Lindorm is a Swedish word for dragon, a creature which even in nineteenth-century Scandinavia was no mythological beast. It was something people could encounter in the countryside, especially in or near marshes, caves, and bodies of water. (Some thought it to be a landlocked Sea Serpent.) In 1885, in a book on the subject, scientist and folklorist Gunnar Olaf Hylten-Cavallius collected forty-eight first-person accounts, one from a member of the Swedish parliament. Half of the accounts claimed multiple witnesses.
Hylten-Cavallius’s informants described Lindorms as ten to twenty feet in length. The body of a Lindorm “is as thick as a man’s thigh; his color is black with a yellow-flamed belly… He has a flat, round or square head, a divided tongue, and a mouth full of white, shining teeth.”
The “heavy and unwieldy” creature had a stubby tail and wild, hypnotic eyes as large as saucers. Aggressive and powerful, it would hiss and contract until its body “lies in billows; then he raises himself on his tail four or five feet up and pounces upon his prey,” according to Hylten-Cavallius. It was possible, though difficult, to kill a Lindorm. In its death throes it would emit an overwhelmingly foul odor. Encounters were terrifying to witnesses who, often for years afterward, suffered what today would be called post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hylten-Cavallius’s offer of a reward for a dead Lindorm found no takers. He would be the last scientist to take the reports seriously. Lindorms, whatever they may or may not have been, are seen no more.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark