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Observations placeholder

Ritter, Christiane - The Trolls of Bock Bay



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


There are a considerable number of reported experiences from the Antarctic and Arctic in general

A whole host of forces are all contributing to produce  the spiritual experiences -  sensory deprivation and isolation as well as cold – hypothermia – but the aurora borealis may also contribute.

A description of the experience

A Woman in the Polar night – Christiane Ritter

We return home together. "What was it like in Svendsen Bay?" I ask.

"It's haunted," Karl replies. "You can't spend the night there."

We both laugh. We both know that ghosts are imaginary, but we both know also that imagination can become reality in the mind of a man who has lost all standard of reality in the loneliness and darkness.

When we enter the hut my husband is already there.

He has prepared the dinner, that is to say, he has thawed out and warmed up the remains of yesterday's dinner of seal and lentils. After we have eaten, Karl, with an air of importance, draws from his pocket a crumpled newspaper.

While in the hut at Svendsen Bay, Karl out of boredom had read the paper in which, in Tromso, the lamp chimneys had been wrapped. These chimneys, which the Lyngen had brought up here, he had taken with him on his expedition. The newspaper, it is true, is pretty old, but for us it is still new.

"Now you shall hear the latest news from Svendsen Bay!' He reads out a fairly long article about Spitsbergen.

An able pen describes thundering glaciers and trumpeting whales; there is a story about a quite uncanny place, Bock Bay, a very close neighbour of Grey Hook. This bay has from earliest days been the home of the trolls-the earth spirits of the Norwegian sagas.

There is an account of those who are spending the winter there-Captain Ritter, whose wife has come from central Europe to find out about the fortryllelse-the bewitchments and enchantments-of the polar night.

"This makes the lady the first European woman to spend the winter so far north."

The source of the experience

Ritter, Christiane

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps