Church at Tjorn

Tjorn, Iceland | C.1930

Photo Credit: Sarah Puleo

The Church at Tjorn is located about 200 kilometers north of Reykjavik on the Vatnsnes peninsula. Its most renowned priests was the Reverend Robert Jack, who was the last priest to hold services at Tjorn. Though the church itself is not notably unique, the nearby cemetery plays a major role in a popular Icelandic ghost story.

Agnes Magnusdottir and Fridrik Sigurdsson – usually referred to as just Agnes and Fridrik – were farm hands in the early 1800s. After being charged and convicted of murder, they were the last people in Iceland to be executed via beheading.

The next chapter of the story unfolds years later when a woman in Reykjavik began to have visions of Agnes desperately pleading with her to find and bury the full bodies of each convict in consecrated ground.

The vision purportedly described the location where the heads and bodies had been buried in such detail that the woman in Reykjavik was able to direct a couple of local farmers up north to the exact location. The bodies were taken to Tjorn, where they finally got a proper funeral, and were buried in the the cemetery surrounding the church.

The current church building that occupies the site today was built in the 1930s. It is a concrete building that can hold 70-80 people. The altarpiece was created by Porarinn. B. porlaksson, and painted in 1910.

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