Many residents of the town of Bolungarvík suspect that construction of a tunnel has displeased the nearby mountain elves, and that they are responsible for machinery breaking down.
A common stereotype about Icelanders is that most of them believe in elves, trolls, hidden people, and similar supernatural beings. While this is untrue, figures from 1996 show that 26% of Icelanders believe the existence of elves is certain or probable.
Morgunblaðið reports that some residents of Bolungarvík are among them. It is reported that workers from the construction company Ósafl, which is building a tunnel between Bolungarvík and Hnífdalur, have run into repeated and unexplained problems. Two engines inexplicably shut down on Tuesday, as did two more on Wednesday. Yesterday, explosive work being done to remove rocks experienced an error, sending stones raining down upon two residential streets.
Spiritualist and healer Vigdís Kristín Steinþórsdóttir believes construction work has angered the elves who live in the mountain where the tunnel is being made, and that further accidents will happen if they are not appeased. Taking that into consideration, a meeting was called yesterday between construction workers, townspeople, and Rev. Agnes Sigurðardóttir, who performed blessings over the area in the hopes of driving the elves away or otherwise calming them down.
Whether or not the blessings worked, only time will tell.