Helhest, The Three-Legged Horse from Hel

In Danish folklore, a helhest (Danish “Hel horse”) is a three-legged horse associated with the Norse goddess Hel. The Helhest is also associated death and illness and it is mentioned in folklore as having been spotted in various locations in Denmark. The horse figures into a number of Danish phrases as recent as the 19th century, such as “han går som en helhest” (“he walks like a hel-horse”) for a male who “blunders in noisily”. The helhest is sometimes described as going “around the churchyard on his three legs, he…

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Naglfar, the Giant(‘s) Ship of Nails

Naglfar

It was foretold that during the events of Ragnarök, a massive ship called Naglfar will carry an army of jötnar to a large field called Vígríðr to host a battle between the forces of the gods and the forces of Surtr (a jötunn). Naglfar (also Óskópnir or Naglfari), means “nail ship” in Old Norse. It is a massive ship which was foretold that will ferry hordes to do battle with the gods – and it is not held together by timber and iron nails, but by finger and toe nails! Yo-ho-yuck is right!   It’s a ship made entirely from the…

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