The deacon of Dark River (Myrká) admin
There is a farm here called “Myrká” or Dark River. There lived a deacon, who had a girlfriend named Guðrún. She lived on the other side of the Hörgá river on a farm called Bægisá and was the house-maid of the pastor there. One day the deacon crossed the big river on his horse Faxi to meet up with Guðrún, to ask her to join him at a Christmas party at Myrká.
But an accident happened while the deacon was riding back home from discussing the Christmas plans with Guðrún. There had been a lot of snow in the days before the deacon met up with Guðrún. But while he was visiting Guðrún there was a weather change and thaw and melting of the ice in the river. The river could not be crossed due to big chunks of ice. The deacon tried to cross the river on a bridge by Saurbær, which was the next farm to Myrká. The bridge broke and the deacon hit his head on a chunk of ice and drowned.
A farmer found the deacon’s body the next day and he was buried a week before Christmas. Guðrún didn’t hear about the death of her boyfriend as it was not possible to cross the river in this weather, so no news could be brought to her. So when Christmas Eve arrived the deacon came to pick her up as he had promised. Guðrún had no idea that he was dead. She hurried out to meet him and had only time to put on one sleeve of her over-coat.
They did not talk, but the deacon put Guðrún on the horse behind him. They rode together towards the river Hörgá. The deacon’s face was hidden by a hat and a scarf, but as they reached the river the deacon’s horse tripped and the deacon’s hat fell forward. Guðrún, who was riding at the back of the horse, saw his bare scull!
The moon was shining through the clouds and lit up his skull!
The deacon then said: “The moon fades, death rides. Don´t you see a white spot on the back of my head, Garún, Garún?” Guðrún was frightened and didn’t respond. They didn’t speak until they arrived at the lychgate at Myrká and got off the horse. The deacon said: “Wait here, Garún, Garún, while I move Faxi, Faxi (the horse) over the fence, fence”. The ghost of the deacon called Guðrún Garún after his death. Ghosts cannot say the words for God and the first part of the name “Guðrún” – “Guð” means God in Icelandic. Guðrún glanced into the graveyard and noticed an open grave. The deacon then tried to pull her into the grave. Luckily Guðrún had only had time to put on one sleeve of her coat. The deacon ripped off her empty sleeve and Guðrún was able to break free and escape. The deacon then disappeared into the grave and the grave filled up from both sides.
Guðrún realized that the deacon must have died and that she had met his ghost. She was so scared that she rang the bell until help arrived from the farm. Guðrún was then haunted by the deacon’s ghost that night and nobody could get any sleep. For a fortnight Guðrún could not be alone and she could not sleep unless somebody was with her. A sorcerer from Skagafjörður had to be called in for help. By exorcism the sorcerer managed to get the ghost of the deacon into the ground and a big rock was put on top. There the deacon rests and the haunting stopped. The rock can be seen by the graveyard.