TIP OF THE DAY: Watch a short documentary by photo artist Sanna Kannisto about the creation of bird photos at the Hanko bird station.

Julin and the witch

Sara Wacklin

In the beginning there was curiosity, knowledge was gained by experimentation, and the sciences sprouted from the grains of knowledge. In the following story, science and superstition take on each other. The story is from Sara Wacklin's book? Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? from 1844.

A great witch lived in Kuusamo, Lapland, a huge man, whose small, vaguely colored eyes flashed under bushy, dark eyebrows. A bearded smiling face peeked out from the middle of his thick, black shaggy hair, his expressions were mysterious and mischievous. He often walked in a Lappish costume, skullcaps on his feet, gloves in his hands.

For a long time there had been a fearful respect for the great witch, because she was considered a miracle-working doctor who could cure diseases of people and domestic animals. By repeating strange gestures and magic words, he made the thieves bring back the loot. She was also able to raise the dead from their graves, blow open locked church doors, call fairies and church people and perform many other miracles that only a great witch could do.

When the miracle worker traveled to Oulu, he heard that there was an even bigger witch named Julin living in the city. Annoyed, our sorcerer set out to find out who dared to deal with him under the power of sorcery. When he got there, he described his magic to Julin, boasting and lying, but at the same time scorning and pitying him, because the stranger considered the listener significantly inferior to him. Julin, who listened patiently, asked to come with him to the churchyard the next night in order to be convinced of the authenticity of the witch trials. "Would you really dare to face the terrifying visions on a terrible night?" asked them suspiciously and warningly. "I'm not afraid of spirits, and I understand how to be careful when it comes to people," answered Julin with a smile.

Translation translation; Sampsa Laurinen.

Svenska Kulturfonden has supported Sara Wacklin's ?Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? publication of stories.

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