On the 26th of the month the shepherd, Einar Jonsson, a hardy and resolute fellow, commanded the spirit to show itself to him. Thereupon there came over him such a madness and frenzy, that he had to be closely guarded to prevent him from doing harm to himself. He was taken to the house, and kept in his bed, a watch being held over him. When he recovered his wits, he said that this girl had come above his head and assailed him. When he had completely got over this, he went away from Garpsdal altogether.
Later than this the minister’s horse was found dead in the stable at Muli, and the folks there said that it was all black and swollen.
These are the most remarkable doings of the ghost at Garpsdal, according to the evidence of Sir Saemund, Magnus, Gudrun, and all the household at Garpsdal, all of whom will confirm their witness with an oath, and aver that no human being could have been so invisible there by day and night, but rather that it was some kind of spirit that did the mischief. From the story itself it may be seen that neither Magnus nor any other person could have accomplished the like, and all the folk will confirm this, and clear all persons in the matter, so far as they know. In this form the story was told to me, the subscriber, to Samuel Egilsson and Bjarni Oddsson, by the minister himself and his household, at Garpsdal, 28th May, 1808. That this is correctly set down, after what the minister Sir Saemund related to me, I witness here at Stad on Reykjanes, 7th June, 1808.
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Notwithstanding this declaration, the troubles at Garpsdal were attributed by others to Magnus, and the name of the “Garpsdale Ghost” stuck to him throughout his life. He was alive in 1862, when Jon Arnason’s volume was published.
These modern instances lead up to “the best story in the world,” the old Icelandic tale of Glam.
THE STORY OF GLAM
There was a man named Thorhall, who lived at Thorhall-stead in Forsaela-dala, which lies in the north of Iceland. He was a fairly wealthy man, especially in cattle, so that no one round about had so much live-stock as he had. He was not a chief, however, but an honest and worthy yeoman.
“Now this man’s place was greatly haunted, so that he could scarcely get a shepherd to stay with him, and although he asked the opinion of many as to what he ought to do, he could find none to give him advice of any worth.
“One summer at the Althing, or yearly assembly of the people, Thorhall went to the booth of Skafti, the law man, who was the wisest of men and gave good counsel when his opinion was asked. He received Thorhall in a friendly way, because he knew he was a man of means, and asked him what news he had.