Emissary • (1947) • short story by Ray Bradbury
75 • A Case of the Stubborns • (1976) • short story by Robert Bloch
95 • It • (1940) • novelette by Theodore Sturgeon
121 • Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed • (2007) • short story by Steve Duffy
155 • Bitter Grounds • (2003) • novelette by Neil Gaiman
177 • Sea Oak • (1998) • novelette by George Saunders
203 • The Late Shift • (1980) • short story by Dennis Etchison
221 • A Zombie’s Lament • short fiction by S. G. Browne
227 • Best Served Cold • short fiction by Justine Musk
249 • The Dead Gather on the Bridge to Seattle • (2008) • short fiction by Adam Golaski
271 • The Quarantine Act • short fiction by Mehitobel Wilson
289 • The Good Parts • (1989) • short story by Les Daniels
295 • Bodies and Heads • (1989) • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
315 • On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks • (1989) • novelette by Joe R. Lansdale
359 • Like Pavlov’s Dogs • (1989) • novella by Steven R. Boyett
423 • Jerry’s Kids Meet Wormboy • (1989) • novelette by David J. Schow
465 • The Visitor • (1998) • short story by Jack Ketchum
473 • The Prince of Nox • (1992) • short story by Kathe Koja
485 • Call Me Doctor • short fiction by Eric Shapiro
491 • The Great Wall: A Story from the Zombie War • (2007) • short story by Max Brooks
499 • Calcutta, Lord of Nerves • (1992) • short story by Poppy Z. Brite
515 • God Save the Queen • (2006) • short fiction by John Skipp and Marc Levinthal
541 • Eat Me • (1989) • short story by Robert R. McCammon
555 • We Will Rebuild • short story by Cody Goodfellow
571 • Sparks Fly Upward • (2005) • short story by Lisa Morton
583 • Lemon Knives ‘N’ Cockroaches • short fiction by Carlton Mellick, III
601 • Zaambi • (2006) • short fiction by Terry Morgan and Christopher Morgan
629 • The Zombies of Madison County • (1997) • novella by Douglas E. Winter
665 • Dead Like Me • (2000) • short story by Adam-Troy Castro
675 • Zombie Roots: A Historic Perspective • (2009) • essay by Anthony Gambol and Christopher Kampe
685 • They’re Us and We’re Are Them: Zombies in Popular Culture • (2009) • essay by Cody Goodfellow and John Skipp

A Bloody-Good Little Werewolf Story by Lincoln Michel

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Art by Matt Rota for Buzzfeed. 

“I used to wake up in strange places. I’d be covered in blood, but alive…”

I used to wake up in strange places. Park benches in new cities, orange groves among the fallen globes, motel parking lots at the edge of the dark woods. I’d be covered in blood, but alive. Now, I barely get down the block. I awake in the neighbors’ flower bed. The laundry room. The garbage bag by the door that I forgot to take downstairs before the moon took over the sky.

A kind stranger finds me, or a neighbor wakes me with a nasty voice. Today, it’s the school playground down the street and a policeman shaking his head. “Don’t make me haul you downtown, gramps. Go home and sober up.”

A dog walker passes me, a half-dozen mutts barking and straining at their leashes, their young canine bodies filled with energy. My body used to have that power. Now, it takes me a half hour to get home. My knee is enflamed, my hip aches, and sleeping on the slide has left me stooped over like the question mark. A small child, barely a snack, has to help me cross the street.

I’ve always feared the moon, ever since I got lost on a family camping trip and heard the howl. The reason for that fear has changed. It used to mean I’d hurt other people, now it just means I hurt myself.

What do I even look like now when the time comes? Mangy grey fur on wrinkled skin that clings to my skeleton like a dirty towel. Liver spots on my hairless belly. Cracks in my calcium-deficient claws.

I once was a monster, now I’m more waif than wolf.

I shower off the blood, put on a new pair of khakis, a fresh sweater. I grab my cane and hobble to Walgreens. They sell Luna bars. MoonPies. My monthly nightmare repackaged as tasty treats.

My trembling hands drop the items on the counter: Advil, Pepto-Bismol, Bengay, Band-Aids, ice pack, knee brace. “Looks like grandpa’s having a party tonight!” the cashier says with a wink. “Don’t get too crazy with this stuff. Haha.” He has a flush, round face. Just the right amount of marbling in the muscle.

When I was younger, I would’ve hidden in the park until he walked home.

I was a full of life back then, my whole future ahead of me like a wide open field to sprint through with the wind in my fur.

But now? Now all I can do is pretend to laugh, slide my card through the swiper, scribble on the receipt. Head home to await my sad transformation in my cramped apartment.

Perhaps this is what we all transform into, in the end: a tired old dog, alone and unloved, barking impotently at the dark sky.

-End-

(Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/)


(This piece was originally written for and performed at Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts: Flash Fiction event in partnership with BuzzFeed Books.)

About the Author

Lincoln Michel is the author of the story collection Upright Beasts (Coffee House Press, 2015), and the co-editor of the sci-fi flash-fiction anthology Gigantic Worlds (Gigantic Books, 2015). His stories and criticism have appeared in a number of publications, including The New York Times, Granta, Vice, Guernica, The Guardian, and the Pushcart Prize anthologies.

Website/Twitter: lincolnmichel.com;
@thelincoln

To learn more about Michel’s story collection, Upright Beasts, click here:

The Diary of Xander Tully, a Novella-in-Progress by Sanguine Woods, Coming Winter, 2018

22FE38E1-A688-4586-AA8C-B3C173D42767Dear Book Lovers and Ardent Readers,

RE: A quick note from the writer’s desk…

Greetings!

Working on my novella The Diary of Xander Tully. It is a frightening tale set in the years before America had become a nation, up in the woods of what is now the border between Michigan and Canada, where French-Canadian settlers have started a fledgling colony led by two old families.

Xander Tulley is a stranger here. His origins are not known to the community. But he is a clever man; he shows the world a practical and rational side; a lover of facts and the path they reveal to truth. But Tulley has other sides. He hails from a foreign land, across the sea. His people are tall, fair of hair and pale of skin. He appears as an artisan printer in the colony of River Raisin, where the villagers have a respect for the past and their heritage (one of the families traces its roots all the way back to a French king).

When Tulley becomes curious about a tale of an odd grouping of stones located in the deep woods that begin about a mile northeast of the village, he is drawn to the site. There is no visible path to the outcropping, and reaching it is difficult unless you know the woods, and the way. The stones circumscribe what appears to be a gash in the earth, an opening some five paces across at its widest. The villagers don‘t appear to know of the spot, its history, or the fact that a grove of trees surrounds the area in almost a perfect circle. They are deciduous trees, “evergreens”—-and they are the only trees in the wood that turn the color of glowing embers when autumn steals the light from summer and creeps toward the winter solstice.

The story of the woods is old. Some things—some geographies, secrets—-some stories—-lay quiet and undisturbed for a reason. Xander Tulley has been dreaming about the burning trees. His preoccupation with learning the history of the Wood leads him to seek out an indiginous tribe that once dwelt near the area, but has since moved higher north. It is in the tribe’s legends, wrapped tight within in an ancient language, that Tulley begins to see a story form in the forgotten shadows of time, one that once breathed life, and should now be left alone.

Xander Tulley reaches a proverbial fork in the road, where he may learn more about himself than he ever cared to know; and where he will be faced with making the hardest decision he will ever have to make.

Stay tuned for more!

SW

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Forgotten Ghost Stories: The Mystery of the Dancing Coffins…A True Story by Robert W. Sneddon, 1926


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Have You Heard Bigfoot Yet? Listen to These Recordings of Sasquatch Making Odd Human-Animal Noises … Keep the Lights On…

“We decided to record the sounds on CD and cassette [and digitally] to make them available to people. We do believe these creatures are trying to communicate with us, though. As we speak we are having the linguistics people look into it; they are very encouraged. What they’re saying so far is that humans cannot mimic these sounds, that the range supersedes what humans can do. The tapes were shown by a previous study at the University of Wyoming to be spontaneous and no signs of being re-recorded, or pre-recorded at altered speeds; so the idea of a hoax is highly improbable as far as professionals are considered at this time.”

— Ron Morehead, Bigfoot, a Netflix Documentary (1997)

Here Ron Morehead’s original Bigfoot vocalizations—the most bizarre thing ever recorded:

Here’s how Morehead captured the sounds on tape:


The Recordings of the “Bigfoot Language” Are Actually Pretty Frightening

Is that an ape? Wait; that sounds almost human! Indeed. And both are what you hear in the hoots and growls and whines and snarls of what Ron Morehead calls “Bigfoot Language—a series of tape recorded noises Morehead recorded while living in a remote area of Northern California’s Sierra mountains during the early 1970s. But, are they real? I have put together this post so you can check out the facts and decide for yourself.

“The sounds, vocalizations, that include whistling, have been professionally analyzed and it is the belief of the scientists who did the analysis that they are not man-made. Regardless of the findings, which incidentally have never been disproved. I am satisfied and will personally vouch for the integrity of both my associates, Alan Berry and Ron Morehead, in the matter of these recordings. Indeed I look forward to working with them again, in the Bigfoot field, in the future.”

— Peter Byrne, Director, The Bigfoot Research Project

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To this day, there is still a debate over the authenticity of the tape recordings; however, many audio and human and animal linguistics specialists admit to the recordings’ uncannily realistic nature.

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I Think They Want Our Lightning, Batman!

“The term unidentified flying object, better known by the acronym UFO, refers to the observation of a flying object, real or apparent, that cannot be identified by the observer and whose origin remains unknown after an investigation.

Despite the fact that the above explanation clearly defines the term as best as possible, many people have rushed forward to connect the term UFO with Alien/Extraterrestrial.

However, despite the fact that the UFO phenomena may in fact be real, it does not necessarily mean it’s our cosmic neighbors who are ‘riding’ the unidentified flying objects we are seeing.

Having that said, it also does not mean it’s not them.

Savy?

Anyway, as good children of the modern age and maybe due to the fact that we live in a hyper-modern era, we constantly seek logical and reasonable explanation to everything that happens around us, which we cannot logically explain at first.

When someone says: “hey I saw a flying saucer,” most people answer with skepticism. And rightfully I might add.

This ‘reasonable’ skepticism is the result of the numerous false reports of UFOs, alien crafts, and hoaxes that have been popularized throughout the last couple of years on the internet. ”

Click here to watch two UFOs caught approaching clouds during an Oklahoma thunderstorm (Source: OK weather channel):

https://www.ancient-code.com/the-best-ufo-video-yet-2-ufos-spotted-on-live-tv/

“Apparently, there are many who see an alien UFO in everything in the sky they cannot explain.

However, that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

In order for the UFO phenomena to be brought back to the spotlight and studied with ‘scientific reasoning,’ we must first establish a difference between real UFO’s, and things that can be rationally explained.

But that’s difficult.

Why? Simply because today’s society has access to tools that can literally create a UFO out of nowhere.

Whether it’s through the use of photoshop, or video manipulation, creating a UFO has become something rather easy. This fact drastically affects serious Ufology which has been swarmed with fake UFO stories, which in turn causes many people to doubt and believe in UFO’s, despite the fact that they may be real, and not from Earth.

Having that said—and it’s just my humble opinion—I present you here with a couple of videos (I only intended to post one video, but then I saw this NASA video) which have taken the online world by surprise.

Why? They were filmed during live tv shows, and/or by NASA cameras.

Live TV shows and NASA cameras don’t lie, right?

My point here is that society in today’s age must not take the UFO phenomena so lightly.

We must learn to discern what is right and what’s not in Ufology, in order to place this ‘unaccepted science’ on a stable foundation that will eventually tackle the UFO question without fear.

What do you make of the videos and what do you think about Ufology? Should real–professional–Ufologists fight back against fake UFO images and Videos? What can we do collectively as a society in order to bring back Ufology from the depths of fake videos and fake reports? ”

– Ancient Code @ https://www.ancient-code.com/the-best-ufo-video-yet-2-ufos-spotted-on-live-tv/