’31 Tales of Terror’ #23: Glámr

*Title: Glámr by Sabine Baring-Gould
Date Read: 27 October 2008
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Struggling to find someone to hire (because of the haunted lands around his farm), Icelandic farmer Thorhall employs fearless ‘man mountain’ Glámr as a herdsman. Lacking any Christian values, Glámr eats meat on the fasting eve before Christmas, despite being given the portent that it would lead to bad luck. Next day Glámr’s corpse is found. He’s subsequently buried but not for long. He rises up and begins his terrorising of the farm and surrounding vale, in his ‘ghostly’ monstrous form.
Afterthoughts: Originating from a thirteenth-century Icelandic saga this is a great story. The vision of the monster (Glámr) encompasses many of the modern traditional ‘monster’ forms – ghost, zombie, werewolf and vampire (I didn’t see characteristics of a vampire myself. It may just have been a distortion in translation), making it really interesting. The story as I said is a good one, typically formulaic for a legendary saga, but highly entertaining. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Notable Quote: “In looking behind a rock, the boy had come upon the corpse of the shepherd; it was livid and swollen to the size of a bullock. It lay on its back with the arms extended. The snow had been scrabbled up by the puffed hands in the death-agony, and the staring glassy eyes gazed out of the ashen-grey, upturned face into the vaporous canopy overhead. From the purple lips lolled the tongue, which in the last throes had been bitten through by the white fangs, and a discoloured stream which had flowed from it was now an icicle.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of the 31 Tales of Terror reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).