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.
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.
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.
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.
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.|
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.
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
Bakkaselsbrekka where Margrét saw strange auras. This stood out to me as I had just read a conversation on www.bland.is 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.
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.
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.