So it is Thursday again…. already….. Here follows the tenth part with a list and some explanation concerning characters in Norwegian folklegends. The characters comes in alphabetic order according to their Norwegian name.

Naa lyset/The “naa” light
This phenomen was looking like a light and it was only children who could see it. This was a person’s dead soul who returned to pick up a relative, usual a child.

There’s no character that is so familiar as our small nissen. Each farm had its own little nisse.

A little guy that often had a good laugh, but took to tears easily, and quickly became angry. He was brazed with long white beard and three fingers and toes or some legends say 4. He was dressed in gray with a red hat. The little “gentleman” was awfully strong, a strength that could mean death for those who were exposed to them. Many legends tells of people being danced to death by nissen. Nissen could be very old and had to be treated nicely. At Christmas he had to have porridge and beer.

If you treated him well he could be helpful and take care of the animals on the farm.

There are also legends about nissen who lived on the ship. This meant good fortune for the ships.

Nokken/the neck

Legends tell that the neck required a human each year, especially was»he» (I assume
that it was a he) greedy for children.

He lived in deep wells and lakes, hidden in the shadows where it was dark. He called out an awful sound just before the loss of human life. It was especially dangerous after sunset.

Knowing precisely how he looked like is not easy to figure out, because he was a shapeshifter. He could be the half of a boat or a quiet horse with foam in the mouth or a man with long hair and beard. If you touched him, you were doomed.

Nevertheless, the good side of this river spirit is that you were able to be initiated into the mysteries of music, for example by sacrificing a little finger to him.