Some icelandic folktales may have been the result of people eating bad flour and hallucinating

This is just a theory from [[ Alda Sigmundsdottir ]], but she questions whether some more outlandish folktales could have been related to imported flour that had gone bad. Could this apply to folklore and fairy tales from other places as well?

This recalls the theory about the [[ Salem witch trial ]]s being influenced by [[ ergot ]], or a hallucinogenic [[ mold ]] that made people believe that [[ witchcraft ]] was occuring.

According to Icelandic Folk Legends by Alda Sigmundsdottir:

Some of them may also seem disjointed and strange – particularly the story “Þorgeir’s Bull,” which can only be described as extraordinarily weird. I have even wondered sometimes if the people who made up that story were on something. I mentioned this to my husband, who told me that reports exist about rotten flour or meal having been imported to Iceland, and when people ate it, they started hallucinating. I can’t help but think that this might apply to that story.

[[ psychedelics ]] [[ hallucinogens ]]


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