The legendary saga giants are for the most part terrible and ugly. Some are also of incredible size, although no sources agree on how huge giants are.
A creature who seems to desecrate wells, a mountain in the shape of a man that rises out the sea, and a spiteful, laughing aquatic goblin: thus runs the cast of monsters found in the saga Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka.
You can find dozens of examples of spells and charms from medieval manuscripts to help prevent you from being a victim of theft, or to catch a thief.
The children have consistently been rejected as a freakish contortion of medieval superstition and generous imagination.
Axlar-Björn, or Björn of the farm Öxl, was executed in 1596 for having murdered at least 18 people.
What is it that you truly desire? How far are you prepared to go to get it? Would you, say, treasure it even more than your immortal soul?
Birthstones and their superpowers according to the Middle Ages
This paper introduces three cases of material signs of folk religion that archaeologists have discovered in the medieval soil layers of Turku
In medieval bestiaries, the Sirens are portrayed as deadly seducers who use their seductive songs to lure the sailors to sleep, and then attack them with sharp teeth and tear open their flesh.
By Minjie Su Imagine that you are Scandinavian sailor, and that you earn your living on the bellowing waves. Every summer, you and…
When folklore began to emerge as a valid expression of a people during the early stages of national romanticism, it did so alongside texts and artifacts from the Middle Ages; it was only as folklore began to develop its own methodology during the nineteenth century that the fields were distinguished.
A husband ‘accidentally’ glimpses into his wife’s bedchamber only to discover that the lady whom he believed to be fair, noble, and undoubtedly human – is in fact a (partial) snake.
By Danièle Cybulskie I’ve often said that people in the Middle Ages shared the same hopes and fears that we do. Believe it…
People in the Middle Ages told tales of seeing and talking with ghosts. While these encounters could be quite scary, it was also an opportunity from them to learn about the afterlife.
Fear of the undead is by no means a new sensation to humankind; the Icelanders, for instance, knew it centuries ago.
Jane la Sauvage said, if someone sees a wolf before the wolf sees them, it will have no power to do any harm. And likewise from the person to the wolf.
Why has the werewolf story been selected? How should it be read and understood?
Why were dragons so popular—and what was a dragon in the Middle Ages, anyway? Here are a few things you might not know about medieval dragons
A medieval tale from northern Europe tells the story of Asmund, who gets buried alive. His friend then rises from the dead!
Our focus is on medieval Irish literature—one of the earliest written vernaculars in Europe. Within this rich tradition, the face of evil changes according to genre.
Hearing voices without external stimuli: in the popular imagination, auditory hallucination is most often understood as a symptom of severe mental disorders.
Discernment of spirits was embedded in late medieval theologies and ministries of death and, as such, was central to the assessment of other apparitions – like those of ghosts.
This work contains many elements common to supernatural tales of its time-shape-shifting, magic fountains and marriages between humans and fairies – yet it is also surprisingly relevant to our own age, whose popular culture is saturated with modem myths and vampire love-stories.
The donestre, a mediaeval race of lion-headed polyglots with a taste for human flesh, demonstrate an ancient form of monstrous transgression by their corporeal violation of both social and natural law.
The historical development of St. Martin’s Day in Ireland, and its relationship with the more ancient festival of Samhain is examined, revealing circumstances that saw much of the ritual nature of Samhain being adopted within a Christian context in the medieval period.