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Karmu



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The Source:

Eha Viluoja:
"Manifestations of the Revenant in Estonian Folk Tradition"
in: "Folklore - Electronic Journal of Folklore", 1996

The Case:

The woman who reports the story informs us that she has heard it from her mother, who worked as a servant on a farm in the village of Kärmu.

It would seem that the old woman who used to run the farm had died. But every night she returned from the grave to make a great mess inside the house and set the cattle free. This misery did not end until a man, returning drunk from an inn, met the revenant farmer's wife somewhere along the road, and got into a fight with her. She almost succeeded to strangle him, but he managed to knock her down and cursed her: "Let the wolves take you !". And that is probably what has happened because the revenant was seen no more.

The Date:

Let us go easy on ourselves and - for the moment - file this case as some time during the 20th Century.

The Place:

I did find a place called Karmu, up along the coast, somewhere halfway along the road from Tallinn to Narva. If it is the right place remains to be seen.

Possible Follow-Up:

By all means, go find and read Eha Viluoja's interesting "Manifestations of the Revenant in Estonian Folk Tradition". And see what else you can find about the Estonian undead. The "Folklore" is an excellent magazine. And of course there is the 3-volume set of books written by Oskar Loorits, "Grundzüge des estnischen Volksglaubens", that might have some useful information for you.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014

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