Monster Monday: Grýla

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about Grýla.

Figure of Grýla on the main street of Akureyri, Iceland (attribution in link)
Figure of Grýla on the main street of Akureyri, Iceland (attribution in link)

Grýla is a giantess in Icelandic folklore. She is usually depicted as an ugly old woman, sometimes with large tusks and the feet and tail of a goat. She has the ability to detect naughty children, and every year at Christmastime, she leaves her home in a cave under a volcano and steals naughty children to eat. Sometimes she devours them on the spot. Other times, she put them in a giant sack and takes them back to her cave so that she can make a stew. She is the mother of the Yule Lads.

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