Night in Stockholm when I was a Troll

Night in Stockholm when I was a Troll

On the eve of elections in Sweden’s Gabriel Gatehouse studies from Scandinavian mythology.


I think I really met a Troll that summer night in Stockholm. Thin, dressed in all black… I tried to talk to him, but he ran away — like, frightened me even more than I did.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Long before there was the Internet trolls — people who spend days sitting in front of computer and insult other people online, on the earth lived the real trolls.

And they lived in Scandinavia.

I learned about them as a child. My mom (and her own mother was half-Swedish), I read about trolls from an old book written in a strange language. Its yellowed pages, like the smell of dust and magic, were covered with drawings depicting giant gnomes sitting around the campfire or hiding in a dark cave.

They had round bellies pockmarked skin, long curly hair and huge hooked noses. The owner mentioned that they can get them out of the forest, the smell of coffee or bacon. Some of them were good, others evil, but no one resembled the creature escaped from me in the area of the cultural center of the Stockholm night.

Maybe that’s why I immediately spent this parallel.

But when Christianity reached the Northern outskirts of Europe, folklore had to adapt to it. Changed and habits of trolls. They have developed a fear of the bell ringing. They say that they can not stand the smell of a Christian. Told of the boulders that fell at the construction site of another temple, clearly the antics of the evil trolls.

NewsAtheists are under threat: to live non-religious people harder

Whether it was the result of the imagination or the handiwork of real people, opposed to the new religion, capable of sweeping away the old pagan culture in favor of foreign and brand new to the belief system? Were these dissidents a chance to hide in the woods and live beyond the reach of the new rules and social norms?