In Norwegian folklore, a deildegast is a type of ghost connected with the sanctity of boundary stones, and what happened to those who dared to move them. The term derives from deidl for stone and gast, having the same meaning as ghost. So the meaning may translate to border stone ghost.
The deildegast-tradition was most prevalent in the southern parts of Norway in the Middle Ages and is also connected to the gjengange, or a person who cannot rest after death because of crimes committed.
A deildegast, it was said, does not receive peace in the afterlife as a result of enlarging his own territory while alive by moving the boundary stones dividing his own and his neighbor's territory.
After dying, the deildegast was forced to haunt the area near the boundary stones until he was able to lift it back to its correct place. This feat proved impossible, however, as the stone would always slip, causing the deildegast to emit a sorrowful scream before trying again.
however, as the stone would always slip, causing the deildegast to emit a sorrowful scream before trying again.
Most of the screaming on the jobsite is usually us, for whatever reason stuff goes wrong. I'll keep an extra eye out for apparitions in the future though.
Landmalers are the primary recipients of the deildegast's wrath.
In 1975 we were surveying a quarter section to be developed as a residential development. The 160 acres was owned by the grandson of the original owner that had obtained it in the 1889 land run, except for a 10 acre parcel smack dab in the middle. Deeded as an aliquot (SE/4 of the SE/4 of the NW/4 I believe) the tract had a beautiful native stone home upon it. The home had been built by the original owner for one of his daughters, Mrs. Cherry, who's husband-to-be did not return from WWI. The elderly Mrs. Cherry still occupied the house. Our plat showed the 10 acres as a "less and except" but planned a removal of her old winding gravel drive to be removed and access provided by a new residential street.
The property had a wonderful old native stone wall fence all the way around it. It measured 660' x 660' almost exactly. As it would be determined the boundary was "technically" somewhat smaller than than and the stone wall was generally outside of a "by the book" determination of the boundary. The engineer originally had us locate the four corners of the wall's exterior and the dimensions were used to prepare the plat.
The engineer suggested just acquiescing the boundary to let the old stone fence remain. The greedy developer realized the area of land surrendered would give him one more lot. Against my boss's wishes he sued the elderly Mrs. Cherry. He actually won his suit and the old stone wall was to be removed. We all thought it was both a moral and legal travesty, but what could you do?
Before the wall was dozed Mrs. Cherry passed away. We all imagined it was from a broken heart. Through some money wrangling the developer purchased her entire 10 acres and we changed the plat. The old stone house and property would be destroyed and become part of the subdivision.
The excavation contractor was the first victim. Within a month over half of his equipment had broken down and he was going broke. Someone vandalized his remaining equipment and he eventually quit the project. A HP gas line was hit by the sewer contractor and two workers lost their lives. We had "weird stuff" happening all the time with our bench marks and had to rerun our loops several times. It was apparent that the ghost of Mrs. Cherry was exacting her revenge.
The final blow came when the developer was found on site in his car, close to Mrs. Cherry's old house and dead from a heart attack. We all knew the ghost had won. The developer's partners downsized the project to about half. This allowed Mrs. Cherry's stone house and fence to remain intact. The new road we planned to the property was adequately named "Cherry Lane".
Years later the house was eventually razed and it's all residential homes now...but we all knew we had witnessed Mrs. Cherry's ghost get her revenge from beyond the grave.
Several years ago I was mapping a cemetery for a small rural church when our al.ost new metal detector just stopped working. The grave corners had been marked by short steel pins and at this one grave the metal detector kept pulling us to the center of the grave which we knew wasn't the corner we were looking for. The metal detector just turned off and never would come on again.
the metal detector kept pulling us to the center of the grave
Fisk cast iron casket?
Was staking a subdivision for construction on the Currituck peninsula around the time the grading contractor found a cast iron casket by trackhoe, and temporarily stalled the project. There was apparently a sizable cemetery there at one time, but almost all traces of it were gone by the time I got there. Other than the Colonel's casket, that is. Left the Col. in place and rerouted the perimeter drainage swale that he was temporarily disturbed for.
Special order for New Orleans and other subterranean locales where the caskets can raise out of the ground due to ground water pressure.