DRAUGURINN

DRAUGURINN is an ongoing self-portrait project starting in 2017 interpreting Iceland’s ghost stories. With a rich tradition in verbal storytelling and paranormal intrigue, Iceland’s ghost tales are melancholy and haunting, centring around tragedy and hardship.

I have been researching into these stories and interpreting them in my own way, to give a visual voice to these written accounts to aid in the preservation of Iceland’s rich folklore history.

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GHOST TYPES:

Gangárar - a wandering ghost who follows its victims around.

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GHOST TYPES:

Staðárar - a ghost tied to the place they died.

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Jóka of Höfðabrekka

Furious over the romance between her daughter and a man named Þorsteinn, she vowed to haunt him and forever keep them apart. Her ghost was restless, often seen doing housework or in the larder serving food with dirt in it. Most of all she haunted the mainland watching for the return of the man she detested most, her daughters love, who had fled to the Westman Islands.

Gunna I


After having her property taken from her by the landowner, Guðrún Onundardottir was enraged to the point she dropped dead. After, gunna’s coffin was being carried to the cemetery when it suddenly got lighter. Upon being placed, a whisper was heard ‘no need deep to dig, no plans long to lie’ - Gunna had become a hateful spectre.
The next day the blued and broken body of the man who took her property lay in the heath, and the whole peninsula of Reykjanes became haunted. Eventually, she was vanquished by a pastor who lead her to fall into the fumerole. Some say she paces, veiled in the steam, around the rim of the steamy abyss today named Gunnuhver.

Sólveig of Miklabæjar I


In the 17th century on a farm Miklibær in North Iceland, Sólveig fell in love with a priest but was ultimately rejected. Devastated, she slit her own throat, thus becoming an angry spectre. Later, priest Oddur never returned on horseback from a trip. Dozens looked for him but he was never found. It is said Sólveig dragged him to her grave.

Sólveig of Miklabæjar III


In the 17th century on a farm Miklibær in North Iceland, Sólveig fell in love with a priest but was ultimately rejected. Devastated, she slit her own throat, thus becoming an angry spectre. Later, priest Oddur never returned on horseback from a trip. Dozens looked for him but he was never found. It is said Sólveig dragged him to her grave.

Bjarna-Dísa, part II.


In the dead of winter, 18th century, Þórdís (known as Dísa) and her brother Bjarni were crossing the snowy mountains in East Iceland when a snowstorm started. Dísa was considered to be strange by others, having a unique taste in fashions of the day and a sense of independence. Leaving her in the mountains with little but a dress and some scraps of lamb meat and brennivín, Bjarni left to seek help. It took five days for her brother and two other local men to return to her. By this time, Dísa lay in the snow, extremely weak, but alive. The three men, convinced that her survival was impossible, were frightened by her low groans and slight movements, that they thought she was a ghost or malevolence, and killed her. Dísa is said to have haunted people since, and even all thirteen of Bjarni’s children died, said to be cursed by his sister.

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GHOST TYPES:

Skotta - a malicious ghost that follows the same family for generations, killing and driving people insane. 

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GHOST TYPES:

Sædraugar - a ghost of one drowned at sea.

GHOST TYPES:

Dagdraugur - a ghost seen in the day and also the night.

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Gunna II


After having her property taken from her by the landowner, Guðrún Onundardottir was enraged to the point she dropped dead. After, gunna’s coffin was being carried to the cemetery when it suddenly got lighter. Upon being placed, a whisper was heard ‘no need deep to dig, no plans long to lie’ - Gunna had become a hateful spectre.
The next day the blued and broken body of the man who took her property lay in the heath, and the whole peninsula of Reykjanes became haunted. Eventually, she was vanquished by a pastor who lead her to fall into the fumerole. Some say she paces, veiled in the steam, around the rim of the steamy abyss today named Gunnuhver.

Sólveig of Miklabæjar II


In the 17th century on a farm Miklibær in North Iceland, Sólveig fell in love with a priest but was ultimately rejected. Devastated, she slit her own throat, thus becoming an angry spectre. Later, priest Oddur never returned on horseback from a trip. Dozens looked for him but he was never found. It is said Sólveig dragged him to her grave.

Myvatns-Skotta

A young girl was passing a farm when she was invited in to eat. The farmer feeds the girl a meal and tells her he’ll accompany her walk to the next town.

But the farmer practiced witchcraft, and once by the river he drowned the girl. Carrying her lifeless body atop the hill, he awakened her as a ghost who would kill on his behalf any family he liked. The Myvatns-Skotta did this for many centuries with much success.

Bjarna-Dísa, part I.


In the dead of winter, 18th century, Þórdís (known as Dísa) and her brother Bjarni were crossing the snowy mountains in East Iceland when a snowstorm started. Dísa was considered to be strange by others, having a unique taste in fashions of the day and a sense of independence. Leaving her in the mountains with little but a dress and some scraps of lamb meat and brennivín, Bjarni left to seek help. It took five days for her brother and two other local men to return to her. By this time, Dísa lay in the snow, extremely weak, but alive. The three men, convinced that her survival was impossible, were frightened by her low groans and slight movements, that they thought she was a ghost or malevolence, and killed her. Dísa is said to have haunted people since, and even all thirteen of Bjarni’s children died, said to be cursed by his sister.