Ghosts visit the death bed of a spiritist, Part 1

Sólvallagata 3. The home of Einar Kvaran. 

Just a stone throw away from the Hólavalla cemetery is Sólvallagata 3. When it comes to mystical experiences, this house has had its share of para-psychological occurrences. Over the last Century, mediums have lived in this house and several séances with otherworldly interactions have taken place here. 

For some time, this was also the home of the famous Icelandic poet and founder of   the Icelandic Society for Psychical Research (Sálarrannsóknarfélag),  Einar H. Kvaran  (1859-1938). Previous blog posts that have mentioned him can be found  here and here . In 1947 the Icelandic Society for Psychical Research moved into the building. During their time in the building, multiple séances and healing practices took place.

Einar Hjörleifsson Kvaran (1859-1938)

Besides being the son and grandson of priests, something that might explain aspects of Einar's deep interest in the afterlife are some tragic personal experiences. Einar went to school in Denmark and while there, he married the Danish Maren Petersen. Soon after, they moved to Canada. 

Maren became pregnant and they soon found themselves as a happy family of three. The joy was short-lived. Their infant boy passed away while Maren was still pregnant with their second child. Soon after the loss of their son, she gave birth to Matthías. Five days later, Maren passed away. 

The year after, Matthías also died. Having lost his entire family, he headed back to Iceland where he met and quickly fell in love with Gíslína. With her he found great happiness. Although there was much joy in their lives, when their oldest son, Sigurður, was 15, he passed away from tuberculosis. Through it all, Einar and Gíslína appeared to be true soulmates.

Einar and Gíslina's son, Sigurður sits in the middle on the bottom row.

The tombstone of Einar, Gíslína and Sigurður.

In 1937, Einar, now an older man, invited Hafsteinn Björnsson (22) to his home. Ever since he could remember, Hafsteinn had been interacting with otherworldly beings and now he had been brought to the famous poet's home. Hafsteinn, a simple farm worker, was nervous and already regretting having accepted the invitation.

Hafsteinn Björnsson

Einar invited Hafsteinn to sit down. As soon as he sat down, he was asked if he saw someone in the room. Startled, he struggled to catch his breath, with a low voice he answered yes. Curious, Einar asked him who he saw. Hafsteinn looked at him and said Haraldur Níelsson. You may remember Rev. Níelsson from my previous blog on Vinaminni

As soon as Hafsteinn had uttered the words, Einar gave him a stern look and asked harshly, How can you prove that!? This scared Hafsteinn enough that he was unable to utter another word. Einar's wife, Gíslína, saw how frightened young Hafsteinn was and suggested to Einar that they gather for a séance. Einar thought that was a great idea... and so Hafsteinn's life as a medium began. 

From then on, Einar took care of the young man and became a mentor to Hafsteinn's new calling as a medium. In fact, Hafsteinn would often spend the night in the Kvaran home, especially after difficult séances where he felt uneasy about going back to his apartment where he lived alone.

"When I walked into the living-room, Einar sat at his desk . . . .". Hafsteinn only 22  years-old, nervous in the presence of the famous Einar Kvaran. 

Haraldur Níelsson 1922

Only a year later, in 1938, Einar lay on his deathbed. Hafsteinn walked into his bedroom and sat down on the chaise (daybed) and looked around. He noticed there were others, non-physical beings, in the room as well. Among them was a young man who stood next to Einar's bed. His clothes were snowy white and it seemed like there were bright rays emitting from him. 

His face was extraordinarily bright, but his expression a little sad. He was holding some kind of lamps or light fixtures in his hands. Multi-colored rays emitted from the lights. Most noticeable was the reddish-purple color.  The young man directed the rays at Einar. Hafsteinn was with Einar from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and the young spirit was there with him the whole time.

They young man wasn't the only spirit-being that Hafsteinn saw. Einar's mother, Guðlaug, was also there. She was wearing snowy white clothes as well and she seemed to be preparing for her son's entry into eternity. Next to her was Rev. Haraldur Níelsson. He appeared very happy, but at the same time appeared saddened for those left behind and having to say their goodbyes to Einar.

Another spirit in the room was a woman Hafsteinn had seen in the Kvaran home before. He didn't personally know the woman, but had been told she was the actress Stefanía Guðmundsdóttir. Another spirit was an older man standing slightly distant from Einar's bed, watching everyone interacting. Next to him was a young man around 30 years old. Hafsteinn asked his spirit-guide, Finna, who that man was. She told him his name was Ásgeir.

Most mediums have something which I have chosen to call a spirit-guide. Whenever a medium is in a trance or otherwise in contact with the world on the other side, it seems as if they are assigned certain spirit-beings to help guide and protect them. Hafsteinn had two spirit-guides. One of them was an older lady named Finna.

Einar's dead brother, Dr. Sigurður H. Kvaran was there was well. He was there with a nurse. In the distance was a group of young spirit-teenagers. Also in the distance, behind Einar's bed, were numerous spirit-children. They were grouped together like a choir. 

In front of them were three adult spirit-beings standing next to each other. In the center was Einar's father. To the right was a young man wearing snowy white clothes and to the left was a young teenage girl. 

The three of them, together with the children, sang the psalm Glory to God in the Highest (Dýrð sé Guði í hæztum hæðum). While they were singing it was like the surroundings changed and everything became brighter. 

Hafsteinn noticed the room was filled with all kinds of colors, kind of like multi-colored Northern lights travelling back and forth. This color phenomenon was there the entire time, but seemed to become brighter and more beautiful the closer it got to Einar's last breath.

Saturday afternoon, Hafsteinn went back to the Kvaran home. He walked into the room where Einar's body was resting. There was nothing otherworldly to see in the room and he knew momentarily that he wouldn't see anything, either. He turned around and walked into  

Einar's study, sat down and stayed there for a little bit. After a short while, he saw his dead friend, Einar, in the room. He seemed to be resting and leaning up against some kind of a bed. 

At his right side was his mother. She was very happy and was holding his hand. On his left was a young woman and behind him stood Rev. Haraldur Níelsson holding two pieces of paper. Above and around him were groups of angelic beings. 

In the distant deep blue space was indescribably beautiful scenery covered with multi-colored flowers. It seemed to be blanketed with reddish purple glow. Then the sun came up and poured its rays over this beautiful land.

Hafsteinn saw Einar wake up and it was like he could hear his thoughts. He could sense Einar thanking the highest one of them all with his entire inner soul for his kindness and everything wonderful in his life. In the same moment he saw Rev. Níelsson walk over to Einar and talk to him like a father would talk to his loving child.

On the day of the funeral, Hafsteinn arrived at the Kvaran home. As often was the case, the funeral started in the home. When he got there, they were singing the last notes of  The Lord Watches (Drottinn Vakir). He stopped at the beginning of the hallway as the house was already crowded with people. 

Shortly after, it was as if the walls and the ceiling were somehow removed and all he could see was a wonderful sea of lights. The lights were so bright that he couldn't quite make out what he saw. 

Little by little his sight became clearer and he was able to see some of the vision properly. He found himself looking into an exceedingly beautiful chapel stretching from east to west. To the east was the altar covered with a reddish purple fabric. 

At the front of the fabric was a gorgeous rose wreath woven into the fabric. Inside the center of the rose wreath was an image of a six-pointed star with a picture of a key in its center.

On the altar was a white cloth with two candle holders and on each one were seven candles still burning. The candle holders were unlike anything Hafsteinn had ever seen. His attention moved to the center of the cloth where there was a round ball, kind of like a globe. 

The part of the ball that was facing up had a starry image on it. Inside the image was a cross and three other signs. Something spoke to Hafsteinn telling him that the signs signified faith, hope and love (charity).

Above the altar, on the east side of the chapel, Hafsteinn saw a reddish-purple light-bow that was blinking in unspeakable beauty. The reddish-purple was the most noticeable color in it, but on the outer edges of the rainbow was a beautiful yellow lining. 

In the center, underneath the light-bow, was a spiritual being that was so beautiful and wonderful. It was of such beauty that Hafsteinn was incapable of giving justice to it with words. Such was the splendor of the rays emitting from it. On each side of this spirit being were two small winged angelic beings gazing across the chapel, smiling. Their smiles brought such peace.

Hafsteinn then noticed that Einar was being brought into this chapel. It appeared that he was being brought out in a golden chair by two angelic beings. They put the chair down in front of the altar and stood still next to Einar. 

As soon as this happened, it seemed like the chapel walls dissolved into a shining bright light of brilliance. The wonderful spiritual being he had seen earlier approached Einar, took his hand and in that moment, Einar stood up. It was as if Einar had become young again. The angelic beings never left his side. Surrounding them the light brilliance continued.

After the service at the Kvaran home, they continued the service down at the Free Church located by the Pond (Tjörnin). The things Hafsteinn saw there, I will describe in Part 2. 

Blogpost on Einar Kvaran
Blogpost on Einar Kvaran 2
Einar Kvaran gravesite
Blogpost on Haraldur Níelsson
Hafsteinn Björnsson 122-129
Glory to God in the Highest on YouTube
Hafsteinn's obituary


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