Survey: many Icelanders believe in elves and ghosts

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I’ve always found a weird sort of dichotomy here in America… if I asked my friends if they believe in things like elves and ghosts, they’d probably all laugh and say oh gosh no. But I’ve had many casual conversations with people I know – friends, relatives, etc – who’ll tell me in a very straightforward way about the spirit that stomps around their old house at night, the ghost they met as a kid, or the haunted objects in their house. Americans seem to like their ghosts to be practical.


@falcor time spill aisle 4


Diane Duane recently reblogged and added to a fun conversation about Ireland’s dual nature as modern society and believer in the fairy folk.

Irish people; The faeries aren’t real
Irish people; No fucking way will I go in that faerie ring


Look, I don’t believe in God, but I will not disrespect the Good Gentlemen of the Hills. That’s just common sense.


In other news, non-Icelanders shown to be as bigoted and condescending towards others beliefs as ever.

[Not you, Cory - you’re one of the good ones!]


I encountered this in Scotland, too, when traveling around Skye. There’s lots of spots there where otherwise cynical locals will say “oh aye, the fae live there, you don’t want to go hiking through that spot” or “make sure you leave a token if you walk through that area, the spirits watch it closely, you know”. As you say, they make a distinction between silly fairy stuff and common sense knowledge of the hills and what lives there that you can’t see.

It’s kind of like the modern Japanese shinto beliefs, where the average person wouldn’t say they believe in nature gods, but at the same time, it’s just common sense to pay respect to stones and old trees and places where spirits dwell.


~Out back, smoking a j.~