Mörksugga Statue – Avesta, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

Mörksugga Statue

Avesta, Sweden

A cuddly version of a dark mythological creature now acts as the mascot of a town. 

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The Mörksugga is a Swedish mythological creature, said to be present always and everywhere, listening and perceiving without ever being heard or seen itself. In the region of Dalarna, stories told of a “dark sow,” which could manifest as a black shape in the night or a log that refused to catch fire. These days, few people believe in such superstitions, but still the Mörksugga lives on as a souvenir.

The initial popularization of the dark entity can be attributed to Verner Molin, a Swedish artist who featured the Mörksugga in many of his paintings. His take on the creature, however, was less sinister and more cuddly (in a similar way to artist Tove Jansson’s Moomin characters). Later, the design was picked up by Birger Eriksson, who turned it into a recognizable souvenir that became very popular in the Dalarna region. Today, you can find Mörksugga figures in every tourist shop in the area and other nods to it around the province. Outside the region, however, it is quite unknown.

The municipality of Avesta in particular has come to be associated with the Mörksugga. Although the legend does not originate from there, it is where the toy version was born. As a result, you will find many depictions all across Avesta. Most notable is the large Mörksugga on top of a pole in the center of a roundabout.

The statue was placed there in 2018 and was unveiled with a special ceremony. The statue rotates around its axis at a pace of about one rotation per four hours. Because of its slowness, most people initially did not know that it was moving at all, but did start noticing that it changed position every time they passed it.

Some people remarked that it was facing toward them no matter from which direction they came, while others said that it was always looking away. This led to some confusion with the locals in the beginning and still does with tourists. It’s a perfect way to maintain the eerie feeling of the dark sow.

Know Before You Go

This Mörksugga is freely accessible, but since it is on a roundabout, do watch out for traffic.