Elves and Hidden People Thrive in Iceland

Ranked top 15 in Human Development by the United Nations, Iceland prospers in the avenues of overall happiness, governance, and economic growth. As a leading nation, many are surprised that 54 percent of the locals believe in elves or huldufolk (hidden people). Their experiences with elves are quite unique and you might become enlightened at the reminders these narratives provide.

The Gift of Seeing the Hidden People

Although the belief of elves in Iceland is widespread, only a select few can actually see them.

Historian, Magnus Skarphedinsson discusses the idea of sixty to eighty percent of children possessing psychic abilities. It’s no surprise parents witness their kids talking or playing with imaginary friends from a young age.

“Children are more open and maybe more recently here on Earth – maybe more connected to the life force,” says artist and clairvoyant Ragnhildur Jonsdottir. She also mentions “many people see them as kids, but we are all told that it’s imaginary and we don’t see it and so I guess we just tend to believe that.”

While children are more open to wider ideas, adults have also shared their experiences and encounters with other forces.

Personal Encounters

In documentary, Huldufólk 102 a woman talks about numerous hidden people living in her backyard.

“There’s never any snow here,” as she points to an area surrounded by snow, “I think it’s a great honor to have her in my garden.”

Another example from the documentary includes a young man as he shares an experience where his mother grew very ill and spent weeks in a coma. Due to the opportunity for better treatment, the family moved to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Upon their stay an elf told him his mother would become healthy in a week. Some call it coincidence while others call it destiny, but come the following week his mother was out of the hospital and in optimal health. 

Other stories were shared about missing children who were taken by hidden people, nurtured, and returned in supreme health. The elves are known to possess healing powers.

Elves and Road Work Construction

The Icelandic Road Administration (ICERA) has faced a fair share of disapproval from the hidden people. A large rock had to be moved in 1971 during road work construction. During the attempt, stories began to circulate of hidden people living in these rocks. If the project were to continue, then misfortunes would fall on those involved. Regardless, the rock was moved. Accidents were reported for which the rock was blamed by some of the workers. For example, a machine operator dismantled a water pipe leading into a fish farm. His misfortune resulted in the death of 90,000 smolt – a tremendous financial loss.

Plans to add new roads were implemented in 1999 where a rock was jutting out over the new route. The rock was moved and there were a few minor accidents as a result. After seeing the press coverage over the issue, a woman who grew up in the area got in touch with the ICERA’s staff. Equipped with the powers of a medium she touched the rock and announced that there weren’t any elves in the rock to be moved, but admitted she knew of some hidden people near other rocks where she grew up. She then got permission from the elves to have the rock moved under careful supervision.

Elf School

Next time you find yourself in Iceland, enlighten yourself through the teachings of The Elf School. Located in the capital, Reykjavik, the school tackles different questions including why so many Icelandic folk believe in elves, why there are so many hidden people in Iceland, how to understand different dimensions, and more.

A day in elf school is typically comprised of lectures and a walk through areas inhabited by elves.

Elf Appearance

Unlike Santa’s elves, many Icelandic folk say the hidden people look just like them only better.

“Hidden people seem to be exactly people like we are.. They are just a little bit more beautiful and a little bit better dressed,” says Jonsdottir.

Elves and the Relationship to Nature

“If you come and walk around in a lava field in the dark, all kind of creatures will come alive,” shares G. Petur Matthiasson, ICERA’s Head of Communication.

Iceland is a heart pulsing with life. From the dreamy landscape including crystal glaciers, geothermal pools, volcanic activity, and sulphur beneath homes it makes sense that people believe there is life living in the land.

“We have the Earth boiling under our feet.. eruptions and earthquakes.. We have the northern lights in the sky.. So many things.. We have seen how nature rules,” shares a woman in the documentary

The vast area engulfs a smaller population. The connection to nature is strong in Iceland. It has given them the opportunity to conserve its beauty through folklore. Perhaps this relationship provides a heightened sensitivity to the natural activity occurring on a regular basis.

“All of these things do not happen to you unless you exercise the mind.. And will power is all that is needed,” shares a man in the documentary.


A hidden woman recites a poem to a man in a dream:

Humans see badly and believe less.

Their souls live in their stomachs.


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