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Premonitions can come in form of symbolic visions

Visions with frightening imagery are not a direct danger, but rather a warning of future struggles

Grenjaðastaðakirkja (Grenjaðastaður Church). James Stringer

It was a beautiful spring day in 1894, the Sunday before Whit Sunday.   Ólína Katrín Sigurpálsdóttir (1859-1930) from Klömbur in Aðaldalur  was walking home from church with her friends and family. 

It was such a beautiful sunny day. She looked eastward up in the sky. Suddenly she saw five images in covering the cloudless blue sky. These were five portraits of men. The pictures were as bright as the evening sun.

Grenjaðarstaðir sometime between 1910-1929. The church and the cemetery is in front of the turf houses.  Hans Kuhn

Ólína turned towards the others who were now walking ahead of her. She wanted to call out to them to ask if they could see the faces in the sky. As the thought entered her mind, a cloud or a shadow covered the sky and the images disappeared.  With the vision gone, Ólína didn't mention more about it.

As they continued walking, Ólína's heart was filled with joy. It was like she was in some kind of a trance. 

Grenjaðarstaðir seen from Klömbur area. They would have had to walk around the water (left side of photo) to get home. The water is a river called Laxá and is very popular for fishing.  Hansueli Krapf

When they got home to Klömbur, Ólína brought food out on the table for everyone. After she had made sure they had all been fed, she grabbed her knitting pins and went outside. She went outside so she could be alone with her thoughts.

Ólína and her husband Jón Þórðarson (1844-1918) took over the farm in 1879, making it their home since the day they got married. When they moved in, the farm was small and run down. With much hard work, Jón restored the farm and made it into a large beautiful agricultural farm. 

They kept a neat and clean farm, built several external buildings, including barns, by themselves. They straightened the field and put a fence around it. They made their own plumbing system so they could have running water and many other improvements. 

While Ólína was out walking with her own thoughts, she felt the urge to walk over to her in-laws who lived on the farm next door called Brekka. Her brother-in-law was  Bergvin Þórðarson (1847-1912) and his wife was  Elínborg Jónsdóttir (1853-1939). Bergvin was known to be in excellent health and physically strong.

Ólína walked into the living room. She saw Bergvin asleep in his bed and his Elínborg sat on her bed patching clothes.

Brekka farm and now Guesthouse check-in.  Von Michael

On the east wall in the living room was a window with a small table in front of it. On one side of the table was Bergvin's bed and on the other side was a chest. 

Ólína sat down on the chest. The two women chatted about the day and the road. The weather was wonderful and the sun shone through a small window on the west wall in the living room. The sun rays created a small bright patch on the floor in front of the table.

Bergvin woke up. He got out of bed and walked over to the window. He stood on the bright patch in front of the table. He looked outside at the sheep and his kids who were running around playing in the field. 

Everything was so peaceful. Bergvin turned around and walked out of the living room. 

Right after he left, Ólína looked down on the floor where he had been standing by the table. In his footsteps she saw a beautiful red drop of blood.

A window at Brekka.  Von Michael

Ólína looked over at Elínborg and asked her if she could see the drop of blood on the floor.  As soon as she asked the question, Bergvin's foot print became completely covered in dark blood, but the beautiful red drop was still in the middle of it. It was perfectly round. 

She looked at it for a moment, but then she noticed two other drops next to it. They were slightly oblong. The bright red drop merged with the other two and disappeared. It now looked like a three leaf clover.

Then suddenly it started to rain blood by the door. Ólína stared at the door. On the other side of the door was an empty street and she knew she could run out. But she couldn't just leave. There were children outside and they might come in and see all the blood.

Ólína grabbed a rag and began to clean up all the blood. 

Brekka farm has been converted into guesthouses. It is now called Guesthouse Brekka and has great reviews.  planetofhotels.com

Elínborg looked at her and said, Don´t be silly. Ólína kept staring at the pool of blood which grew bigger every second. 

Ólína continued cleaning up the ever-expanding blood puddles. The rag was covered in blood and wouldn't come off. She studied the dark blood on the rag. As she stared at it, it started to squirm like a worm coming back to life inside a fish. 

She threw the rag on the floor. Suddenly it was like all the blood on the floor had been put inside a hot fireplace. Smoke was oozing out of every drop. 

Suddenly, all the blood was gone and the floor was clean. But the smoke was still there. Ólína stared at the smoke which moved towards Bergvin's bed and lingered there. 

Elínborg wanted to know what Ólína was looking at. Ólína looked back at her. In the same instance, the smoke disappeared and instead she saw a black cloud right behind Elínborg's bed. It moved to the front of the bed. 

Inside the dark cloud were several images, grey in color. In the middle of all the images Ólína saw a picture of a man. She only saw him from behind and from the side. He looked to be the size of a boy doll. He wore a suit with a black felt hat which reached down his forehead. He had black curly hair that stuck out from underneath the hat. His feet looked like they were stuck together at the instep. He was bow legged. He was clean shaven. He had an extended bow with an arrow ready. 

The orange circle shows Klömbur farm. The marker above it shows Brekka farm where Ólína's in-laws lived. The red marker below shows the location of the  Grenjaðarstaðir Church and Cemetery she is buried at.     GoogleMaps

On the right side of the man inside the dark cloud, was a dolphin with a large mouth and a large fin. Its body was small and thick. Next to it were various sea animals and insects. On the left side were ants and crabs, but she could see through them. 

The insects moved across Bergvin's bed as if they were marching to attack right above the pillow.

Then the smoke reappeared. The insects reached all the way over to the steam. It all looked so disgusting. They had noses and claws, truly a horrifying sight.  

The steam didn't use any energy to protect itself. In the end it disappeared into the group of insects and Ólína felt sorry for the steam. 

The vision was about to become even more horrifying. She watched the insects crawl on top of Bergvin's body who was levitating above his bed. He looked dead. His eyes had been plucked out and his nose cut off. His body was bloody and swollen.  

Ólína figured she would help the steam by bringing it towards her. She knew she could fend for herself much better than the steam could. She felt so bad for the steam. Just as soon as she had the thought, a large black head appeared right in front of her and stared at her. They stared at each other for a moment. Then it fell to the floor and stayed there for a bit. Then the head got back up. It looked even more gross than before with fire coming out of its eyes. But nonetheless, she kept staring it in the eyes until it fell back on the floor.

This vision reappeared in front of Bergvin's bed. The steam covered the floor. It wiggled and squirmed.  One part of the steam was dark and the other light and they seemed to be fighting each other.

Then she quickly looked away. She saw a black shadow appear. It was about the same size as a small handkerchief. Inside the dark shadow was a light grey colored man's eye. It looked awful. The shadows around the eye were so dark. Then just as suddenly, it disappeared.

At that moment Ólína felt something flannel-like stroke her right cheek. She turned her head to see what it could be. She saw a shadow at the size of a big egg, but it grew bigger and moved away from her. 

Inside it, she saw happy and beautiful children's eyes which she felt she recognized. 

She grew tired of watching this and said to herself Oh go away! With that it disappeared. It went away up towards the ceiling with pathetic and sad eyes.

The stream had formed a long stripe across the living room from east to west. A bird sat on the steam stripe. It was gray and looked much like a heron. Its color seemed to become increasingly lighter. It had huge claws and as time passed, the claws went deeper into the steam, until the steam slowly disappeared inside it. It was as if the heron was sucking up the steam through its claws.  

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea). Andreas Trepte 

The heron's expression and eyes were were extremely ugly and evil looking. More than life itself she wanted to take the steam out of this ugly animal. Ólína reached out her hand to grab its neck, but in that instance she realized she was in midair.

The vision slowly morphed into a small dark shadow behind Bergvin's headboard on his bed. 

Elínborg called out to Ólína, What do you see now? Ólína not sure how to answer, said, Very little

Ólína was bothered that she couldn't do anything except watch it. She looked down at her toes and was startled to see a drop of blood. She thought the blood had disappeared. As she looked at the blood, it started smoking like before. In the beginning the smoke was small, but as she continued staring at it, it grew until it became a large steam cloud. 

The steam cloud moved over to where the small dark shadow by the headboard was. Ólína watched as the black shadow entered the steam. She stared at the steam and suddenly saw a hole in the middle of it. Something was coming out of the hole. It was a watery steam, but also looked like energy. It was light in color.

Ólína cheered out loud, Will you look at that! The watery steam or energy spread over the entire living room. Then i separated into two parts.

There was some sort of shell around the steam/energy and its parts danced around each other until they disappeared up into the ceiling in the living room and disappeared from her sight.

Ólína didn't want to stay any longer and said bye to Elínborg without sharing her vision with her. 

Ólína grew up here on Skógar in Reykjahverfi near Húsavík. Her father, Sigurpáll Árnason (1832-1889) died from exposure on his way home on his horse.  Guðni Þórðarson

Two years after the vision, in 1896, Bergvin became very ill and was diagnosed with leprosy (Hansen's disease) which is caused by an infection from the bacteria, Mycobacterium leprae

It was a devastating illness. He was forced to stay in bed and his family feared contagion. Ólína decided to help out the family by taking care of him. That way, they could keep their distance and the kids would be safe. 

Ólína went over to Brekka farm every day for several years to take care of his sores, which were many. There came a time when she wasn't able to help him any longer, so in 1910 he was admitted to Laugarnesspítali in Reykjavík. By then he had become completely blind. He had sores all over his body and in the end the disease completely took over. He passed away in 1912. 

Laugarnesspítali in Reykjavík where Bergvin spent the last two years of his life. Sarpur.is

Ólína looked back at her vision as a premonition of what was to come. She figured the vision meant that she wouldn't get sick herself. She tried her best to keep everything as clean and sanitized as possible so the others would get infected. 

It took great courage on her part to take care of Bergvin for all these years and protect his family from the disease. 

Ólína died in her son's Sigurpáll's home in Akureyri after suffering from severe pneumonia for seven days. She was a wonderful, hardworking and caring woman who was deeply loved and admired by those who knew her. 

Ólína's daughter, Guðný, was unable to attend the funeral. The same sickness as had put Ólína down, was now devouring her daughter. Ten days later, Guðný lost her battle and also died from severe pneumonia

Her son Sigurpáll Jónsson lived on Aðalstræti 50 in Akureyri. The spiritist, owner of Ísafold paper and the father of Iceland's first president, Björn Jónsson , lived in this house with his family for some time. When they moved, the famous poet, Matthías Jochumsson moved in. He lived there from 1887 until he died in 1920. Ten years later, in 1930, Ólína passed away in the same house. Left: GoogleMaps Right: herak.is

Ólína was buried with her husband (and children?) in Grenjaðarstaðir Cemetery. The cemetery is next to the church she was walking home from when she saw the vision of the five men in the sky.

Ólína's and Jón's tombstone in Grenjaðastaðir.  James Stringer

The cemetery at Grenjaðarstaðarkirkja. Ólína's tombstone is in the upper left corner of the cemetery in this photo.   Franz Tunda


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