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Sunday, August 29, 2010


Dear Mr Downes,

My name is Camden Xiang, and I've followed the work of CFZ from time to time. I thought I'd draw your attention to the appended document, which contains a transcription of posts on the Swedish Internet forum Flashback, concerning sightings of trolls. I've myself translated the posts from the Swedish, trying not to "improve" on the quality. I've added comments where necessary in brackets. Some people's stories are developed in several different posts, so I've pieced them together. I've italicised English phrases occurring in the Swedish original.



Spjuit: [Note: the author lives in Ångermanland, in Northern Sweden]

I’ve said several times that I’ve seen a strange being running around in the woods. The first feeling I get when I see these is fear. You just want to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Explaining what they look like is very hard. So I’ve made a Godawful silhouette in Paint instead. I’ve never seen them in broad daylight so therefore the picture is black.

I’ve sketched completely from memory as best I could.


I see them in the winters after sunset. The last time I saw one was in the middle of November. Then the bus driver almost hit it.

The first time I saw one was when I was very small. It was then lurking just by the edge of the forest at our farm one summer watching the pigs we had then. I’d forgotten about it but suddenly remembered it this winter.

They’re most often roughly 150 [cm] tall, but I’ve seen one the same size as a full-grown man. It looks like they haven’t got a neck and are regarded as “knobby” by me. Also they run really fast even though they have legs that are half as long as ours. My best friend who used to be my neighbour saw them “first”. In fact I was the one [who saw them] but I’d forgotten about it, so. I got frightened to say the least and she didn’t dare to go out and bring in the horse on her own. The horse was staring in towards the forest and when she looked that way she saw 2 of these beings running back and forth on an old forest path. It was moonlight so she too also saw just black silhouettes.

Me, I thought she was kidding me. Until she refused to go to the stables alone. You could tell a long way off that she was genuinely frightened. I’ve never seen these together with someone unless you count the bus driver who veered away from one. The bus driver didn’t say anything. And there were only 2 of us on the bus. The other girl didn’t notice anything even though he veered sharply. I asked her later. The bus driver I haven’t even seen since so I’ve not been able to bring it up.

It doesn’t leave any footprints. I’ve written this before but one winter I met a big one on the road when I was going to see a friend. We walked on each side. At first I thought it was an old man but then I started to think and realised that no old person goes out late at night. Then I thought it was an illusion, nope, the snow creaked with each step it took. And then I thought that it had to be my friend who was kidding me and walked funnily to frighten me. So I called her name, then it went down into the ditch [by the side of the road] (and when I saw its profile I understood what it was) and laid down. It never went up again and the snow was like untouched.

I don’t know if it lied down or whether it dug itself under the snow. It probably became afraid when I started to shout and quite simply hid.

Skellefteewa: [Note: The author lives in Skellefteå, in Västerbotten, which is also in northern Sweden]

Kommer ihåg i min barndom då jag besökte en gammal man i ett hus långt inne i skogen. Han påstod att han sett troll på berget i skogen flera gånger. Han berättade att en del var rätt så små, men större än vättar och en del var riktigt stora. De var knotiga för att kunna gömma sig i skogen.

Remember in my childhood when I visited an old man in a house deep into the forest. He claimed that he had seen trolls on the hillside in the forest several times. He told me that some of them were quite small, but larger than goblins [Sw. “vättar”] and some were really big. They were knobby in order to hide in the forest.

Krafse: YES GODDAMMIT!! I’ve seen one! Or at least something similar. “Mine” had considerably longer legs though, I believe the legs were marginally longer than the “body ball” itself which looked very funny. This was a very long time ago, 2003 to 2004 I think, a summer night with a full moon so it was an exceptionally bright night. I remember that it looked like a ball with two legs. I don’t remember if I saw arms, though, don’t think so.

Anyway, I was out driving my moped in the middle of the night. (No, I wasn’t tired, I’d just turned my day around so I was full of energy!) and then it stood by the side of the road. I didn’t understand what it was at first, thought it was an elk’s ass or something, but the legs were too thick. It was really nothing that looked like an elk, but it was the only thing I could relate to that was not too “far fetched” so to say. Anyhow, it just kept standing there and I’d been waiting for maybe 10 sec for it to move, but it didn’t seem to hear me at all, so I turned on the gas a bit and then it reacted. What I then got to see was very strange, it ran on TWO legs roughly like a human, straight into the woods. Imagine that you take an elk (Or some similar animal.) and cut off the entire back section and make it black and add more fluffy, long-haired fur, then you let this back section run around. That’s sort of the way it looked like.

I drove past and tried to see it again but it had either run too far into the woods or else it was hiding. I didn’t have time to look and at the time I was so chocked that I didn’t even understand how wierd it was. Was only a quarter of an hour later that you really started to think about it and realise what the hell you’d looked upon. I’ve never seen it again after that by the way..

Respons: Haha this is a bit fun actually. I just came home from a vacation trip in Västervik [in Småland, southeastern Sweden] and saw this topic. We were staying just next to the woods so me and my boyfriend decided at night to go up onto a hill just next to us and have a beer. After a while I saw something that looked just like what you describe between the trees. “It” seemed to run on two legs at an enormous speed and was grey/brownish. I was also able to distinguish a forward-leaning build possibly like a hump. Was shocked out of my mind, my boyfriend claimed it was a bear which is totally incomprehensible :S

I’m still stunned since I can’t think of any animal looking like this “being”. I’ve never seen or heard about anything similar. I would rather say that it was a fat old man but the being ran much too fast for that.

Eldaron: I’ve seen something similar too! When I was young I walked a lot in the hills in central Hälsingland [northern Sweden] with my grandmother, and when we were heading to a mountain whose name I can’t remember, we went there in the evening to watch the sunset when I looked out into the woods as we were driving along the old gravel road when I saw something that fits your description precisely. perhaps 10 meters into the woods. I related what I saw to my grandmother who looked serious when I told her. Then she turned her car homewards and started to tell, that she lived here when she was a child and then she stopped and pointed into the forest where you could see an old almost collapsed house from the 19th century. There I lived she said and we moved because of the one you saw. And then she said that she had been playing with her sisters when she had seen it running quickly past her and then she started to scream. Then her dad had come and fetched her and he looked frightened. Later at night her grandfather sat down with her and said that she had seen the trolls.

Since then grandmother has never talked about the place or anything, when I’ve asked about it she’s just said ”I don’t dare, they mustn’t come here”. That frighetened you a bit, but now I’m sure I’ll never get any more info about if, grandma died half a year ago and she was the last person alive in that family. Wonder what the heck those “trolls” really did to make them so afraid.

Imbalidn: I’ve seen something similar. it was dark so I can’t say I’m convinced that I saw what I saw. But.. Anyway.

Last summer me and my girlfriend were out in the woods barbecuing some hot dogs and relaxing (Västergötland, btw) [Western Sweden]. I guess it must have been early September, so night fell a bit earlier. Around dusk the fire went out so we were going to leave. My girlfriend pointed towards some trees where she said she heard something. I looked towards it (she didn’t see a lot since she didn’t wear her glasses) and saw something looking like what everyone’s been describing. A silhouette of a fuzzy ball with two legs, looked insanely weird. I kept looking for a few more seconds until the thing took a step forward. I panicked like hell, asked my girlfriend to run and took her by the hand and tried to lead her out. As I said, she didn’t have any glasses so it was a bit of a panic there with the trees and the rocks. All the way out of the forest it sounded like fast, I mean FAST steps which like... Circulated around us. Having come out, it went quiet like hell. We went in and went to bed and didn’t talk more about it.

I don’t really know if this might be it. I hope we were just being paranoid and seeing illusions. I’ve been in the woods a lot as a small child and certainly you’ve fantasised a lot there but large balls with legs (the best description I’ve got) I don’t think I’ve ever seen as a child.

Well well, that’s that.

Plaguetongue: jag har faktiskt sett nåt liknande för ett par år sen, när jag var och jagade. jag bor i norra dalarna det var en september morgon strax innan solen gick upp på morgonen som jag såg en konstig varelse gå över vägen framför bilen. den var inte riktigt lika fet som på din bild, och såg inte ut att ha nån päls alls är inte säker då det fortfarande var mörkt ute, den kan ha varit mörk grön till svart i nyansen. vi var 3 st i bilen jag, farsan och en till i jaktlaget och alla såg den. som jägare kan jag säga direkt att det inte var vildsvin älg eller björn, den hade bred nacke eller ingen nacke alls, som en huvudfoting med ben. gissningsvis 1 meter-1,20 meter hög. ingen kunde förklara vad det var för något. har aldrig förut sett nåt liknande. ser jag en igen ska jag jävlar imej skjuta en fåse vad det är.

jag såg den i ljuset från bilen ca. 30-40 meter framför mej. om du lyckas få en bild på den så skicka bilden får jag se hur den ser ut.

pratade men "lagäldsten" han som är äldst i laget, han berättade om något liknande som han sett för länge sen då han gick som skogvaktare i trakten.

I’ve actually seen something similar a couple of years ago, when I was out hunting. I live in northern Dalarna [west-central Sweden] it was a September morning just before sun rose in the morning when I saw a strange being walking across the road in front of my car. it wasn’t quite as fat as on your picture, and didn’t looke like having any fur at all I’m not sure since it was still dark outside, it might have been dark green to black in its colour. we were 3 of us in the car me, my dad and another one in the hunting party and all of us saw it. as a hunter I can say directly that it was not a wild boar elk or bear, it had a broad neck or no neck at all, like a “head-and-foot creature” with legs. I guess it was 1 meter-1.20 meters tall. no one could explain what it was. I’ve never seen anything like it before. if I see one again I’ll shoot one I’ll be damned let’s see what it is.

I saw it in the light from the car ca. 30-40 meters ahead of me. if you manage to get a picture of it send it and I can see what it looks like.

I talked to the guy who is the “team elder”, the oldest in the team, he told me about something similar he’d seen a long time ago when he walked the woods in the area as a forester.

he told me a story about an experience from some time in the past, when he had been a forester. he had seen something that he didn’t know what it was, was some time in late autumn an early morning as light started to dawn, which looked like a small human without a neck. he came out onto a mire and it stood on the other side looking at him for a few seconds before it disappeared out into the woods. I don’t quite remember what he said then but I think he’d seen it more than once. I’ll have to ask him when I see him the next time, should be at the hunt in September.

Iregom: This is sick. I’ve also seen something like this like twice in my life. It was winter and dark, walking on a road with forest on both sides. See osmething black and around 50 cm tall running straight across the road at a hell of a speed and disappear.

The other time I can’t remember because I thought it was just an illusion but then it happened again so it’s something funny moving out there!

Fattygoblin: I had an acquaintance who saw something incomprehensible a winter night. Him and his friends had been out skiing slalom on a suspended slope [ie. a slope where skiing is not permitted] – in the middle of nowhere. After a run or two, when they were at the bottom of the slope, they glance up towards the top...then they see a colossally huge person walking right across the slope. Not a giant, like twenty meters tall. But according to him the figure was at least four meters. The proportions didn’t quite agree with what looks human. It was a starry night outside, so he saw the silhouette clearly. His friends too. It bears mentioning that people in all times have said that the mountain where the slope was is haunted. And that that giant man has been seen. I think it’s somewhere in Dalarna.

Know that I questioned this a bit, but he was dead serious. And that was a guy who didn’t believe in spirites and ghosts and stuff...

WarPig: My mother recently told me that she’d seen what she thought was a running troll on the forests of Jämtland [northwestern Sweden], late at night outside her campervan window. She brought her camera outside and started to snap blindly in the dark. When she then comes home and puts the images on her computer she sees on one of the images (which was just black on the camera) a what she thinks is troll face of “smoke/mist” big all over the picture.

Rodolfus: ’om jag inte missminner mig (det kan vara något annat landskap i närheten).

I can tell you that I have at least two female relatives, one younger and one older, who’ve told me that they’ve experienced something similar to [Spjuit]’s story. The “thing” is said to have run in front of the car when the younger of them was out driving one night and is also said to have been observed sneaking around the house and the barn on the farm. The older one claims to have seen one of them peeking in through the window and to have seen the “thing” running on a meadow. It/they are said to have been seen both at night and day a number of times at least.

This is said to have taken place at a farm in Dalarna if I’m not mistaken (it might be some other province nearby).


Anonymous said...

I have heard of Troll sightings in Scandinavian: these witnesses use the term "Skogsgra" which means Forest Troll or Wildman.

What is interesting to me is that several of these sightings are of creatures about standard human-sized but enormously FAT. I wonder if they are wearing some sort of rough fur garments that make their body core seem bigger because they are insulating the torso region. I have independant allegations that they wear rough fur garments-several hides in a bunch and not even sewed together was how one witness put it.

Paranomalist said...

My paternal grandparents were from Sweden. My grandfather died in 1931 when my father was six years old, so I never knew him, but my grandmother lived until the age of ninety-six, and she often told me stories of seeing "tomtar" or "tomtegubben" (she used these names interchangeably). Tomtarna were small, gnome-like creatures, distinctly different from trolls. Trolls are seen as more negative beings and bringers of bad luck, while Tomtarna are generally benevolent - although they can be vindictive and mischievous if angered.

Interestingly, there was never a hint of playfulness when my grandmother told me these tales. In fact, she was quite serious about the subject and insisted they were true. I wrote about this on my blog (hope you don't mind my including the link - please delete it if you like) http://www.theparanomalist.com/558/gnome-sightings/.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff. I wonder if Trolls and Bigfeet are not the same phenomena viewed from differing cultural perspectives.

ɱØяñιηg$ʇðя ©™ said...

Aside from Skogsrået, alternate name Huldran, we have a mysterious nature spirit called Näcken. This entity is supposed to be male, naked (hence the name) and is associated with water streams, brooks, lakes and such. He is supposed to play fiddle to lure away innocent human beings who are then never seen again. Näcken and huldran seems to be specific to Scandinavia in general and Sweden in particular.