We have told you before that it is believed elves move house in the New Year or around Christmas. They are also known to enter people’s homes to hold parties during the holidays when the household is all away. Read more about elves or hidden people here.

However, the following story tells of elves – or other creatures – moving homes in the fall and spring. No one really knows for sure, but people believed this to be true.

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Read other fairytales and legends:

The Move

At the end of the 18th century, a farmer named Jón lived in Hvammur in Mýrdalur. He had many children and was old when this story happened; he was with one of his sons and his wife with him. To the north of the Hvammur farms is a long and deep ravine called Hvammsgil. But east of Hvammur, there are two farms called Götur; the edge above them is generally called Gatnabrún in everyday language.

álfareið, elves riding, elves moving house, tryggvi magnússon
Elves on horses. Painting by Tryggvi Magnússon.

One day around autumn in good weather, when it was evening and people were about to go to bed, the aforementioned Jón was standing in the doorway. His wife came to him and asked him to come to bed. He paid little attention to it but constantly looked east towards Götur or in that direction. Everyone in the household went to be, but he stood in the doorway for a long time. In the morning, he told his wife that when he was about to go to bed, he looked east towards the Götur.

He then saw two men coming from Gatnabrún, and it seemed they were carrying what looked like a lantern. They headed into Hvammsgil. Then he saw people coming in groups, always more and more, both men and women. Some led children, some carried large and small loads, and there he saw all kinds of cargo transported and all types of livestock. All this followed the same path as the first two. It was even like that some people held a fire or a light under their hand. This seemed strange to the farmer, so he waited until they had mostly stopped. But the winter after this autumn was characterized by harshness, storms, and harsh weather, mainly from the south.

reynisfjara, elves move house
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Mt. Reynisfjall

The farmer saw more migrations like this but never as big as the first one. The following spring, the farmer and others saw similar migrations had gone back the same way. It was, therefore, the hypothesis of some people that these creatures that were seen had known about this stormy winter and thus moved, perhaps from Mt. Reynisfjall (by Reynisfjara black sand beach), into Hvammsgil, believing it would be better there. Those in the know say this really happened, although no one can actually know why it did.

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