Sunday, 22 January 2017

One more for the Observer's Book of Monsters

The Fossegrim ('Waterfall-spirit') is as its name suggests a spirit that lives in a waterfall. They are always male and mostly found in Scandinavia. In Sweden they are sometimes called 'Stromkarl' ('River-man'). They are very talented musicians apparently, and can with gifts of food sometimes be tempted to teach their skill with fiddling and harping to mortals. They also mate with females who go bathing at the waterfalls; if the offspring of this union is male, it will on reaching adulthood reveal its Fossegrim nature and find a waterfall to inhabit.

Distribution based on approximate usage of the term 'foss' (Norwegian, Icelandic) or 'fors' (Swedish, I kinda guessed about distributions); in Northern England, especially in North Yorkshire and Cumbria, there are many waterfalls called either 'Foss' or 'Force', so it seems reasonable that Fossegrimen live in them.

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