According to Icelandic tradition there are a bunch of nasty spirits that start wandering the land on the 12th of December. Today is the 18th of December, and I missed a few days. But I’ll make up for it with one of my favorites, Hurðaskellir. His name literally means Door Slammer. Old Hurðaskellir is the reason why doors slam shut, especially late at night.
Hurðaskellir is one of the Yule Lads, and he comes down from his mother’s cave on the 18th to harass people and scare naughty children. He is occasionally accompanied by the Yule Cat, a very nasty feline that eats really wicked kids.
So, be extra kind this holiday season… That slamming door you hear tonight might just be Hurðaskellir, coming to scare you in your sleep!
Hurðaskellir painting from The Yule Lads: A Celebration of Iceland’s Christmas Folklore by Brian Pilkington