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Not Only Folklore?


I grew up on a farm in a very urban area, basically in the deep forests of northern Sweden. I've always been very close to nature and spiritualism, even though I have lived in huge cities for years now and not really been in touch with Sweden or nature.

I've had quite a lot of strange unexplainable things happen to me over the years and I've never doubted that there is ghosts/spirits. I find it easy to discuss the paranormal with pretty much anyone. However, the story I'm about to share is different for me and it's not really something I've discussed with anyone before. The reason I feel that it's finally time to share it, is that I've come across quite a few similar stories on this forum.

My dad is this super macho hunter guy. Basically all my memories of him is from us hunting, fishing, camping, tracking etc. He told me everything about surviving in the wild. This story take place on such a camping trip. We were 2 families going together. I (who was about 6yo at the time) with my dad, my two older sisters and our dog. The other family I vaguely remember being a couple, their son (who was the same age as me) and an older sister.

Being at such young age there is loads of details that I do not remember, but the parts I do remember, I remember perfectly clearly. Here goes.

We set up our tents on the top of a mountain, near a lake deep in the forest. Our tent was clear blue and the other family had this horrible mustard-yellow tent. The day were as brilliant as only childhood memories can be. We were playing all day, laughing, running, making up stories, scrubbing our knees when exploring the forest. We saw leeches in the water near the shore but didn't care and jumped in anyway. In the evening we had the fire going, grilling hotdogs on sticks (that we were allowed to use knifes to sharpen ourselves).

We went to sleep and my dad (I've always found this really weird, as I don't know how he was able to sleep like this, but also so very nice) as always lay down on his back with his arms wide open, to allow all 3 of us to sleep with them as a pillow. Me and my sister shared one of the arms while my other sister was on his other side with the dog sleeping by her feet.

I don't know why but even after dad had been telling us multiple stories and fell asleep himself, I was unable to do so. I was listening to the forest, it was still awake too. There was no people except us for miles and miles. I wasn't scared as there were (and still isn't) anything I love more than being in a Swedish forest.

Suddenly the dog is awake and listening to something too. Being a hunting dog, she is clearly marking something right outside the door. When the zipper of the tent door slowly starts to open I can see that she is frightened. I get scared too and try to wake up my sister. The dog backs up, standing near my siste'rs head and staring intensely at the door. Although, she stays perfectly quiet and I think this is what urges me to stay quiet too.

I do not dare to move and try to discretely push my sister awake whilst whispering her name repeatedly. She doesn't wake up and the door is now fully open. What I saw standing there was the strangest thing I ever saw.

This little creature, short enough to stand tall in the door without bending over. (Usually you'd have to crawl in to such a small tent). I know it sounds weird but the best way I can describe it is that it looked like a little devil. Such thing you might see in a cartoon. His face was sort of lumpy and red. He had black hair. But the thing I remember most is the expression he had on his face.

He sort of looked around the tent with this weirded out look in his eyes. I pretended to sleep and had my eyes almost shut. As if he just wanted to check out who we were and what we were doing there, he simply looked around, seemed satisfied with that and zipped closed the tent again.

The dog settled down shortly after and I managed to awake my sister who told me it was just a dream. I know for sure it wasn't and I remember it so clearly still.

Please let me know your thoughts on what it might have been. Although, Nordic folklores do have quite a lot of creatures that might fit. Sorry about the rusty English.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, cloudy, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-02)
I have no answers but I'm rather glad of that - the world needs magic and mysteries like these - they are the things, which nurture imagination - may we never see them explained:)

Your story was beautiful and your English is better than that of many native English speakers!
SAYURI (1 stories) (15 posts)
9 years ago (2015-06-08)
Do not worry, my country has a variety of stories like that. The thing you saw wasn't a demon, it was a spirit of nature which wanted to know if you or your family were a threat to it's home.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
9 years ago (2015-06-03)
Beautiful story and the English was great. I have no idea what you saw, but it did make me look up Nordic folklore and discover many beliefs. I believe in all of them until someone can prove them wrong. Thanks so much for writing this and hope to hear from you again with another story.
Zephyrin (4 stories) (19 posts)
9 years ago (2015-06-02)
I really enjoyed this story. I didn't have any problem understanding it. I like the idea of some weird little troll guy just being curious about what you were doing in the tent. Of course if it happened to me I would have probably peed myself to death out of pure fear, LOL.
jaderae (3 stories) (29 posts)
9 years ago (2015-06-02)
Wow! I am just thrilled to read about your encounter! If you have any more stories please share!

Also, I think its great that your father was your pillow as you slept, what a cozy image of all the children sleeping in his arms!
Foxglove (23 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-30)
One of the Alven! An elf, maybe tomten like Tweed said, but I'm sure your local oral-history and folklore could pinpoint it further. In pagan Teutonic culture there was an entire holiday (Alfablot) dedicated to them. As far as I understand they (huldufolk, aos si, little people) come in all shapes and sizes but seem to have these fixed categorical types many of which are miniature humanoid like you described. Very odd and astonishing. And very rare to see nowadays!

Do you remember any other physical details? Clothing, etc? Bizarrely they are often said to be clothed.

Most people seem to laugh and give them less credence than ghosts/apparitions, but I'd say sightings of them are equally well attested (and similarly consistent) in folk tradition worldwide. I believe our ancestors dealt with these "beings" on a semi regular basis but sightings are increasingly rare as our natural landscapes are built up and the web of life destroyed or resigned to remote reaches.

The two eyewitness accounts I've personally heard (both close trusted sources) occurred in the Amazonian rainforest and a remote part of the west coast of Scotland.

Like ghosts I think children and animals are more clued in to their presence.:)
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-30)
I loved the story. Your english is better than some who live here. I think what you saw was a protector of the forest a small creature that watches over the forest. Something like a nymph. With a large forest there has to be many because even though they are fast they can't be everywhere at once. I wish you had a camera to take a picture of this creature to show your sister. Take a vacation and go back into the forest and let fond memories wash over you.
TinAA (1 stories) (84 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-29)
Hi Cloudy
You know your story was very interesting. I loved to read it. You have expalined every bit of it perfectly that made me understand it better. And don't worry... Your english is not Rusty but very good.
About that lil creature I do not have any idea but I don't think it meant Any harm.

Thanks to share...
Nhikscxzy (2 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-29)
Nice story! Not the creepiest but I just love it. Maybe its just a nature spirit just checking out what were you doing there:) does it have horns? Is it naked or it wears something?

PS. Godbless and more powers to you
cloudy (7 stories) (39 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-28)
Thank you so much for the nice comments:) I really miss the forest where I grew up!
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-27)
Mace, I'm a little envious the forests sound incredible! With all the activity people report over generations it sounds like a magical place.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-27)

Thank you for sharing this wonderful encounter! You know what's more amazing about the little man you saw? Your dad's arms! They must be made out of steal, surely his arms would have had the circulation cut off, damn that's near superhuman!

I agree with Faith your English is fine!

Perhaps the man you saw was of the Tomten ilk. Based on his appearance and your location. Many people remembering from childhood describe a devilish appearance. Or maybe he was a little devil. Whatever he was he sounds respectful and for your hunting dog not to attack is even more curious. She must have known he wasn't a threat.

Cboodhoo has just left one of the best comments in recent memory, couldn't agree more! All the world's mysteries will not be solved by everyone living with a smartphone glued to their hand and social media fads distracting from every original thought, question and even paranormal encounter. Society's pretty unbalanced in that arena unfortunately. Here's hoping it's a phase.
Mace (3 stories) (15 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-27)
Awesome story! I live in southern Sweden with my "sambo" (though I am from the US) I love the forests here! There is something about them that is so mysterious and other-worldly that I have no doubt in my mind that something like this would happen!
cboodhoo (guest)
9 years ago (2015-05-27)
Thank you for this story. We live in the age of science where many hold the position that if it cannot be touched, seen, weighed and measured, it does not exist; as if we can actually see a sub-atomic particle. I feel strongly that ancient peoples did not simply make up those folklore tales in moments of idleness. There is still much that we do not understand about the world and existence, many of today's mysteries will be solved in the future, it is just a question of how long will it take to solve some mysteries.
faith1986 (23 posts)
9 years ago (2015-05-27)
I love this story! And there was no "rusty English" you explained perfectly! I don't know what it could have been and I am positive there are at least a few people here that will have some ideas, but I wanted to say I really enjoyed it and I thank you for sharing! If you have more stories, as it seems you have had at least a couple experiences by what you said about being able to share them easily, I would be very interested in reading them and I hope you will share them with us when you have the time. Thanks:-)

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