Ghost Stories: Rusty The Really Unfriendly Ghost - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ghost Stories: Rusty The Really Unfriendly Ghost

Ghost Stories: Rusty The Really Unfriendly Ghost

Published August 25, 2017

Photos by
Elín Elísabet

This story begins back in November, 1784. A box of sixteen was fleeing a severe volcanic eruption in south Iceland, dressed in rags, contending with a snowstorm raging outside. He knocked on the door of a farmer’s cottage, asking for shelter, and was turned away.

This was considered very bad manners back then, and so when the boy ended up drowning in a tidal pool, he did the natural thing: he came back to haunt the farmer in his new form, Rusty the Brown One. Don’t let the snicker-worthy name fool you. Rusty was the wrong ghost to fuck with.

Rusty didn’t just go after the farmer. He went after his entire family, generation after generation, breaking up marriages, destroying farm equipment, killing sheep. Then he started attacking random travellers.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, a young girl who died the same way some years later joined Rusty in ghost form, so they went on attacking travelers together. Inexplicably, one of the people they killed later rose again as a ghost and joined them— kind of like the Icelandic ghost equivalent of getting jumped into a gang.

Rusty supposedly still walks today, so if you travel south, beware the Brown One.

Story courtesy of Icelandic Wonders

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