Scandinavian Folklore – Trolls
No creature frequents the stories and beliefs that make up the Scandinavian folklore as often as the trolls. Trolls often lived inside of mountains, and were then called mountain trolls or mountain people. They could also be found in big blocks of stone or simply underground. Few creatures of folklore have been quite as transformed by modern storytellers and toymakers as the trolls. We’re used to seeing them as clumsy and grotesque, furry human-like creatures. And of course they always have a tail. If only it would have been that simple!
But amongst the people of old trolls had a reputation as being very complex and cunning creatures. What they actually looked like is debatable, and often varies from place to place. There are also stories about them being able to change their appearance at will. Sometimes they could look just like humans, but much more beautiful of course!
Trolls especially liked to take the shape of animals. If you happened upon a strange cat or dog walking about alone you should be extra careful, because those were the trolls favourite animals to transform into.
The trolls home-life was actually quite similar that of people, they lived in large families and kept animals. You could sometimes hear them shouting or smell their cooking deep in the mountains or forest. And they also liked to make trouble for the humans nearby. They often sneaked into village and farms to attempt to steal food or beer. A clever farmer would protect himself by always carrying steel (like a troll cross).
But trolls stealing food was not the biggest problem. From time to time, a villager might disappear in the forest and then people would suspect them of having been mountain-taken, kidnapped by trolls.