chapter  2
42 Pages

The Roots of Icelandic Spiritualism

ByWilliam H. Swatos, Loftur Reimar Gissurarson

This chapter presents the legacy of spirit lore more fully through an exploration of the eddas and the sagas, and through Icelandic folklore. The classic saga legends, all of which in written form come after the Conversion to Christianity, regardless of the time period of their tales, are rich in stories of ghosts, spells, hauntings, apparitions, sorcery, and divination. Iceland has also had a tradition of “spiritual” or paranormal phenomena deeply entrenched in its folklore. Icelandic folklore abounds with stories of the hidden people and the elves. Iceland has also had a tradition of “spiritual” or paranormal phenomena deeply entrenched in its folklore. The deep-rooted belief of early Icelanders in ghosts and spirits is further suggested by Icelandic vocabulary, which is rich in names for spirits of various kinds. It was not Iceland’s tradition of spiritual phenomena that was primarily operative in the birth of Icelandic spiritualism.