Earn 'Elves' Degree
Note...road crews in Iceland will sometimes hire folklore experts to determine if certain boulders are homes to elves, and will divert the road around the boulder if it turns out there are little people living within it.
This belief in elves doesn't stop with road workers and superstitious locals either. After escaping a car crash unscathed, a member of the Icelandic Parliament had a 30-ton boulder moved to near his home because he believed that the local elves inside the boulder used their magic to save him. While there are many Icelanders who pay no mind to the superstitious elf-talk, there is a higher than average number of citizens that are believers.
With all that said, it's not surprising to see that there's an entire school dedicated learning about these hidden people. Located in the thoroughly modern city of Reykjavik, the school has a full curriculum of study about the 13 types of elves in Iceland. This concentration comes with a set of published textbooks with drawn depictions of these creatures for reference in the classroom, or just in case you encounter one in the wild.
The school studies Iceland's other supernatural fauna as well, such as fairies, trolls, dwarves and gnomes, but they mainly focus on elves, because they are the most commonly believed in and "seen."
The school also offers five-hour classes for curious travelers which include a tour of hidden folk habitats and end with coffee and pancakes with the school's headmaster. Students receive a diploma at the end of the class, which shows that you were sufficiently educated in the affairs of elves. - Atlas Obscura
The Young Man in the Woods
I received the following anecdote in 2009. I was aware of a similar account but the witness assures me that this encounter actually happened to her. So, here you go...enjoy.
When I was 10 years old, my grandmother started to recall stories about a special friend, by the name of Percy, who she had when she was a girl. My grandmother lived in the same house since she was born, a huge old Antebellum era house just outside of Elba, Alabama.
Apparently, Percy was a young adult and she was 10 years old when she met him. She would sometimes see him on the edge of the woods not far from the house and when she would tell her family to look they would see nothing. After a while people started to think she was crazy, saying ‘it’s just your imagination’. So she eventually gave up saying she was just playing a joke, though she still continue to see him. She would say that he was very nice and kind as well as very handsome.
When I was 12, I was staying at my grandmother's house during my summer vacation. I was unpacking my suitcase in one of the bedrooms. As I tried to pull open one of the dresser drawers, it wouldn’t budge at all. I yanked, groaned and moaned but to no avail. After about 5 minutes of desperation, I heard a low pitched chuckle. I turned around, but nothing was there. I was completely puzzled because I knew what I heard, but decided to brush it off.
Several years later my grandmother passed away. My family and I decided to stay at my grandmother's house during the time of her viewing and funeral since we lived about 5 hours away.
The funeral was conducted at her house in the large front living room. After the ceremony, the pallbearers carried her casket to the hearse parked in the front when I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone quickly running into the bushes at the edge of the woods. I thought it may have been one of the neighbors though the nearest farm was about a mile or so away.
That night I was in the same room where I usually slept at my grandmothers house, which was her old bedroom when she was a child. As I laid in the bed, I heard soft moans and whimpering. The sound was coming from the direction of the window and balcony. The evening was very dark and with moonlight peaking through the trees, the only source of illumination. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the figure of a man, but more of a shadow instead of a solid body. The spectre was sitting down on the balcony floor, it's elbows resting on it's knees and it's head hung down in it's hands.
After a few moments, the figure became somewhat clearer and I realized that this was Percy. I called out 'Percy?' The spirit raised it's head and slowly looked in my direction. He was exactly as my grandmother had described though I only saw his face for a second as he quickly vanished. I didn’t know whether it had been a dream or what, so I decided to keep my mouth shut, not wanting people to think I was delusional.
The next night while I slept, I felt a cold brush-by on my cheek. My eyes snapped open and the young man I had seen the night before was looking at me. He appeared blurry but still recognizable with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. He stared at me and smiled, then quickly dissipated.
The next morning we prepared to leave for home. I sat on the edge of the bed and thought about what had transpired the previous days. A few minutes later, we were in the car ready to pull away when I decided to look out the side window towards the woods. There he stood, arms by his side but staring directly at me. He quickly turned and vanished into the bushes. I just knew I would never see him again.
I later found out that Percy was the son of a wealthy land owner who built and lived in my grandmother's house in the 1850's. One day, at the age of 20, Percy simply disappeared and was never heard from again. There had been a rumor that he was killed by a slave who worked on a nearby plantation but a body was never recovered.
That was 15 years ago, but I still see Percy in my mind's eye. I was able to talk to the current owner of the house recently who says they occasionally hear someone talking softly on moonlit nights. I have little doubt that Percy is still at home.
Michelle - Asheville, NC
'Bigfoot Bounty' Buffoonery
First of all...I am NOT endorsing this TV show. Are they actually going to payout $10 million for simply presenting the best Bigfoot evidence? I'm not buying it. Take it for what it's worth...Lon
Video description: Back at base camp, Dr. Todd Disotell and Natalia Reagan have questions for the Bigfoot hunters, and Justin makes a startling claim. Can he bring down the beast?
10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty: Justin Says He's Killed Two Bigfoot or cut/paste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-aPH-JSVPc
Mutilated Cows Wash Up on Swedish Shores
In the past week, five dead cows have washed up onto Swedish shores...several with their feet bound and ears cut off. Police and other officials in southern Sweden are mystified. I'm not sure to make of these accounts but it does seem to be the work of someone other than extraterrestrials. Nonetheless, it is an odd series of incidents:
On Tuesday, police launched an investigation into the origin and deaths of five dead cows that washed ashore during the past week.
"This is a highly unusual case," Jimmy Modén, spokesman for the Skåne Police Department, told The Local. "The first report came on New Year’s Eve, and then another on January 4th, and then a third cow was reported on the 5th. Yesterday we received a call about yet another."
The first cow was found in Gislöv harbour, and since then bodies have washed up in Smygehamn, Beddingestrand, and Falsterbo, stretching over 56 kilometres of the southern Swedish coast.
"I was out looking for amber stones on Falsterbo beach when I saw that there was a dead cow there," Mikael Lönnström told newspaper Expressen. "It looked very fresh. The stomach looked a little swollen. The whole thing was very strange."
Several of the cows had their feet bound, indicating that the animals were dumped and didn't wade into the water. The question is if they were dead before being thrown into the water. Dumping slaughter waste in water is illegal, and depending on how the cows died an owner may also be charged with animal cruelty.
"Our hypothesis at the moment is that the cows were dumped from a ship", Modén told The Local. "But we can’t say for sure how the ears were damaged, how they died, or if the cows are Swedish."
Police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford speculated that the ears might have been cut off to avoid identification of the cows. If the cows had been sick, the owner may have wanted to avoid connection with animal disease.
"Parts of the identification tag on one of the cows is still intact," police Ewa-Gun Westford told Expressen. "The ear is cut off, but not entirely - a little bit is left."
Westford said the tidbit may be enough to help police trace the cows' origins, and will be the focus of the investigation.
"It will be interesting to discover what exactly this is all about. I've been a policewoman for 40 years and never stop being shocked." - TheLocal
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