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Words by @petrasharastoor :
The most menacing ghost story in Scandinavian folklore is about the Myling. These stories reflect the real world practice of child abandonment. A Myling is a restless child spirit that was abandoned in a remote area by its parents because it was unwanted or they couldn’t care for it.
Another nickname for the Myling is utburd, this word means, “that which is outside.” This refers to the unspoken family practice of child infanticide. Children were left to die often within hours of being born. Because these children or infants were abandoned, they were not given proper burials. It is said this is one reason why they rise up as ghosts seeking revenge. In some stories, it is even mentioned they haunt the dwellings of the parents who abandoned them.
A typical Myling story has this restless child spirit waylay a lone traveler, at night, in the woods, or another remote place.
The Myling, despite being the spirit of a child, is described as being an enormous spirit. This spirit jumps on their victim’s back and demands to be taken to a graveyard. As their unfortunate victim carries them, it is said they become heavier and heavier. The reason for this is because they take on more of a human form as their host or victim nears the graveyard. This restless child spirit is usually to be found at night, in the woods or another remote place.
Even though the Myling is considered a scary ghost, they rarely kill their victims. The one exception to this is if their victim was unable to bear them all the way to the cemetery--they would die of exertion. What these spirits seek is to be buried properly in consecrated ground. One story even mentions when the remains of these children are found and then given a proper burial, they do not return as ghosts, but instead, rest in eternal peace. Why these stories were told was to make people more aware of infanticide.