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Strange forest stories

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:15 pm
by L.J.Hex
I haven't seen a thread quite like this here before, and as a total outdoors forest troll, I like to talk about it too.

In Finland, forest is everywhere. If its not a house, a road, a lake or a field, you can bet there's trees. The further north you go, more forested it is, until in the arctic the trees become tiny as they grow so slowly. Our thinking about land ownership and usage are very close to how native Americans think of it. Even our definition of forest differs from others, when we speak about actual forest, it means a huge area which is completely untouched, small patch of woods between housing doesn't count for anything.

Finnish tradition is rife with forest stuff, there's several forest deities and everything has its guardian spirit, each forest has its own, as do lakes, houses, saunas, everything actually. Then there are stories about little people, and not just one kind, there's faeries, then there's what translates to "elf" who can also be a guardian spirit, often seen in a form of a small person. Then there are what we call Maahinen, they're the little people who live underground and they're often depicted as small ugly looking trolls.

All of these are usually kind, but can be quite a problem if angered or if they're on a mood for trickery. There's a certain kind of spell or enchantment called "metsänpeitto", that literally means covered by the forest. That spell can be cast by a nature spirit, a deity or a witch. The point is that if you get under that spell, you will get lost in the forest, even if its a familiar one or even in your own yard, you just can't recognise the place any more and can go on wandering for hours or even days without finding your way out. There are of course ways to break the spell, one if so bend over and look at the place from between your legs, there's several others, but that one I can conjure from my memory. This sort of spell can even affect pets of farm animals.

There was a forest here in town, a weird one as its literally in town, just near where I lived back when I was a kid. Part of that forest is still standing. It was one of my favourite places to go play as it was near and it felt vast for a little kid. One time I was out there alone walking on a path which I was very familiar with, until at one point the path just somehow disappeared and I couldn't know where I was. Mind you that no matter where you were, it was maximum 1km to the nearest road or a house. I turned back and tried to find the path but I couldn't. I wandered around for a long time without recognising the place which was so odd as I know that forest inside and out. I'm not sure how long it took, maybe over an hour or something, it felt for a long time. Then finally I ended up on the other side of the forest behind some residential buildings and finally I knew where I was. Later I remember trying to find the places I went by when I was lost there, but I couldn't find the trees I saw on the way, I couldn't find some big rocks that were there, as if that place just didn't exist.

Was I just lost in "my" forest by bad luck? Or was it one of the under ground ones playing a trick on me or did the forest guardian have little fun on my expense? Who knows, but that's the only time I've been lost in a forest I know. Actually I have only been lost one other time as I tend to find my way. But perhaps there's something to the age old stories about getting bewitched in a forest. ;)

Ok, your turn, what kind of interesting or weird things have happened to you while in a forest? :D

Re: Strange forest stories

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:03 pm
by SpiritTalker
Lower Michigan had been heavily logged in the 1800's &'replanted. Some areas are in 3rd replanting. They are many miles wide & you can still get good & lost. There's few areas besides National Parks that are untouched. Mostly the swampy non-farmable areas have been left alone. We have wooded areas between towns & farms. And with that said ... I have mentioned before being pixie led one day on my drive home from work. It was a nice day so I took the scenic route along the river. The river was on the right side as I drove & I didn't cross any bridges. The road passed for 5 miles through woods & was perfectly normal but the drive was taking way too long. I've driven it often &' at a slow speed it takes 15 minutes but after 30 minutes I still hadn't come to the end. Then to my amazement I arrived at the freaking entrance where I'd started but going the opposite direction! That would mean I'd gone in a circle on a straight road... & the river was on my right side & i never left it the whole time. It's just not possible. So ... Taking the hint I finished driving home by another route. I've read if you turn a piece of clothing you are wearing inside-out it breaks the spell.

Re: Strange forest stories

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:20 pm
by L.J.Hex
WOW! :shock:

That's sort of creepy happening while driving a car. Its easy enough to get lost when you're actually in the forest on foot. That kind of reminds me of some alien abduction stories.

The thing about turning some cloth inside out is interesting, I don't recall reading that from Finnish folklore, even though our stories about little people are very much alike those from England for example. Also there's a thing about those under ground dwellers swapping human kids with their own, which is exactly what Scandinavians have about trolls and such.

Another not that weird little thing about forest. Last year, when ever I went to my place in the forest nearby to do anything craft related, I was followed around by crows. Not so weird as the crows hang around the forest near here quite often, I think they are nesting there probably. But the weird thing was that many times when I went out there specifically to withcy stuff, it seemed as if every crow in the forest was keeping me company. Few times if they weren't there already, sure enough I see few, then ten, then twenty and soon too many to count. Then they circle over me, sit on the trees as if to spectate what I'm up to. This went on time and again, funny "coincidence" is that they weren't flocking like that if I just went there for fun or I was walking my dog. I'm very curious to see if that will keep going on this year too. Some crows are already back here as the spring isn't far away.

Maybe its just my perception about them, but there were so many and almost every time I went there before sunset to do something in my place, they either were waiting or soon came over. Crows are nice, I don't mind them being around so, lets see if they like to hang about again. :flyingwitch:

Re: Strange forest stories

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:01 pm
by SpiritTalker
None of the abductions i remember only took 15 minutes so I figured it was pixies & not ETs, but it's an idea.

With you it's crows-in-the-woods & with me it's cardinals-in-the-city... But not 100s, maybe 30, tops.

Re: Strange forest stories

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:24 pm
by L.J.Hex
SpiritTalker wrote:None of the abductions i remember only took 15 minutes so I figured it was pixies & not ETs, but it's an idea.

With you it's crows-in-the-woods & with me it's cardinals-in-the-city... But not 100s, maybe 30, tops.
Well, there are similar stories told by abductees, usually it also has lost time thing going on too though. Anyway, its interesting how experiences line up some times.

Yea the crow thing, the craziest I remember was way too many to count, most of the time just few dozen. But the way they behaved was so weird, they might get noisy if you're close to their nests, but that wont make them flock like crazy.

Never before last summer I have seen crows circle above me like that, and to stay as long as I was doing my thing, when I was done, they left. Few times they just showed up for a while and left right away but one time I was doing a quick ritual during the day, I can't remember what it was about, the crows just sit quietly there watching and when I finished, they all just got on their wings and flew away. That time they were also almost completely silent. Kind of eerie to do a ritual in a forest while there's big bunch of silent crows watching. But I like them to be around.

I can't wait for the spring time so I can get onto my outdoors thing again. I hope to get more stories to tell. :mrgreen: