Shortly before the turn of the 20th century, a young girl travelled from Reykjavík to the nearby hot springs of Laugar to do her washing. While at her work there, she felt an unpleasant presence and became sick at heart and nauseous. She looked around and was startled by the sight of a spectre or ghost crouching over a crock that stood on the ground close to her. Although frightened, she observed the sight before falling unconscious to the ground, where she lay until people came to look for her. When she came to, she told of what she had seen.
It then came to light that the crock had contained human entrails. A doctor had dissected a corpse and wanted to have the entrails washed before inspection. The girl described the ghost in such vivid detail that the dead man could be recognised from her description. Few people knew of the presence of the entrails there. The source for this tale was an inhabitant of Reykjavík who was familiar with this matter.
Sigfús Sigfússon, Íslenskar þjóðsögur og sagnir II, p. 27.
Our Monster of the Month comes from the project Duldýrasafnið (“The Museum of Hidden Beings”) by Arngrimur Sigurðsson. He takes firsthand accounts of creature sightings, like the one above, from Icelandic historical texts, and creates a painting of each one. The English language book is available now in our shop.
See more monsters here.