One of the features of The Monster Guys’ “100 Days of Halloween” this year will be quick posts about some of our favorite monsters and creatures from around the world. We’re kicking off “100 Days of Halloween” with a look at the “Tomte”, a creature that is known around the world by various names. The tomte could be the cause of tricks or treats, depending on how you care for him, and whether or not he gets what he wants!
The Tomte – The Old Farmer
In folklore, many cultures throughout the world have household “deities” that can help or hinder a family. The Russian domovoi and the mischievous Scottish/Irish urisk (A.K.A. brownie!) are two of the more well known creatures in old lore. In modern fiction and entertainment a great example would be lovable creatures like Dobby from the Harry Potter series.
The tomte is a little guy from Scandinavian folklore, often merely as tall as one inch, or maybe as high as your knee. He will keep your house clean, your floors swept, and even help take care of the animals in your barn. Like all house spirits, though, he can have his mood swings. If gifts were not given to him on occasion (particularly around the holidays) then the otherwise lovable doer of good deeds would throw things around the house, turn everyday items upside down, and steal things.
His origins are one of the most interesting thing about the tomte. While each of these “household deities” have their own unique characteristic, the tomte is quite standard until you consider the fact that he comes from the very ground of the farmland he inhabits. (Insert creepy graveyard noises here…) Particularly from the burial mound. (Increase volume of aforementioned creepy graveyard noises…) It’s believed the tomte was the original owner (usually a farmer) of the land, now acting as a ghostly guardian over that property, keeping the livestock healthy and the crops taken care of, the house clean, and his legacy going strong.
So, do you believe you have a tomte residing in your home or on your land? Are you taking good care of him and presenting him with enticing gifts and goodies? Be diligent about this so that you and yours will receive more treats than tricks this year.
Happy Halloween 2014!