Officially called Yule Lads, these terrifying creatures visit the children of Iceland on the 13 days before Christmas. Children leave their shoes on the window sill and, if the child was well-behaved, the Yule Lads would stuff them with gifts. But If they were naughty, they stuff them with rotting potatoes. This is real Icelandic lore and you can learn more about it here.
1. Stekkjarstaur (Sheep Cote Clod)
Sheep Cote Clod gets his name because of his affinity for harassing sheep. He’s easily identified by his stiff peg legs.
Fear Level: Standing over a subway grate.
2. Giljagaur (Gully Gawk)
Gully Gawk is famous for hiding in gullies and waiting for his chance to sneak into the cowshed to steal milk.
Fear Level: Running into an ex.
3. Stúfur (Stubby)
He’s called Stubby because he’s really short. But what he’s really known for is stealing pans to eat the crust out of them.
Fear Level: Watching Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure.
4. Þvörusleikir (Spoon Licker)
This sticky-fingered troll steals wooden spoons for the purpose of licking them. He’s easily identified by his malnourished appearance.
Fear Level: Waking up right before your alarm goes off.
5. Pottaskefill (Pot Licker)
Not to be confused with Spoon Licker, Pot Licker steals leftovers out of pots. Also not to be confused with Stubby, who steals PANS.
Fear Level: Jaywalking.
6. Askasleikir (Bowl Licker)
Not to be confused with Spoon Licker or Pot Licker, Bowl Licker hides under your bed until you put your bowl down. Then he steals it and then, presumably, licks it.
Fear Level: Waiting for test results.
7. Hurðaskellir (Door Slammer)
He slams doors. Especially at night.
Fear Level: Doors slamming. Especially at night.
8. Skyrgámur (Skyr Gobbler)
Skyr is a traditional Icelandic dairy product similar to strained yogurt.
Fear Level: Broken escalators.
9. Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper)
Sausage Swiper hides in the rafters and pilfers pork links while they’re smoking.
Fear Level: Standing under scaffolding.
10. Gluggagægir (Window Peeper)
This troll looks through your windows in search of things to steal. Pretty sure this is a felony.
Fear Level: Driving with the doors unlocked.
11. Gáttaþefur (Doorway Sniffer)
Easily identified by his abnormally large nose, Doorway Sniffer uses his acute sense of smell to find Laufabrauo, a traditional Icelandic bread.
Fear Level: Sniff-testing the milk.
12. Ketkrókur (Meat Hook)
Meat Hook uses a hook to steal meat. Pretty self explanatory.
Fear Level: Standing really close to a large animal.
13. Kertasníkir (Candle Stealer)
This troll follows children so he can steal their candles and then eat them. Pretty sure this is also a felony.
Fear Level: Clowns.
Have a Very Happy Holiday and Be Good…
Or Gryla, the mother of all the Yule Lads, will abduct you!
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