Not much to tell, really. I went to a Halloween party last night, which was fun, but I’m coming down with a cold, so I was a bit tired. Most people had made a good job at finding/making costumes. You could meet Napoleon, a vampire and it’s victim, a cat, a lumberjack, a couple of very different superheroes, Fred and Ginger long dead, Snow White, Tia Dalma (from Pirates of the Carribean) and a male fairy (not pretty, I can tell you…).
I went as a troll, which in Scandinavian folktales are not usually the big, hairy monsters most people think of. In the stories they can be ugly, and they can range in size from much smaller than humans, to giants. But most of the times they seem to be very close to human in appearance, sometimes more beautiful than any human (mostly the young females). They were believed to live their lives pretty close to the way humans did, with cooking, brewing ale, tending to animals, getting married, sewing (female trolls had a reputation of being extremely good at spinning and weaving). They usually lived in/under mountains, or under mounds, not in houses. They could be very friendly with humans, but could also be malicious. They were believed to steal human babies and leave their own young in the cribs instead (used as an explanation for deformed or mentally handicapped children), and they hated the sound of church bells. Steel was thought to protect against the trolls, so people often carried knives, and put nails or knives in babies swaddling.
Some people thought I was skogsrået, the Swedish word for a female creature, who guarded the forests. She was supposed to be very beautiful, capricious, and dangerous for men. It was believed that if they treated her respectfully, she would help humans find lost cattle, have good luck at hunting, etc. If they were disrespectful, she could be quite cruel, making people get lost, forget their wives or destroy the work they did in the woods. In some parts of Scandinavia she was thought to have the tail of a fox or a cow, and in some areas, her back was as hollow as rotten tree. I’ve never seen one, so I had to do the best I could 😉