The Deacon of Dark River

A deacon at Dark River had a relationship with a servant girl at a nearby farm. After one of his visits to her, he told her he would be back the day before Christmas to take her to a Christmas party. Unfortunately, on his way home, a bridge collapsed from under his horse’s feet and the deacon was killed by a severe blow to his head. The horse was found the day after.

Because of the winter conditions the news did not reach the girl, and on the day before Christmas a visitor knocked on her door. In the twilight a cloaked figure could be seen sitting on the deacon’s horse. Certain that this was the deacon, the girl sat behind him on the horse and off they went. It’s not clear whether any words were spoken.

Later, because of the rough trail, the girl could momentarily see a bare skull behind the deacon’s hood. She utters no words and they continue to his home. While the deacon takes the horse away she discovers an empty grave nearby. She becomes very afraid and tries to ring the church bells. Immediately the deacon grasps her cloak and disappears with it into the grave that then closes. The girl was fortunate to have had her arms in but one of the sleeves, that got ripped off and was left behind by the deacon.

In the following days and weeks the deacon’s ghost continued to haunt the girl. This would only stop after a sorcerer managed to put an end to the haunting.

This is an excerpt from the original.



Listen to the story (Icelandic):


Story teller:
Hafdís Erla Bogadóttir

Story reference:
Íslenskar þjóðsögur (Icelandic Folklore).
Author: Benedikt Johannesson/Johannes Benediktsson

Story drawings:
Eyrun Oskarsdottir

Bjork Hardardottir

Hafdís Erla Bogadóttir

Markus Sveinn Markusson


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