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A young girl becomes a healing medium

Öxnafell farm in  Möðruvallapláss. Margrét's childhood home.  Tíminn

A short distance from Akureyri lies Öxnafell farm. One of Iceland's most known mediums was born here. Her name was Margrét Jónsdóttir Thorlacius (1908-1989). It was here she first discovered her ability to see things that others couldn't. Margrét wasn't the first one in her family to have this ability. Members on both sides were known to be clairvoyant to some extent.  It was said that Margrét received the ability in a large portion, extracting from both sides.  

On her mother's side, Margrét was related to Kristín Sigfúsdóttir and her little clairvoyant boy Jóhannes Pálmason (1914-1978). Jóhannes and Björn Jónsson (Ísafold Björn. Read about him in my blogs here) were foster brothers. Björn lived with Jóhannes and his family on Brekkugata in Akureyri during his younger years. He also became one of the original members of the spiritist society in Reykjavik. 

Jóhannes Pálmason. Íslendingaþættir Tímans

It all started when Margrét was four years old. One day, she was sitting on a small table by the window facing the mountain. She looked at her mom and said, Mom, see the lights in the mountain. Her mom looked out the window but couldn't see any lights. From then on, the visions grew little by little and before long she was seeing  huldufolk as well. Soon after that, she was playing with huldu children.

In the evenings, Margrét would often go upstairs to the window facing the mountain. She loved watching the lights light up the mountain. They had a more bluish brightness to them than the oil lamps they had. One time she saw a light being turned on by turning a knob. She didn't know what to make of it at the time as she didn't know what electricity was. But later on, she suspected that there had been electric lights (rafljós) in the huldufolks' homes.

When she saw the huldufolk, she also saw their homes and villages. She was watching them through the mountain as if they completely disappeared, exposing the huldufolk habitat.

Margrét J. Thorlacius, healing medium. When Margrét was around six or seven years old, she started seeing auras around people and even spirits of people who had passed on.  Morgunblaðið

Margrét saw entire huldufolk communities up in the mountains. She described them to be very human-like in appearance, but usually more beautiful. Their clothing was similar to ours. They had furniture, rugs on the floor, pictures on the wall, musical instruments, photos and decorations. They used lights to light up the rooms. 

The huldufolk had jobs too. They worked just like us, but they performed much of it by using machinery. They made hey around their homes and sometimes inside the mountain cliffs. They had sheep, cows, dogs, cats and horses that graced on the grass. Inside the cliffs, Margrét saw such things as stores, museums and churches, just like any other town. She frequently saw the them playing instruments, it sounded so beautiful. Some of the tunes were familiar, while others she had never heard before.  

As she got older the visions had gone beyond the huldufolk in the mountains. She was now seeing people who had passed on, although she didn't see them as clearly. They were all around her, even inside her home. They wore normal clothes, but were usually grey in color, sometimes they wore white robes. Some of the spirit-beings were people who she had known when they were alive. When she tried to talk to them, they disappeared. Their complexion was different  than that of the huldufolk.

One man among the huldufolk in  Svörtuklettum, as the mountain was called, stood out. Margrét was about ten when he first introduced himself. His name was Friðrik. He was average height and appeared to be around 30-40 years old. He had dark hair, parted it on the left side and combed it back. He had very unique dark grey-blue eyes that sometimes turned completely dark. They were beautiful, mild, yet focused. He usually wore grey clothes, but sometimes he wore a white coat. He was very smart and Margrét felt she could feel the love shine through him. 

Margrét was attractive, shy and trustworthy. She spend every day surrounded by sick people seeking her help.   Dagblaðið Vísir

Margrét called him a hulduman. Friðrik never told her that he was one, only that she could call him that if she wanted to. She referred to him as such, because the first time she met him it was among the huldufolk. She was also under the impression he lived among them, specifically inside the cliff-belt high up in the mountain, to the south and up against Öxnafell. She soon realized that he was a man who had passed on. From then on, Friðrik visited Margrét on a daily basis.

In childhood, Margrét was afraid of water, but yet she felt drawn to it. One spring evening, Margrét was out and about. There was a lot of snow. She stopped by a small ravine in the mountain where heavy water flooded downwards. On the top was a snowdrift. She stood on top of it and stared down on the waterfall. She didn't realize that the water was flowing right underneath the snowdrift where she was standing. 

All of a sudden, the snowdrift broke and fell down the ravine, taking her with it. As she was falling, she thought of Friðrik and she fell into an unconscious state. When she came to she was standing on top of the snowdrift again. She was certain that it was Friðrik who had helped her.

In the book Skyggna konan (The Clairvoyant lady), which Margrét herself helped write, she explained that one night in Öxnafell it had rained all day. When evening came, she walked outside and away from the house. As she gazed over the farm, she noticed a rainbow covering the area. She recalled being told that you can make a wish if you get to the end of the rainbow. 

As this thought crossed her mind, she fell into a trance and she found herself sitting on a tussock. She saw a wonderful array of color around her. It was like she had reached the end of the rainbow and could make a wish. In this strange trance state she made a wish. She wished with her entire soul that she would be able to help those who were suffering and ease their pain. 

Möðruvallapláss is the area that the farm Öxnafell is on. Þorsteinn Jósepsson

Soon after, Margrét's mother, Þuríður Jónsdóttir (1875-1934), became very sick and wasn't getting any better. In fact, she wasn't expected to survive her illness. Margrét remembered her wish at the end of the rainbow about helping people. Next time she saw Friðrik she asked him if he could help her mom. He wasn't about to let the young Margrét down and told her he'd try his best. To her surprise, he showed up in a white lab coat. Not long after his visit, Þuríður was spontaneously healed.

The quick and miraculous healing of her mom traveled to the nearby farms and soon throughout the country. Soon she was flooded with letters and phone messages all from people seeking her help. In addition, she received daily visits from sick people wanting to be healed. Nobody knows exactly how many people contacted her, but they were in the thousands.

When she became more mature, things changed and Friðrik seemed to care for her deeply and look out for her. He took her places she had never been before. One time he took her to Vífilsstaðir. She found herself in a hospital type setting where she saw multiple patients lying on beds and some wandering around. He often took her to see the patients he was healing. These trips usually only lasted 3-5 minutes. She had made a point of checking the time before and after the altered state. But during the travels it didn't feel that short at all, quite the opposite. It felt much longer. 

Friðrik took her places that were unlike any place she had ever seen in this world. These places were exceptionally beautiful. The brightness was yellowish white. There were forests and fields of flowers. There were wonderful and bright spirit-beings that were tending the flowers.

She saw places with young children and full grown beings watching the children. Sometimes she heard them singing to them.

She called this the Bright Land. Friðrik would often take her there before he brought her to see patients. After she had been there it was like her energy was completely renewed.

These beautiful beings would talk to her about her healings and ask her to continue doing them and encouraged her. They told her that when the time came, her work would be valued even more than it was at the time.

After a while, she started traveling to the Bright Land automatically without Friðrik. When she was alone, someone always greeted her and stayed with her for a little while. Not one day would go by without her visiting the Bright Land either alone or with Friðrik. During her time there she had been shown inside their homes. They were filled with musical instruments, drawings, beautiful pictures and lots of lights. 

Margrét asked Friðrik if there were other places he could show her. He said there were many other places, this was only a small showcase.

Sometimes he took her to places where it wasn't as beautiful and the people weren't as happy. There were always some kind of shadows looming. Friðrik told her that he could do more to help these people when she was with him.

One time Friðrik insisted that she come with him. They went to a place she had been before. When they got there, she saw the most beautiful male being she had ever seen. He was wearing a white robe. She saw rays shining from every side of him, making the surroundings extremely bright. Being in that man's presence gave her so much energy. In fact she was completely rejuvenated and stayed that way for a long time afterwards.

Margrét knew there were places she hadn't been to. She also knew it was because they were more mature and more perfect than the ones she had been shown. She hoped she could see them some day.

These experiences were much different from a dream. When she dreamt at night, the dreams were unremarkable and unclear. But when she went on these trips she felt herself leave her body and saw herself lying on the bed sleeping. What she experienced in the travels was just as clear as when she was wide awake in the middle of the day.

Margrét sitting at her desk, possibly writing back to someone who sought her help. Sarpur

In the spring of 1923, an elderly man from Húsavík, Jóhannes Kristjánsson, came to Öxnafell. This was most likely ( Jóhannes (1854-1942) He was very sick and needed healing. He had been sick for quite some time and was now unable to financially care for himself.  He had gone to doctors but none were able to help him. By the time he got to Öxnafell he was in pretty bad shape. Friðrik promised to try and heal him. Jóhannes stayed at Öxnafell for one night. During that night, he sensed something being done to him. By morning he felt so good he could hardly describe it.

He went back home to Húsavík in full health. He began making hey that summer with the same strength and vitality as any other healthy man.

The healings were spreading like wild fire and people traveled from all over to Öxnafell. The letters were countless and the visitors came daily, sometimes in large numbers. This was hard on the household. They didn't have much money and very few of the guests paid to stay at their home and eat their food. Even fewer of them paid for the healing services, even though most of them experienced strange spontaneous healing. 

There are those who paid her well. Margrét never asked for money or charged anyone for her services. She felt there was nothing that could actually prove that she or Friðrik were responsible for the health improvements.

Very few people told Margrét about their recovery, so she didn't actually know how many were being healed. This hurt her deeply. Most of the recovery stories she heard by the word of mouth. She figured that the amount of people that continued seeking her help meant that it must be working. 

She felt nonetheless, that in order to know for certain that the healings were in fact Friðrik's doings, that these were actually supernatural healings, they would have to record down all those who received help and their status on whether they got better, or whether there was no change. It was also important that they knew how the patient was doing.

From 1923-1924 there was heavy traffic with patients seeking help. They would come at all hours day or night. She experienced many extraordinary healings during that time. 

When  Einar and Gíslína Kvaran visited Margrét, there were around 100 unopened letters that she hadn't had time to open yet. These were all letters requesting help. During their stay, she received about 100 more letters. The most she received at one time were 200 letters. Einar stayed only a short time, but his wife stayed 1.5 weeks. In addition to letters, people stopped by every day asking for help. The telegrams averaged about 45 a month. No records were kept and most of the letters were destroyed in a house fire. 

Gíslína Gísladóttir (Kvaran) and Einar Hjörleifsson Kvaran

Einar and Margrét Kvaran were in the living room with Margrét when he asked her if she wanted to go out and show him the cliffs. She took him outside and they stood on the doorstep. Einar said the cliffs were so high and so far from the farm that it was impossible to recognize anyone from there. She agreed and had thought about that before. But somehow she was able to recognize them even from that distance. They looked as real and vivid as if they were in the same room as her.

When Margrét communicated with Friðrik, she spoke to him with her mind. When Friðrik spoke to her, she heard his voice in the same way she heard anyone else's. She could feel him when he touched her. When he would take her hand she could feel it, but it was slightly different than when another human touched her. 

Friðrik had also taken her to the animal kingdom, or at least that's what she liked to call it. It was so bright and beautiful there. The light that was there was yellowish. All kinds of animals lived there, including the lion. It was beautiful. She loved petting the lion and cuddling with it. Margrét knew the lion liked it too by the way it purred so dearly.

Among the animals, she recognized some from when they were alive. One time she described a horse in such detail that there was no doubt in anyone's mind that she was seeing a horse that lived on the farm a long time ago. There was no mistaking the distinct markings she described.

A familiar name, and a man loved by so many in Akureyri, was  Jón Sigurgeirsson (1903-2003). His accomplishments cannot be made justice in this blog. His story is well worth reading. Among other things, Jón studied psychology and pedagogy in Stockholm. His curiosity for the human soul extended into spiritism. He was a believer in Bhagavat Gita and spiritual healings, which included meditation and yoga. In his own words, he explained it like this:
Jesus healed with the power of love by understanding and caring. This is the way, in reality, that all are healing and being healed, even though in tiny portions, by caring. The child needs comfort. Mother and father stroke their hand on its head and the power of love courses through. (translation by author)
A multi-lingual teacher, entrepreneur and mason,  Jón Aðalgeir Sigurgeirsson. Together with his friend Úlfur Ragnarsson (1923-2008), he established a health and wellness center for highly stressed individuals. The goal was to give care to both body and soul. In 1976 they held a summer clinic in Laugaland in Akureyri where the guests enjoyed the beautiful nature. There was a swimming pool and hiking trails for them to enjoy. The program also focused on healthy eating habits and served only natural foods. They also offered yoga, meditation, live music and faith healing.

To sum up this little less known part of his story, he worked closely with spiritists, especially mediums. Some of them were Edwin C. Bolt (1878-1970), Hafsteinn Björnsson and also Margrét. He was only 11 when he first got to know her. She was 16 and taking organ lessons from his father,  Sigurgeir Jónsson (1866-1954) at his house.  

After the lessons, Sigurgeir would play for her many beautiful songs on the organ. As she listened to him, she would often see colored veils in the air in connection with the songs. Jón witnessed her abilities on numerous occasions. Sometimes she would tell them about higher wave octaves, the beautiful colors and wonderful bright beings that were present in the room. The colors floated around the room like the northern lights. 

Osteund E Almquist organ that Sigurgeir purchased, most likely in 1906, soon after he moved to Akureyri. He taught several students on this organ.

Margrét borrowed many books from Sigurgeir. She was especially interested in religious topics. She would soak them in and she felt the spiritual energy being transferred from the books and into her. 

Sigurgeir Jónsson played on his organ for Margrét and when he did, she saw the room charged with colors and otherworldly beings. Photo of Sigurgeir by the organ:  Ísmús. Headshot photo:  Tíminn

Back on her farm, Margrét continued to work with Friðrik. One day, the teacher Guðmundur Jónsson from Hjaltastaðahvammur in Skagafjörður stopped by for a visit. Guðmundur was a believer in the power of spiritual healing and wanted others to know about its powers. He had a balled spot on his head where hair didn't grow. When he was younger it was difficult for him to hide it from the girls. If Friðrik could grow hair on the balled spot, he knew he could get many people to believe in his healing abilities.

Later that same year, Guðmundur returned to Öxnafell. He showed Margrét his hair. The balled spot was not only gone, but you couldn't even tell there had ever been one.

The winter 1925-1926, six female otherworldly beings came to her and asked her to go with them to visit a patient. They told Margrét it was a very sick woman who needed help. When they got there, they gathered around her bed, knelt down and prayed. After that, these beings never left her side.

Often she felt like she wasn't completely inside her body. Even though she was wide wake it was like she had awareness in other places simultaneously. 

A year after the Kvaran couple visited her, Margrét moved to Reykjavík and spent the winter living with them. She was 17 years old. During her stay there, Einar continued to study her abilities. He did not believe in huldufolk or elves and did not take such claims lightly. He wanted to be absolutely certain there was no chicanery before backing up her claims. 

After studying her, he was convinced that Friðrik was a true healer from the other side of the veil. This was exactly what Margrét had claimed. As to the huldufolk, Einar and Gíslína were not convinced. They knew she saw them, but felt certain she was having visions of spirit-beings, but interpreting them in the form of huldufolk.

The Kvaran home on Sólvallagata 3

Margrét went back home, only to move to Reykjavik again in the fall of 1937. She had decided to stay in the big city and got herself a job at Saumastofu Gefjunar on Kirkjustræti. Three years later, in  December 1940, she married the builder,  Bergsveinn Guðmundsson (1904-1988). Bergsveinn had built many apartment structures and they moved into one of them on Ránargata 4.

Ránargata 4 is the smokey grey building. Bergsveinn built it and the one next to it. They are identical and used to be the same color. Photo taken in 2019.

Margrét had a light-elf following her around constantly. Even after she got married, the light-elf refused to go away. It was driving her husband crazy, there was no peace to be found. The light-elf would make a mess in his carpentry work space and throw things around. 

The rumors of Margrét's abilities passed the ears of the famous Icelandic author, Halldór Laxness. He was as skeptic as they come regarding otherworldly matters and was not going to let himself be fooled. He was known to ridicule the spiritist society and officially called them the Ghost-Faith Society with the intention of making a mockery of it. In Icelandic, spiritism is called Andatrú, which means spirit- faith. So he called it Draugatrú or ghost-faith. The term stuck and is still often used by unbelievers ever since. 

To make his skepticism known, in 1937 Laxness wrote:
A few years ago a girl in the northern part of the country believed in huldufolk, through her day dreams she met a huldu doctor she called Friðrik. The ghost faith society here in town who have the authority on this subject, admit that they don't recognize huldufolk, but explain that this huldu doctor was a ghost and from then on, Friðrik started making himself known, even in Faeroe Island.
He continued saying that magic healers practiced electrical and seismic practices and this current and tremors are supposed to drive the disease out of the patient.  

While they stayed on Ránargata in Reykjavík, Bergsveinn began building a house for them. He built a beautiful house out on Lambastaðir in Seltjarnarnes. He called the house Hvoll on Tjarnarstígur 12. It was finished in 1945. Their stay there was shortlived. They enjoyed it only for two years. In 1947, Bergsveinn received a job offer in Akureyri, which he accepted.  

Hvoll in Seltjarnarnes.

Hvoll on  Tjarnarstígur 12 in Seltjarnarnes

They packed their things on moved north to Akureyri where they lived until 1956. During their time there, Margrét saw huldufolk by  Glerá. They lived on the north-side of the river above the old power-station where the cliff is tallest. This was where the huldufolk had their power-station. 

It was built before the humans built theirs. She sensed that the huldufolk had used electricity before they did. The nethermost part of Glerágil are rocks and underneath one of the rocks, on the north-side, is a small cave which is the entrance to their homes. 

Glerá power-station in Glerá river being rebuilt.  Fréttablaðið

In the winter 1948-1949 polio was spreading across Akureyri and people would come to her to be healed. This was particularly difficult for Margrét as she gave birth to her youngest child that December. She asked Friðrik to protect her home from polio. 

Friðrik told her that they should try to stay home as much as possible. He was able to protect them inside the home, but not outside. Around that time, she often saw wings around her. They soared in the air. The innermost parts of the wings were pink and the outermost parts were blue. She considered them protection wings.  Margrét felt certain they would not get sick.

Péturskirkja on Hrafnagilsstræti 2. The house next the church used to be the home of Margrét and Bergsveinn. 

Not too far from Akureyri is Bakkaselsbrekka on Holtavörðuheiði. When Margrét traveled in the area, she always saw strange auras in the air. 

On Þjóðvegur 1 on Öxnadalsheiði is  Bakkaselsbrekka where Margrét saw strange auras. This stood out to me as I had just read a conversation on where some individuals were talking about having had strange or mystical experiences there.

In 1956 they moved back to Reykjavik to live in one of the apartments on Ránargata that Bergsveinn had built. Margrét didn't like all this moving around and she didn't like living in the apartment. There were too many people living there which made it noisy a lot and she never felt in peace and quiet.

Ránargata in Reykjavík

 Around that time, Bergsveinn built a house on  Arnarstapi where they could spend the summers in peace. Nonetheless, something was missing in their relationship and in 1962, they divorced.

Arnarstapi where Bergsveinn built a summer home. Margrét had many otherworldly experiences here, including witnessing huldufolk.  Chmee2/Valtameri

After the divorce, Margrét packed her bags and moved to Hafnarfjörður, a town known for its huldufolk activities. She stayed there for almost 20 years. In 1981 she moved back to Akureyri to live out the rest of her days.

In Hafnarfjörður she lived in the south-east corner of the city, tight up against the brick wall of the convent Jófríðarstaðir (ófríðarstaðir).  She believed she saw royal huldufolk there. The Flensborg cliff by Flensuborgarskóli are well known for their huldufolk activities. Margrét described the elves as small, about half a meter tall, and were usually near ponds or bodies of water. They wore read and blue tall hats. Some of them had beards.

Hamarinn cliffs is the large green hilly area in the center of the photo. Flensuborgarskóli (Flensuborg School) is right next to the hill. The church at the bottom of the photo is Hafnarfjarðarkirkja (Hafnarfjörður Church). It was here that Margrét said she saw royal-blooded huldufolk. 

Saint Josephs Church is Jófríðarstaðir. Its dated records go all the way back to 1595.   GoogleMaps

Margrét attended the Strandarkirkja often. One time she was standing on the beach below the church, she saw a Norwegian ship arrive and men carry wood up that was to be used to build the church. She described the men in detail, the way they looked and the clothes they wore. She said they were 15 or 16 years old. 

This church is said to have been built by supernatural powers.

"Church in Selvogur. Built in 1888 and rebuilt 1968. The Church was originally built sometime in the 12th century. The story relates that there is one night when a group of sailors tried to navigate back to Iceland in a storm. The southern coast of Iceland is notorious for its hidden reefs and rough coast. The distressed sailors prayed to God for a safe return and vowed to build a church wherever they landed. When they ended their prayer an angel, seemingly made of light, appeared before their bow. The angel guided them through the rough surfs and led the crew into a bay for safe landing. The sailors, making good on the promise, built a wooden church at the site and named it Strandarkirkja. (Wikipedia)" Hafsteinn Robertsson

Margrét Jónsdóttir Thorlacius from Öxnafell died in her home on Þórunnarstræti 115 in Akureyri in 1989. Today, Margrét's daughter, Kristín Þuríður and her husband Hjörleifur Kristjánsson run a summer guesthouse in Arnarstaðir on Snæfellsnes.

Margrét's home at the time of her death in 1988. Þórunnarstræti 115 in Akureyri.

Friðrik explained to Margrét that it was necessary that the patient believed the healing can be successful in order for it to work. Every doctor knows that the spiritual state of the patient can be the cause of the ailment in the first place.

Evidence of mediumistic healing, Part 2

Heimaey, Westman Islands.  Vestman

Westman Islands may not have many residents, but their stories are quite intriguing. Today, I'd like to share the story of Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir (1892-1975).

Guðrún's father, Sigmundur Finnsson (1859-1942) was a fisherman and didn't think much of otherworldly phenomenon. In 1913, he built a house for his family which he called Uppsali efri on Faxastígur 7b. Only three years later, when Guðrún was 13, her mom,  Ragnheiður Sveinsdóttir (1856-1916), passed away.

Shortly after her passing when Guðrún was 14, she started feeling sick. There was something wrong with her nose. Her nostrils were tender and filled with scabs making it difficult for her to breathe. She went to see Dr. Halldór Gunnlögsson. He examined her, but couldn't figure out what was wrong, leaving Guðrún without any answers to her ailments. 

She wasn't going to give up this easy and went to see another doctor, Dr. Ólafur Þorsteinnsson, an ear, nose and throat doctor in Reykjavík. After examining her, he diagnosed her with swollen glands and wrote her a prescription. 

Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir (1892-1975) grew up on  Uppsalir-efri on Faxastíg 7b. It was built by her father,  Sigmundur Finnson, in 1913.  Viktorpetur

Guðrún had only been taking the prescription for a short time when she lost it. It was too early to tell if it had made a difference. Not long after, she started feeling a strange growth on her left breast near the nipple. Guðrún was worried and went to see Dr. Kolka. You may remember him from previous  blog post where he expressed his frustration and concern regarding mediumistic healings. 

After examining her, Dr. Kolka couldn't figure out what was wrong. It was definitely not cancer, he thought. She was way too young for cancer, but she should come back in a month for a follow-up. 

About a month later, on Friday, March 27th, 1925, Guðrún went to see Ms. Henriksen who worked as a massage therapist. She examined her left breast and felt the lump. She was concerned about it and told Guðrún to have it removed as soon as possible. Henriksen's mother had experienced a similar thickness in her breast. After she had it removed it turned out to be cancer. 

That same day, Guðrún went to see Dr. Kolka and shared with him the fears she had after talking to Ms. Henriksen. The doctor stuck to his original belief that she was too young to have cancer. Nonetheless, it was important to keep an eye on it. He advised her to use lukewarm water compresses.

That same day, Guðrún's husband, Vilhjálmur Tómasson, went to see Guðrún in Berjanes to ask for Friðrik's help. That same evening, Guðrún became calm and slept well all night, something she hadn't done for a very long time. 

Vilhjálmur (1888-1958) was known for his hard work and adored by those who knew him.  Þjóðviljinn

Vilhjálmur built the house, Herðubreið on Heimagata 28, in 1925. Daníel Steingrímsson

Saturday evening, March 28th, 1925, at 10:30 p.m. Guðrún had got into bed and right away felt a surge of electricity course through her body. She felt it first in her left arm and breast. From there it exploded throughout the rest of the body ending in her head. This lasted for about 30 minutes and during the entire time she couldn't move at all. 

At 11:00 p.m. there was a pause, but then at midnight it started back up again. The surge of energy, now even stronger than before coursed through her body. This time she also found herself doing involuntary breathing exercises where she was breathing in through her mouth and out through her nose. Finally at 01:00 a.m. she fell asleep and slept through the night.

The house Vík on Bárustíg 13 that  Þorbjörg Sigurbjörg Theódórsdóttir  (1903-1932) lived in before she married Theódór Jónsson . Þorbjörg had been clairvoyant from a very young age, but even in adulthood she continued to be somewhat childlike and naïve as if there was nothing unclean about her.  Her story is a blog of her own as her experiences are very unique and otherworldly. She for instance saw herself lying in a coffin and knew she would have a short life. She died 2-3 years after her vision.

Sunday March 29th, around noon, Guðrún was cleaning her bedroom. Suddenly all her strength left her body and the same strange experience she had the night before, happened again. She laid down on a chaise where she involuntarily performed the same breathing exercises as before. 

At 12:30 p.m. there was a pause. When Vilhjálmur arrived home at 01:00 p.m. it all started up again. This time the incidence was more intense. She was now also performing involuntary arm exercises that just kept going all day long with very little breaks in between.

Einar Lárusson showed up at the house at 3:00 p.m. that Sunday. Guðrún was still performing all types movements and exercises, including breathing exercises. It was no doubt in his mind that she was in an altered state and under some type of otherworldly control. 

Her eyes were open and she communicated with the others in the room. Finally at 6:00 p.m. Guðrún's exercises stopped, but before long it was back on and now even more intense than before. Even her trance-like state became deeper. 

At this point she lost control of her speech. She sensed an otherworldly being there with her and it was helping her. This otherworldly helper was Friðrik and he communicated with Guðrún by speaking through her. She spoke to him through her thoughts. 

Guðrún looked very uncomfortable. Every once in a while she would sing hymns and rub her left breast in between. Her eyes were closed. Einar wanted others to witness this phenomenon, so he left to get Hallgrímur Jónasson from previous  blog post.

Einar Lárusson (1893-1963)  Heimaslóð

Einar Lárusson lived at Reynivellir on Kirkjuvegur 66 with his wife  Sigrún Vilhjálmsdóttir Daníel Steingrímsson

During this time, friends and relatives had stopped by to see her. She wanted as many as possible to see that she wasn't in control. Friðrik, spoke to her. He wasn't able to heal her with this many people present. It was too loud. Guðrún's father had come in and told her to stop this nonsense. Then an otherworldly voice spoke through her and said: Get out, Sigmundur. This is not Guðrún speaking.

Around 9:00 p.m. Einar arrived at Hallgrímur's house telling him to come with him east in town where an otherworldly occurrence had been taking place since noon. When they got back, Vilhjálmur was there and Sigmundur (Guðrún's father) who was now convinced it was real. Guðrún was lying on a chaise and occasionally opening her eyes. She would also randomly start singing psalms, rub her left breast and her nose.  She didn't appear to be conscious, yet she was aware when new people entered. This was surprising because those already in the room couldn't see nor hear when others entered. 

Guðrún continued the exercises as she sang psalms while also performing breathing exercises. It appeared as though she couldn't control her movements at all. Ever since Friðrik the Huldu-doctor promised Vilhjálmur that he would help her, she had been in various altered states.

The men stayed with Guðrún for a few hours and then left to get Ms. Þorbjörg  Theódórsdóttir who they knew was clairvoyant. She agreed to come with them. When they got back to the house it was 10:00 p.m. By then, Guðrún had been forced to stand on her feet and perform upper body exercises and sing hymns. Everyone left Guðrún's room except Þorbjörg. Einar went home.

Now with just Þorbjörg in the room, Guðrún was told by the otherworldly voice to take her clothes off, then she was told to beat and knead her left breast, even squeeze it. This type of exercise or treatment had occurred throughout the day.  This was also followed by a deep and quick blows through the nose. 

These exercises continued with very little rest until 8 a.m. the morning after. It was now Monday, March 30th and Guðrún lied naked in bed for the most part. She began talking to Vilhjálmur. He tried to listen closely, but it sounded like mumbling and was hard to understand. As he focused in on the voice, it didn't sound like her at all. It was gruff and commanding, even towards the others in the room. The voice spoke about Guðrún as if it were a separate entity and not attached to her in any way.

At 10:00 a.m. Einar returned to see Guðrún. She was sleeping, so he left and came back at 12:30 p.m. By then Guðrún was in a deep sleep-like state. She was lying in bed with her eyes closed and rubbing her nose and breast. By the way she was speaking, it was apparent that her consciousness was elsewhere and some other personality was using her vocal cords.

The deep voice said,  Go, Vilhjálmur and buy eggs for her. She needs eggs and milk because she is weak. Vilhjálmur did as he was told. When he returned, the voice said in a surprising tone,  Did you buy Guðrún's eggs already? Then the voice spoke to Guðrún while she was simultaneously rubbing her breast and nose,  The thing about your nose, Guðrún. I think I should know it. You have had it since you were 14. Then a little later the voice continued, I'm expecting to leave you around 3:00 p.m. You are very concerned, but you are fine. It is best to get on with it as soon as possible

Vilhjálmur got up from the chair and stood next to her bed. Eventually Guðrún fell back asleep. Half an hour later, Finnbogi felt it would be okay for Vilhjálmur to sit down in the chair and fall asleep too. Vilhjálmur sat down, but as soon as he fell asleep, Guðrún startled and said, Now Vilhjálmur has fallen asleep, no doubt about it. Shortly after, Vilhjálmur was told to go boil an egg for Guðrún because she was hungry. While he was gone boiling the egg, Finnbogi heard a whisper saying, You should try to get some sleep, dear, while he's boiling the egg, he´ll stay awake in the mean time.

When the egg was ready, she ate it and drank a little bit of milk. The two men were reminded to stay awake, they would get their rest later. They were then told to pray for Guðrún, so they did. Late that night they were given permission to sleep. Finnbogi went into the kitchen and fell asleep for an hour.

Finnbogi Finnsson (1898-1926). Finnbogi worked by tending to the motor at the local icehouse. The motor kept the refrigeration going, it was ran by 40 horsepower engines. The motor was started via air pressure. On August 5th, 1926, Finnbogi had turned the air pressure on to start the motor. Two days later on August 7th, at 7:00 a.m. Finnbogi's coworkers heard him turn the motor on. Shortly after, a loud bang was heard through much of the town. It was coming from the engine house down by the harbor. Those nearby came running only to see Finnbogi lying on the floor practically naked. His clothes had been torn to pieces and is body severely wounded. He was still conscious and in great pain. He was taken to the hospital where he died three hours later. Finnbogi had been restocking the carbonic acid storage when the explosion happened. Upon investigation, the barometric pressure cover on the motor had been blown to bits. The blast had broken every window in the building. It was speculated that the barometer was broken and therefore Finnbogi didn't know he had adjusted it to high. His father drowned in  klettsnef in 1901. He was not married and living with his elderly mom and taking care of her. He was said to have been a wonderful and trustworthy young man. In the aftermath it was out of the question to everyone that he had been sloppy or not careful. He had worked there for several years and done an excellent job. Ljósmyndasafn Vestmannaeyja

Finnbogi had been living with his mom and other family members at the Icehouse from 1920-1923. Finnbogi began building a house for his mom and other family members and in 1925 they all moved into Nýjaland on Heimagata 26.  Daníel Steingrímsson

At 2:00 p.m. Þorbjörg arrived and Einar left for an hour. When he returned again around 3:00 p.m. Þorbjörg and Guðrún were squeezing pus out of Guðrún's breast. The voice told Guðrún to knead her left breast. Afterwards the voice told Þorbjörg to do the same. After some massaging a yellowish green pus oozed out. The wound the pus came out of looked like a surgeon's cut around the nipple. The voice commanded them to burn the pus as soon as it oozed out. 

Einar and Vilhjálmur went into the kitchen. Soon after, Þorbjörg came out with a folded cloth wet with yellowish discharge. The otherworldly voice called out, pour oil on it and burn it right away.

Soon after, the voice called out to Vilhjálmur telling him to go down to the pharmacy and buy carbonic water so they could wash the spots out of the table cloth and chaise. Then Þorbjörg proceeded to wrap the breast and get it ready for next round. When she was done bandaging Guðrún's breast, she walked into the kitchen. 

Suddenly the voice called out How is it, Þorbjörg, with the spot on the chaise. It hasn't been cleaned yet. It is best to do it while I am still here, because after that Guðrún will need to be alone in peace. Then the voice said,  Thank you, dear Þorbjörg, I should say thank you on behalf of Guðrún as I am not letting her speak to you this time.

The pus removal from the breast went on until 6:00 p.m. Guðrún was able to get a little rest in, but then an hour later it was full on again with exercises and all. Hallgrímur  and Finnbogi were there watching these strange occurrences happen to Guðrún. At 8:30 p.m. an exhausted Vilhjálmur, asked Hallgrímur to watch Guðrún that night so he could sleep. When Einar returned at 10:00 p.m. he helped Hallgrímur watch Guðrún.

While the two men stayed in the room with Guðrún, the voice returned and said, It's nice of you to help, boys. Einar took first shift, so Hallgrímur went home for now. Einar had just barely sat down in the chair near Guðrún's bed when he saw her lips moving and the voice spoke again. 

This time it said that Guðrún was so nervous that it didn't help to have anyone but her husband (Vilhjálmur) there, so Einar could go home. If necessary, Vilhjálmur could ask Finnbogi to come stay with him. Einar asked the voice if he could come back the next day to help. The voice answered,  There won't be much happening from here on, because Guðrún is getting better and she will be herself in a conscious state

Einar left to get Vilhjálmur. The men both knew they had to do as the voice said, so Vilhjálmur got up and went to be with Guðrún. As he sat there watching her sleep, it was hard not to doze off. Except, every time he did, Guðrún would startle and wake up. It was as if her sleep was dependent on him staying awake.

 Vilhjálmur told Finnbogi to go to Guðrún in Berjanes and ask her how long this was going to go on for. Finnbogi did as asked. When he returned, he told them exactly what she had said. She didn't know how long Friðrik would be there, but advised against touching her or talk to her but to do everything that Friðrik told them. 

Vilhjálmur asked Finnbogi to sit with Guðrún while he went to find a night watcher for the night. Finnbogi sat down in the chair and Vilhjálmur left. Soon after, Guðrún started speaking, but it sounded like someone else, Here you can see her breast; I will soon get the stuff out of it

As these words came out of her mouth, she uncovered her left breast and Finnbogi could see where the pus had been coming out. The voice continued, Then there is this thing with Guðrún's nose, I have to fix it; It originates from this bad tooth. Guðrún's tooth in her upper gums was exposed. I have to take it, said the voice. 

The voice explained that there was an infection behind the tooth that was causing the nasal problems, so in order to clear the nose, the tooth and the infection have to be taken care of. The otherworldly being tried to get the tooth out with its fingers but was unable to. Then Finnbogi said, I don't think you'll be able to get it without tools. The being then said Oh! I have plenty of tools even though you can't see them.

The voice said, I'm surprised, Guðrún, that you haven't had these bad teeth pulled already. You need to have them pulled as soon as you are better. Friðrik the Huldu-doctor wasn't able to pull the tooth, but he got rid of the infection in some other manner.

It was now the following day and Finnbogi and Vilhjálmur were with her. The voice said that Vilhjálmur could stay awake for a few more hours. Guðrún had barely gotten any rest that day or the night before. She seemed to sleep much better when Vilhjálmur was there with her. 

Vilhjálmur was asked to come sit in a chair behind the bed and sleep there. He did so and Finnbogi stayed awake. Every once in a while he saw Guðrún squeeze her breast or play with her tooth while also speaking, but always in third person as if she was someone else.

At one point she started inhaling something from her hand into her nostrils. She acted as if she was holding something. Then Finnbogi heard the voice say to him, Now I am having her inhale menthol through the nose, you suck it into your nose. Finnbogi did as the voice told him and inhaled. He felt a strong scent, like that of menthol. There weren't any medications or anything else present in the room except a bottle of carbonic water.

Around 2:00 p.m. Friðrik told Finnbogi to wake up Vilhjálmur. Finnbogi was reluctant to do so, but the voice insisted. They needed the additional energy (power). After Vilhjálmur woke up, an otherworldly being, probably Friðrik, spoke to him through Guðrún saying, I need to take your sleepiness and put it inside Guðrún. Vilhjálmur was then asked to sit down at the foot of the bed and take Guðrún's hand. 

Guðrún started reading some beautiful verses and was near sleep when Vilhjálmur startled slightly. He had accidentally dozed off as he was extremely sleepy. With this, Guðrún startled as well and through her, the voice said, You can't do this Vilhjálmur, get up instead. Then you'll be awake while she's sleeping. God knows that you have to stay awake.

 Finnbogi stayed watch until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Einar showed up to see how Guðrún was doing. Guðrún finally regained full consciousness at 11:00 a.m. and was clearheaded for the first time since the whole ordeal began. She suddenly realized she could breathe without difficulty again. Her throat and nose had completely cleared up.  She looked down on her left nipple and noticed a wound. She vaguely remembered that her and  Þorbjörg had been told to squeeze yellowish green fluid out of it. 

On April 4th all ailments in her nose and throat were completely gone, never to return. The lump i her breast was also completely gone. She was herself again and would never again return to that altered state.

Top photo shows the locations of the homes mentioned in this blog as shown on openstreetmap.   Pink : Faxastígur 7b;  Dark Blue: Kirkjuvegur 66;  Light Blue: Heimagata 28;  Yellow:  Bárustígur 13 Orange: Heimagata 26, Bottom photo is the original image.  Pintafontes

When Finnbogi went to see Guðrún, he didn't believe in otherworldly phenomenon. His plan was to visit her and tell her that this was all nonsense and delusional. By the time Finnbogi left, he was completely convinced that there were in fact otherworldly phenomenon at work.

Her husband, Vilhjálmur, was very skeptical about all otherworldly phenomenon as well. In fact, he simply did not believe in them. After what he had just experienced, he had no choice but to put aside his skepticism and become a believer.

The same with her father, Sigmundur. When he heard what  Guðrún was up to, he went to her to put an end to this shenanigans. Just like Finnbogi and Vilhjálmur, he couldn't deny what he witnessed and no matter how hard any of them tried to justify their notion of chicanery, it was very clear that there was truly an otherworldly phenomenon taking place right in front of their eyes.

Additional Sources:

Evidence of mediumistic healing, Part 1

Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). Of all the Westman Islands, Heimaey is the only one inhabited by humans. Source

Where there are people, there will be a desire for learning. In 1860, the official Heimaey population was 499 of which 30% were illiterate. This was concerning for a nation filled with poets, authors and playwrights. 

In June 1862 Heimaey received its very first library. They called it Lestrarfélag Vestmannaeyja (Westman Island's Reading Association). It's founders were Bjarni Einar Magnússon the father of Dr. Guðmundur Scheving, the Althingman Rev. Brynjólfur Jónsson and the knight of the Order of Dannebrog   Johan P.T. Bryde

It was decided to have the library in Bjarni's house, Landlyst on Strandveg 43b. This was a great start for the island's educational system. By 1880 Heimaey had 557 residents and in 1884 only 12% were illiterate. 

Possibly the oldest photo in existence of the house Landlyst on Strandveg 43b. The house was built in 1848 and stayed at this location until the year 1992 when it was torn town and fell under protection laws.  Dadi

Fast forward to 1918 when Westman Islands were granted market place rights. The library now became a city library. The poor conditions of the library building had resulted in mildew-covered books  and almost destroying the entire collection. 

Professor and author Hallgrímur Jónasson was concerned about the condition and the future of their library, so in 1924 he prepared for its resurrection. He began by cleaning the books and creating proper storage for them. He worked hard all that summer and finally by October, 1924 it was ready for reopening.

As the main librarian, Hallgrímur took very good care of the library. He was always looking for ways to make it a better and improved library. Thanks to his hard work, the library received financial support and today it has grown into a large and much improved library with its own Facebook page here.

In addition to his library duties, Hallgrímur was also teacher at the elementary school and at the junior high school. When he moved to Reykjavík in 1931, he became a teacher at the Iceland College of Education and worked as an editor for several newspapers.

In 1992 when Landlyst fell under the protection laws, it was moved to Skansinn were it still stands today in its original image.  Hansueli Krapf

For several years, Hallgrímur served as the chairman for Ferðafélag Íslands (Iceland Touring Association).He was quite fascinated with traveling and wrote books, articles and poems about the topic.

In 1985, Hallgrímur added his stories to an audio collection where the oral history of the Icelandic people is being collected. Several of the stories talk about strange occurrences throughout his life. These recordings can be found here. The stories  I will be sharing in this blog were not recorded in this collection.

Hallgrímur had questioned and tested Guðrún on multiple occasions. He was finally convinced that she was a true medium and decided to publicly share his experiences with her and Friðrik. He was careful in the way he expressed himself, making sure to keep it matter-of-factly just like he observed it. If there was any room for doubt, he made sure the reader was aware of it, allowing anyone who so desired the opportunity to poke holes without damaging his statements. 

Hallgrímur Jónasson (1894-1991) was married to Elísabet Valgerður Ingvarsdóttir (1898-1976).   Menntamál

Dr. Kolka was not pleased with Hallgrímur. In fact, he found his views on the matter pathetic. He openly complained that patients were being taken from him. This greatly affected his pay check. He also stressed the dangers of seeking mediumistic healing rather than medicinal help from a doctor. Although several people claimed to have been healed by Guðrún and Friðrik, Dr. Kolka rejected these claims and was convinced it was nonsense. Unfortunately, he didn't take the opportunity to visit with these people to see how they were doing or to hear their stories. 

Guðrún wasn't trying to steal Dr. Kolka's patients from him. In fact, she never offered her help to anyone. It was always the patients who approached her asking for help. Friðrik refused to help those who were being seen by a physician as he found it impossible to help them. Therefore, those who sought Guðrún's help did not seek Dr. Kolka's help.

On Wednesday, April 22nd, 1925, a public meeting was held to discuss the matters of otherworldly healings. Dr. Páll Kolka got up on the podium. He was deeply troubled with the whole matter and showed great concern that people were seeking medical help by way of superstition. To think that dead people could heal them was absurd. This was nothing more than a superstition from ancient times and shouldn't be trusted. These miracle stories that were going around were not real. 

Hallgrímur and Elísabet with presumably their two children. Ragnarr

The following Sunday, a follow-up meeting was held with a focus on those who believed in the mediumistic healings. Hallgrímur was in charge of planning this meeting. This time, the supporters of mediumistic healings would get their chance to speak up. 

Hallgrímur was the first one to speak. On the Wednesday meeting, Dr. Kolka had claimed the  miracle stories were all fake. Well, Hallgrímur disagreed. He seen Guðrún performing the healing practices and felt certain they were quite real. He had watched her fall into a trance. Sometimes the patients would be completely healed and other times the patients would only be relieved of some of the symptoms. There were even times where Friðrik would not be able to help at all. and healed the sick or relieved some of their sufferings. 

He pulled out a paper and read out loud four written testimonies of witnesses who had been present at her healings. With that Hallgrímur ended his speech and Sheriff Kristján Linnet took over. He was known to mingle in the spiritist circle and was well familiar with otherworldly phenomenon. 

As the last speaker of evening, Dr. Kolka got the final word. He asked those who believed in these healings if they were willing to take responsibility for not seeking the help of a physician when a person was seriously ill.  

Páll Valdimar Guðmundsson Kolka (1895-1971). He was a physician in Westman Islands from 1920-1934.  Ragnarr

Dr. Kolka's disapproval of Hallgrímur didn't fade after this. In fact, On August 27th, 1925, he sat down and wrote a letter that was published Reykjavik's newspaper, Morgunblaðið. The letter was clearly written in anger and frustration towards Hallgrímur. The doctor accused him of mixing faith with healing. Dr. Kolka would never dream of mixing religion with medicine like that. In an indirect way he refereed to Hallgrímur as a crazy person who had something wrong with his brain. 

In order to explain what was really going on, Dr. Kolka used the world projection. It was in fact not actual healing taking place, like Hallgrímur seemed to insinuate, but more a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. He diagnosed the mediumistic healing-phenomenon as hysteria. The fact that Hallgrímur had been publishing the insignificant stories of the patients who sought help from Guðrún was irresponsible. 

In reaction to the stories that Hallgrímur wrote, Dr. Kolka stated that if these people were truly healed, then there would also be a medical or scientific explanation to it.

As far as I know, Hallgrímur never sought help from Guðrún or Friðrik for himself. When he first heard about her, he was skeptic, then he became a witness and eventually a believer. 

In 1929 while Hallgrímur was living at Kirkjuvegur 86, a couple of foreign visitors came to stay with the town's Sheriff Krisján Linnet for a couple of days. The visitors were Florizel v. Reuter (1890-1985) and his mom Grace Reuter. 

Florizel von Reuter (1890-1985) was a child prodigy. Very early on he became a profound violin player, a composer and violin teacher. In addition, he was also known for his psychical and mediumistic abilities. He had his first big concert when he was 10 years old in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. In the 1920s Grace Reuter began performing automatic writing, which started of Florizel´s involvement with spiritism. Stereoscopic.Co

Kristján lived at Tindastóll on Sólhlíð 17. The purpose of their trip to the small island was to hold a concert and also talk about spiritual matters. Both Florizel and Grace were mediums. Einar H. Kvaran (see blog here, here, here and here) kept them company and they all stayed with Kristján. 

The Reuters second evening in Westman Islands, they told Kristján to invite some friends over for a seance. He invited Hallgrímur. Present at the séance were Kristján, Jóhanna,  Einar H. Kvaran and Hallgrímur. It was in the middle of the day and bright outside. The six of them sat down at a small table in a private office. 

They began the séance by placing their fingers on the table. Suddenly they heard loud raps or crackling sounds in the table. It didn't sound anything like as if something was banging on the table, but sounded like it was coming from inside the wood in the table. It reminded Kristján of a sound a fire makes, but in reality wasn't like that either or any other sound he had heard before. 

The house on the left with the flag. It was built in 1926 and was used as the Sheriff's offices and on the bottom floor was where Kristján lived with his family.  Kjartan Guðmundsson

Kristján wanted to make sure that none of them were making the sound and suggested they remove their hands from the table. They all let go of the table, but there it was again, the same crackling sound. Kristján wasn't quite convinced yet and suggested they all moved far away from the table. So they did. It was now evident that no one was touching the table. The crackling sound was still there, but not as loud. Kristján, in Icelandic, asked the otherworldly contact to reveal his name by using the crackling sound whenever he said the letters in his name. The crackling stopped.

Then Kristján began citing the alphabet very slowly. When he got to the letter P, they heard that same crackling sound as if it was coming from inside the wood of the table. Kristján started citing the alphabet again to get the next letter. Eventually they had the name of the otherworldly contact. Kristján knew this individual. He hadn't heard from him since a séance with  Indriði Indriðason

Júlíus Kristján Linnet (1881-1958) and his wife Jóhanna Eyjólfa Ólafía Seymore Júlíusdóttir (1890-1968). Together they had six children. Jóhanna had a daughter from a previous marriage. Children from left: Hans Ragnar, Henrik Adolf, Margrét Mjallhvít (from previous marriage), Anna Kristín, Elísabet Lilja, Stefán Karl and Bjarni Eggert Eyjólfur. Photo is taken ca. 1939.  Ragnarr

Grace Reuter told Hallgrímur that his father (who passed away in 1906) was trying to communicate and wanted to prove to him that it was really him. He was going to give him two proofs. The only person who could confirm what he was about to hear, was his mother, Þórey Magnúsdóttir. At the time, she was living with her daughter and husband in Ísafjörður. 

The first proof of his father's otherworldly existence was that he had gone by two names. His other name was Jósep. He never used that name and no one but Þórey knew about it. The second thing was that he was going to show the medium something. Then the medium started describing in his own words what Hallgrímur's father was showing him. 

Florizel saw his father as a young man and had gotten himself on top of a wild animal that he was wrestling with on the field. Finally the animal was able to throw him off. He fell face down into gravel and broke his nose. His broken nose was crooked and leaning more towards one cheek. It straightened with time and before long it was very difficult to even notice that anything had happened to it. 

Later, Hallgrímur asked his mother about these two things. She confirmed them both. She told him that his father had never liked the name Jósep and therefore never told anyone. The wild animal was a fiery wild colt that his father had just started taming. The colt managed to throw him off and he landed on moss covered gravel and broke his nose. There was no doctor in the area so they tried their best to straighten the crooked nose, which they managed to do quite well. This whole ordeal was considered uneventful and never really mentioned again.

The Reuter's had never been to Iceland before and after hearing his mother's confirmation, Hallgrímur was convinced that it was indeed his father making himself known to him. 

Next week we will look at what the stories were that Dr. Kolka was so upset with Hallgrímur published.

Hallgrímur's house on Kirkjuvegur 86 as it
looked in 2007.  Daniel Steingrímsson

Kirkjuvegur 86. Hallgrímur had the house built 
for his family in 1926,  Source