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When Reality is Scarier than Fiction – The Necropants (17th century)

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The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft houses the only known intact pair of necropants, a beyond-disturbing item popularly used for purposes of traditional magic in seventeenth century Iceland. Legend has it that the macabre necropants were worn by sorcerers who believed the pants possessed magical powers and would bring them wealth and luck.

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In order to make the necropants (called nábrók in the naive tongue) an individual had to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his death.
The surviving member of the pact had to dig up his dead friend’s body and peel off the skin of the corpse from the waist down in one piece without any holes or scratches, to make the magical trousers. The wearer of the pants had to steal a coin from a widow and place it in the scrotum of the trousers, along with the magical sign called nábrókarstafur, (pictured) drawn on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed.

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