Saturday, October 8, 2016

Scary Fairy Tales: White Cap

Here is an Icelandic tale, White Cap:


"A certain boy and girl, whose names this tale telleth not, once lived near a church. The boy being mischievously inclined, was in the habit of trying to frighten the girl in a variety of ways, till she became at last so accustomed to his tricks, that she ceased to care for anything whatever, putting down everything strange that she saw and heard to the boy's mischief.

 "One washing-day, the girl was sent by her mother to fetch home the linen, which had been spread to dry in the churchyard. When she had nearly filled her basket, she happened to look up, and saw sitting on a tomb near her a figure dressed in white from head to foot, but was not the least alarmed, believing it to be the boy playing her, as usual, a trick. So she ran up to it, and pulling its cap off said, "You shall not frighten me, this time."

 "Then when she had finished collecting the linen she went home. But, to her astonishment -- for he could not have reached home before her without her seeing him -- the boy was the first person who greeted her on her arrival at the cottage. Among the linen, too, when it was sorted, was found a moldy white cap, which appeared to be nobody's property, and which was half full of earth.

 "The next morning the ghost (for it was a ghost that the girl had seen) was found sitting with no cap upon its head, upon the same tombstone as the evening before. And as nobody had the courage to address it, or knew in the least how to get rid of it, they sent into the neighboring village for advice. 

"An old man declared that the only way to avoid some general calamity, was for the little girl to replace on the ghost's head the cap she had seized from it, in the presence of many people, all of whom were to be perfectly silent. So a crowd collected in the churchyard, and the little girl, going forward, half afraid, with the cap, placed it upon the ghost's head, saying, "Are you satisfied now?"

 "But the ghost, raising its hand, gave her a fearful blow, and said, "Yes, but are you now satisfied?" The little girl fell down dead, and at the same instant the ghost sank into the grave upon which it had been sitting, and was no more seen."


  1. What a nasty ending! Not like the humour of the Grimm tale about the boy who went out to learn how to shiver and shake.

  2. Great catch! Always awesome to see a fairy tale end unexpectedly. First I thought the ghost would go after her, similar to Tailypo, then wen the solution had been found, I thought the story was going to end well with everyone happy (including the ghost). It helps that the divide between protagonists keeping ad breaking the silence in tales like these is about 50/50. The jumpscare came really unexpectedly.