Church grim

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The Church grim (Kyrkogrimen) is a supernatural figure of Norse folklore, said to be the ghosts of the animals and humans sacrificed by the pagans on the site of a church.[1]


Church grims guard churches and punish those who would wish to disrespect it. They are said to ring the bells at odd times. A church grim could be created by burying a black dog on the North side of the church.[2] A church grim can be summoned by writing the Lasabrjotur on the church and blowing into the lock, causing the Kyrkogrimen to appear.[3]


Grims may appear as many different animals, usually dogs or goats. They can also appear as a priest in a brown robe. The grims will attempt to punish evil-doers who step into their churches. [4]


  1. Kvideland, Reimund; Sehmsdorf, Henning K. (1991). Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend. p. 247. ISBN 0-8166-1967-0.
  2. Tongue, Ruth. Country Folklore 8. Folk-Lore Society. p. 108. ASIN B0000CMU06. 
  3. Huld Manuscript (in Icelandic). 1860.
  4. Briggs, Katherine (Dec 30, 2002). A Dictionary of Fairies. Penguin. ISBN 978-0415291576.