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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Specter in Fjelkinge"

The Specter in Fjelkinge

With a glance of unspeakable gratitude he told her the murderer's name, and disappeared beneath the floor without a sound.

The following morning Madame Margaret sent for the sheriff of the district to come to the tavern with some of his people, informed him of what had happened to her during the night, and ordered those present to tear up the floor. And there they found, buried in the earth, the remains of a body and, in a wound in its head, the Countess's ring, and tied about its head, her kerchief. One of the bystanders grew pale at the sight, and fell senseless to the ground. When he came to his senses, he confessed that he had murdered the traveler and robbed him of his belongings. He was condemned to death for his crime, and the body of the murdered man was buried in the village church-yard.

The ring, of peculiar shape, and its setting bearing a large gray stone, is still preserved in the Barnekow family, and magic virtues in cases of sickness, fire and other misfortunes are ascribed to it. And when one of the Barnekows dies, it is said that a red spot, like a drop of blood, appears on the stone.

NOTE

"The Spectre in Fjelkinge" (Hofberg, p. 21) is founded on the ancient belief that innocent blood which has been shed calls for atonement, and the one who has been unjustly murdered cannot rest until the deed has been brought to light.

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