Word of the Day: 'Blockula,' Or The Devil's Secret Island In Sweden
Let’s set the scene here. You’re an impoverished Swedish farmer in the 1660s. After a long day’s work in the cabbage fields, you club enough fleas to death to squeeze into bed and drift off to sleep. When you awake it’s midnight and you stroll outside, saddle up the town mayor, and soar off into the sky. You land in a beautiful meadow on a mysterious island, where witches are hitting your hideous toad-son with whips made out of snakes. Unconcerned by this, you head into a handsome farmhouse, where the devil is working on his collection of human candelabras. You wave to the angels in the angel room, sit down at the table, and start shoveling food into the secret mouth on your neck. Looks like you’re back … in Blockula!
By now you’re probably wondering what the hell we’re talking about. Well it’s simple. We at Cracked have turned ourselves into human wikipedes to bring you obscure and bizarre information. Today we’re looking at Blockula, which sounds like Dracula’s neighborhood and kind of was, in the sense that it was an otherworldly place where evil creatures dwelled. In the late 17th century ordinary Swedes were convinced that witches lurked around every corner. These witches supposedly carried out their evil rites on a hidden island called Blockula, the home of the devil and all his minions. So you see, Blockula truly was a terrifying place, and not just someone trying to pronounce Blacula with a mouth full of Rice Krispie treats. (Swedish people claim that it’s actually pronounced more like bloke-ula, but we see no reason to listen to them on this issue).
According to Wikipedia, Blockula took the form of an island containing a “a delicate large meadow, whereof you can see no end.” At one end of this was the stately country home of the Devil himself, who appeared as a handsome gentleman “in a gray Coat, and red and blue stockings: he had a red Beard, a high-crowned Hat, with Linnen of divers Colors, wrapt about it, and long Garters upon his Stockings.” We’d rate that fit 10 out of 10, and apparently so did the witches, as they would quickly join Lucifer for a delicious feast, before retiring to his chamber to commit “venomous acts.” Which eventually resulted in the birth of horrible half-human, half-toad babies, as such acts often do.
That’s actually a fairly censored version of events, possibly because Wikipedia relies on an 18th century source that didn’t feel comfortable discussing the wilder details. Even we can only write about them by leaving some words untranslated from Swedish. According to Swedish trial records, witches would ride to Blockula on the unconscious bodies of town officials like the sheriff. Once there, they would be invited to Satan’s dining hall, which was lit by old women standing on their heads with candles stuffed in their trelleborgs. Those who had been good would be whipped with snakes, while all those who had been extra evil that week would be invited to mate with demons, whose ice-cold växjös ejaculated vast quantities of freezing, watery sädesvätska.
And it wasn’t just the old ladies -- everything was upside down in Blockula. In the Devil’s house one “eats with the back of the neck; holds things with the left hand; copulates back to back; and gives birth from the anus.” Now obviously that’s a pretty intense scene, so the Devil thoughtfully installed a chill-out room just off the banquet hall where overwhelmed witches could go hang out with God and all his angels (although the angels apparently sported suspiciously demon-like clawed feet).
That all sounds deeply ludicrous, or at least like the kind of thing you experience after eating a mushroom you found growing on the inside of Cotton Mather’s coffin, but this was serious stuff. During the “Great Noise” of 1668-1676, almost three hundred supposed witches were executed by the Swedish authorities, many after being forced to confess to their nightly journeys to Blockula. As a slightly later writer put it, "Anything more absurd was never before stated in a court of justice...seventy people were condemned to death on these awful yet ridiculous confessions...offered up sacrifice to the bloody Moloch of superstition...When men wish to construct or support a theory, how they torture facts into their service!"
But we guess that’s just how it goes. One day you’re a humble Swedish peasant, digging though some ditches, and the next day you’re burning with the witches. If only you hadn’t slammed in the back of that Blockula.
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