Dead boy communicates through dreams

Mjóstræti 3, also called Vinaminni

Vinaminni is a big house located only minutes away from Ingólfstorg, Reykjavik. In 1885, the actress and women's rights activist, Sigríður Einarsdóttir (1831-1915) spent her own money to have her childhood home, Brekkubær, torn down and a new house built in its stead. 

Guðrún Ólafsdóttir was Sigríður's mom and perhaps most remembered for knitting mittens for Queen Victoria. The Queen had visited Sigríður's parents while they lived in Cambridge. In return, she received a picture of the Queen with a handwritten thank you note on it.

A town map from 1801. In the upper right corner, number 51, is the turf house Brekkubær. Sigríður had it torn down when she had Vinaminni built. The Reykjavik pond can be seen in the bottom left corner.  

In 1895 the famous poet and lawyer  Einar Benediktsson moved into Vinaminni. He was also one of the residents at  Höfði . (I'm currently working on a book about the mysticism of the people of Iceland. Among the many stories I have included are stories of Einar's hauntings and the hauntings in Höfði).

During the same time as Einar lived at Vinaminni, so did the British consul,  Jón Vídalín. Jón was known for his flamboyant parties and how he red carpeted the guests. He would have a small orchestra outside the house playing when the guests arrived. Him and his wife would personally stand outside the door and acknowledge each individual guest. It was quite an honor to receive an invitation to his parties. 

Another known Icelander to move in was the impressionist painter,  Ásgrímur Jónsson. Every spring he would hold an art gallery on the mid-floor. His famous painting, Esjan , was painted from Vinarminni.  Besides being distinguished members of society, what the residents also had in common was the frequent entertainment with music, singing and sometimes alcohol.

Mt. Esja, 1910, as seen from Vinaminni

The distinguished livelihood of Vinaminni slowly diminished and by the end of WWII it had lost its stardom. By the 1960's the rooms in the house were rented out to short-term guests. The house quickly became known for its heavy partying. Being so close to the city center, young adults would often stop by in search of a party. Later the city of Reykjavík purchased the house, but failed to put it to good use. 

Consequentially, it ended up sitting vacant for a time. During this time, homeless people would break in and use it for shelter. Needless to say, for decades the house was poorly treated and in the end it was in a very bad shape. It has now been purchased by individuals who respect its history and spent their time and money in renovating the house.

When 
Sigríður had the house built, she didn't design it to be a family home. Her vision was to build a place that she could use for educational purposes. She  built it with her own money and wanted to establish a school for women (Kvennaskólinn), which she did in 1891. This is not to be confused with the Reykjavik's School for Women (Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavik ), which was funded by the Government. 
Sigríður's school was privately funded. 


Instead of teaching embroidery and knitting, she felt it was more useful to teach women how to design and sew clothes. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, the money ran out and the school only lasted one year. Although the school for women had been shut down, other schools can trace their origins to this building.


In 1915, Sigríður passed away and Rev. Haraldur Níelsson took over the house. He was married to Sigríður's niece, Bergljót Sigurðardóttir (1879-1915). In the early days of the Experimental Society, 
while Indriði Indriðason was the medium, the Reverend and Bergljót would hold séances at their home. 

With the medium and other items levitating, the ruckus and noises from the medium and other objects falling to the floor, became such a nuisance to the neighbors that they were forced to put an end to the séances in their home. 

Across the street from them, on Mjóstræti 4, lived Einar H. Kvaran (founder of the Experimental Society) with his family. They frequently held séances in their home. 

Tragically, that same year (July, 1915), Bergljót passed away only 35 years old.  Three years later, on Oct. 2nd, 1918, Rev. Níelsson married Aðalbjörg Sigurðardóttir (1887-1974).


Bergljót on the left and Haraldur on the right

At the age of 18, Aðalbjörg had gotten herself a degree in teaching, graduating at the top of her class. This was only the beginning of her journey. She attended numerous studies and courses throughout the years and even traveled abroad to further her knowledge. After traveling abroad to learn more about education, she became fascinated by the Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori's philosophy on education. 

In addition to education, she was politically active, especially in the Women's Rights Movement and in the fight for an independent Iceland. She was also very involved in Child Protection Services and helped write the Child Protection Laws. These were only a portion of  her accomplishments. She lived a highly active life and never stopped fighting for those who needed it the most.

On a personal note, Aðalbjörg was a very religious and spiritual woman. Early on she sought the teachings of Krishnamurti and in 1912 she was one of the founders of the Theosophical Society of Iceland (Guðspekifélag Íslands). Spirituality was very important to Aðalbjörg and for 11 years (1927-1938), she traveled to Holland to take part in the annual national Krishnamurti meetup.


Ingibjörg with her friend, Unnur Thoroddsen during a Krishnamurti meetup in Holland. Unnur was also known to be clairvoyant.
 
Aðalbjörg and the Reverend were both avid spiritists and active in the spiritist community. In fact, Rev. Níelsson was one of the Experimental Society's founding fathers. He served as the medium Indriði Indriðason's guardian during séances.

In addition to all of Aðalbjörg's extraordinary accomplishments, she also wrote multiple articles and books throughout the years. She made several radio appearances and held countless lectures.

The Reverend was very supportive and proud of her endeavors. At the same time as he was happy about her fight for women's rights, he felt that a woman could not get a holier or more meaningful right than the right to become a mother. I don't think Aðalbjörg necessarily disagreed with this. She felt a woman could best prepare for motherhood by maturing and educating herself.

Aðalbjörg was known to have dreams that often seemed more like communication with the dead, rather than dreams. Soon after Rev. Níelsson's death in 1928, Aðalbjörg had a dream where she was walking into a hospital room in Reykjavik. She saw the Reverend standing next to a bed with a patient lying in it. 

There was a bright aura surrounding him and a sense of majesty rested over him. Rev. Níelsson looked at his wife and told her to go this patient's family members and tell them not to worry about him, because he was going to take him with him. He then told her that he had received a calling over on the other side. Aðalbjörg asked him what the calling was. He told her it was to watch over his congregation. When the members of his congregation changed residency and moved to the other side, he would be the one to meet them and help them with the transformation. Then Aðalbjörg woke up.  

This wasn't the first or the last time Aðalbjörg would have otherworldly visits via dreams.
Aðalbjörg had a friend who she frequently discussed mystical phenomenon with. A clairvoyant lady had told her friend that some old man was his guardian spirit. The night after, Aðalbjörg's spirit contact from across the veil, came to her in a dream and asked her if she wanted to see who it was accompanying her friend. Aðalbjörg wanted to see who it was, so the spirit led her to her bedroom window and told her to look outside. 

In reality, his house couldn't be seen from her window, but in the dream she saw his house clear as day. In fact she could see inside the couple's living room window as if she was inside their house. She saw a teenage girl standing next to him. Her hair was light blond and bright. It was so bright it seemed like its rays covered her face. She had on strange clothing, all light in color. She couldn't see her face properly, but the rest of the girl was clear in her memory. Then she woke up.


The Norwegian bakery on Fischersund and Vinaminni towering up behind it

Soon after, Aðalbjörg met with her friend and told him about the dream. He then told her that it sounded like she was describing his sister who died when she was 19. He always thought if anyone of his dead relatives were with him, it would be her. Aðalbjörg didn't know he had lost a sister.

A few days later, Aðalbjörg visited his home for the first time. As soon as she walked into the living room, her eyes locked in on a photo of a young woman. She had never seen this woman before, but recognized her right away as the woman in her dream. The woman in the photo was her friend's sister who died at age 19.

Aðalbjörg was also known to do automatic writing where otherworldly beings took control of her hand. There were a couple of spirits who frequently took control. One of them was a 15 year old boy who recently passed away. One night, Aðalbjörg dreamed that the boy came to her and complained that his ship wasn't being treated well. In the dream she followed the boy to his parents' house. Once there, he led her upstairs and showed her a small dark corner next to the brick-layered chimney leading up to the roof. She had no idea the nook was there. The boy's mom had stuffed some garbage in a suitcase, and from the garbage the boy pulled out his ship. He asked Aðalbjörg to make sure his mom got the ship and to tell her not to treat it so badly. Then she woke up.

The dream seemed quite meaningless and Aðalbjörg thought nothing of it. The following evening, she did her automatic writing. The boy came to take control of her pen and he was not happy that Aðalbjörg hadn't talked to his mom like he had asked her to. He asked her to go visit her as soon as possible.
The day after, Aðalbjörg went over to the boy's mother and told her about the dream. The boy's mom explained that he had owned two or three small ships. 

They had been very dear to him while he lied on his deathbed. He had told her that she could give away all his toys, except the ships. But now she was contemplating giving them away anyway.  The night before, she had been looking for the ships so she could give them away, but she couldn't find them anywhere. Aðalbjörg then told her of the place the boy had shown her in the dream. Remembering she had gathered a bunch of garbage in a suitcase upstairs, the mother went upstairs and looked through the garbage. Sure enough, the ships were there. 

A little while later, the boy again took control over Aðalbjörg's automatic writing, telling her that he now didn't care what his mom did with his ships or the rest of his stuff. 

These are but a few of Aðalbjörg's many encounters with the spirit world. She didn't do automatic writings for very long before she decided to stop. She felt they drained her for hours before and after each writing, which made it impossible for her to get any work done. Another reason was that for the most part, she felt there was never much proof  the writings were real. She wasn't sure whether it was her subconscious controlling the pen or someone else.

 

Sources:
Höfði
Einar Benediktsson
Vinnaminni, Morgunblaðið Jan. 23rd, 1998
Ásgrímur Jónsson
Grjótaþorp, Morgunblaðið, Oct. 09, 1977
Poem by Benedikt Gröndal for Sigríður Einarsdóttir
wikiart
Mittens for Queen Victoria
Maria Montessori
The Theosophical Society
Aðalbjörg Sigurðardóttir
Life of Aðalbjörg
Dream about Haraldur
The dreams
History of Child Protection Services
Child Protection Services regulations

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