Norse Folklore, The Night Mare

A Mare is an evil spirit or huldrefolk (hidden folk) in folklore which rides on people’s chests while they sleep, often bringing on bad dreams or “nightmares“. The mare (Old Norse: mara) is mentioned in the Eyrbyggja saga, Ynglinga saga, and Vatnsdæla sagas. In English, the name appears in the word for “nightmare“. The Swedish word “mardröm” literally means mara-dream, the Norwegian word “mareritt” and the Danish “Mareridt”, both mean ‘Mare-ride’ or the Icelandic word ‘martröð’ means mara-dreaming repeatedly. The Mara is also a demon in Buddhism and some Buddhists have amulets blessed by monks to…

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