Also known as Aptgangr.
- Norse (culture)
- Undead (attribute)
- Humanoid (attribute)
- Domestic (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
An undead creature hell bent on revenge from Norse mythology. The name means ‘Ghost’ in old Norse language. The Draugr wandered about the countryside in search for its former enemies to exact revenge. They lived in the body of their former life and dwelled amongst the graveyards. They also lived in tomb-like barrows. They hurled abuse at those that passed by and pelted them with rocks. If anyone built a house nearby the Draugr would haunt the place and torment those that lived there.
The Draugr originated from Icelandic myth but as centuries went by reports and tales of the Draugr appeared all over the Scandinavian land as well as Britain and France. In one 13th century Laxdoela, a man called Hrapp passed away but came alive again in the form of a Draugr. He stalked the land when the sun had set and caused mayhem in his old local town, killing some of his previous servants. In the Eyrbyggia saga written in the monastery of Helgalfel in the 14th century the Draugr of Thorolf Halt-foot and his undead gang plundered the land around his burial chamber. In the same tale a shepherd is attacked by a bluish-black Draugr.
The more recent creatures are associated with the sea rather than land. These undead beings were once people who have drowned at sea and have risen from the deep being composed entirely of seaweed. Some have described them as being headless fisherman sailing half a boat or in the form of a living corpse.
To prevent the dead from rising people would drag a dead body feet first surrounded by a thick crowd so that the dead corpse did not know where it was going. Once placed in a coffin a special door was bolted on to prevent a return visit. This tradition of burying started in Denmark and spread across Scandinavian Europe.
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