FAQ/Walkthrough by Andrew Testa

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    FAQ/Walkthrough by Andrew Testa

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 08/17/15 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide


    Year Walk.
    FAQ/Walkthrough for Year Walk
    By Andrew Testa (andrew.c.testa@gmail.com)
    Version 1.1 (8/17/15): Corrected encyclopedia headers; added journal entries; further edited a few images.
    This document is Copyright © 2015 Andrew Testa. All Rights Reserved.

    NOTE: THIS GUIDE IS FOR THE PC VERSION *ONLY.* THE IOS VERSION IS DIFFERENT.

    SPECIAL NOTE: This game can be completed in under 20 minutes (easily) if you know how to do everything. It is HIGHLY recommended that you try to solve the puzzles on your own first. The game will simply not be as fun if you immediately go to this guide after hitting your first roadblock. Try to look at all of the points of interest or read a hint. But if you still can't figure out what to do, then this guide is for you! :)

    Introduction

    Year Walk is a 2014 adventure game developed by Simogo. It was initially released on IOS, but later ported for the PC after a very positive critical reception. This guide ONLY covers the PC version. The game is excellent; it holds an 87 on MetaCritic, indicating "universal acclaim." It is not for everyone, however; it is somewhat of a point-and-click adventure, and it is kind of spooky. Nevertheless, it is a great game, and I hope this guide makes your walking a little easier in Year Walk.

    Game Info
    • Game Name: Year Walk (US)
    • Genre: Adventure
    • Platform: PC & IOS (IOS has differences)
    • Release Date: 6 Mar 2014
    • MetaCritic Score: 87 from 8 reviews
    • GameFAQs User Score: 4.00/5 from 17 votes
    • Steam User Score: 9/10 from 934 reviews
    • Length: A few hours

    Basics

    Here are some tips to help guide you on your Year Walk:

    • Use the lines on the map to guide yourself through the areas. There are dotted lines between each area, and this is how you know where to exit an area and where an exit leads.
    • Click on everything, spin everything, explore every area.
    • Look at the drawings on the map. These are basically all of the points of interest in the game.
    • If you do not know where to go, you can simply try going to all of the drawings on the map until you find the story again.
    • Sound is also important at a few points in the game. Be sure to have your ears open for any aberrations in the music.
    • The hints screen is obviously useful if you're having trouble. It's much more than just clicking on hints, however. You should always click on the hints screen to see what "section" of the game you are in -- the prologue, the Huldra, etc. Knowing this will help you.
    • The hints in the menu are good, but they will mostly solve all the puzzles for you. Only click on a hint when you are truly lost.
    • For one part of the game, you need to use the physical keys.
    • If you use hints, you won't get the hints achievement, but the game only takes about a half-hour to complete anyway.
    • Try to write or draw things down. For sequences and codes, write them down on a piece of paper.
    • The box is annoying, but it is important in subsequent playthroughs.
    • You aren't supposed to open the box or the journal in your first playthrough.
    • Do not use the hints or a walkthrough unless it is absolutely necessary. This game is really short if you know how to do everything.

    This map might be useful to you. :)

    Walkthrough

    This section contains a complete, beginning-to-end walkthrough for Year Walk. It contains spoilers, so only use it as a last resort. Each section is correlated to the section in the game. You can see what section you're on if you open the hints menu.

    Prologue - Part I

    First, look at your map. You need to go to the most northwest area; on the map, it's the area with the windmill. To get there, walk left of the house, then go up when you see a white arrow on the top of your screen.


    Windmill location on the map.

    This is the Woods & Box area. There is a box here, but you can't open it right now. Instead, go to the far left of this screen, and then go north at the chopped logs of wood. You're now in an area just entitled "Woods." Go left and go down when you first can to reach another Woods area. Here, go left and then go north at the campfire pit.

    On this screen, go north again to reach the Wood Outskirts. Here, walk a little to the left, then go north to reach the Plains. At the Plains, go west and then north at the Windmill. On the Windmill screen, walk west to find the Windmill. Go inside the Windmill.

    Prologue - Part II

    There is a woman in the windmill. Click on her to talk to her. She'll say some things to you. Keep clicking on her for her to keep talking. Eventually she'll tell you to go back to the cottage. To do this, retrace your steps from before. Use the map if you get lost. The cottage is the area labeled "Cottage" on the map. There is a small house drawn on it, and it is south of the box area. When you get there, click on it to end the prologue.


    Continue to click on the woman until you've exhausted all dialogue.

    Titles

    You are presented with a completely black screen. If you move your mouse over the screen, you will see white objects appear and then fade away. To complete this part, you must click on all of those objects. When you click on one, it will stay on the screen. When you click on all of the objects, it will make the words "Year Walk" -- the name of the game, and also the aptly-named title given to this chapter.


    The title, after clicking all of the objects.

    Basically, just spam-click all around the center horizon of the screen to reveal all of the letters. If you are having trouble and can't quite finish it, start clicking around the letters; sometimes, it's just a small part of it, like the bottom part of the "L."

    The Huldra - Part I

    Look at your map. As you can see, all of the areas are now revealed, and nothing is grayed out. So, you can now go to any screen in the game. There is a lot you can explore here, but to complete this part, you need to go to the church. The church is the top-center screen, and on the map, it is denoted by a picture of a church. Use the lines on the map to guide yourself through the areas as you make your way to the church screen. There are dotted lines between each area, and this is how you know where to exit an area, and where an exit leads. When you reach the front of a church, a gate blocks you from getting any further, and the Huldra appears.


    The gate. It's locked!

    The Huldra - Part II

    The Huldra has the key to the gate, so you need to find her. She's in the Woods & Kiln area, which is the long narrow area at the very south of the map. To get there, it's better to go down the right side of the map; it's quicker and you'll see some new areas you may have not explored yet.

    The Huldra is at the east side of the Woods & Kiln area. When you see her, she'll start to glide to the left. Follow her on the screen. She doesn't glide very fast, but she's moving, and you need to follow her. She'll go north through various screens; when she goes out of a screen, the camera will lock onto her, making it really easy for you.


    Follow the Huldra as she walks through the areas.

    Soon she'll reach a small area with a tree. There are two owls on each side on branches. She will retire into the tree, leaving you lost as to how to proceed.

    The Huldra - Part III

    If you click on an owl, it will make a hoot sound. To open the tree, you need to click on the owls in the correct order. The order is the same for every game, but it is important to see how you can get the correct order.

    To find the owl code, you need to go to the "Woods & Shed" screen. It is actually just one screen to the northwest of the tree screen. At the "Wood & Shed" screen, go inside the shed. There is a wooden doll hanging from a rope. There are also two drawings of an owl, one on each side of the doll. Spin the head of the doll to the left. To do this, click-hold and then sling your mouse to the left.


    Wind up this doll's head.

    This winds up the doll. When it's wound it, music plays and the doll raises its arms up and down, either to the left or to the right. Remember which way the doll points. This is the code you need to use on the owls to open the tree. The doll goes really slow, but the code is eight long. Here is the combination:

    1. Left.
    2. Right.
    3. Left.
    4. Right.
    5. Right.
    6. Right.
    7. Left.
    8. Left.

    With the code, go back to the Tree & Owl screen. Click on the owls in the above order. So, click on the left owl first. It will make a "hoot" sound if you click correctly. Finish the eight-hoot sequence to open the tree.

    The Huldra - Part IV

    Inside the tree, there are lights that make sounds when you are in front of them. Your goal here is to match the note of the sound in the room. You'll notice that some light sounds are just plain out of tune, and some sound really clear and strong. Try to choose the clear ones if you aren't good with notes. When you match the right note, go north on it to reach a new room. In this room, you'll be presented with another note, and you again need to match it up.

    Here are the solutions:

    1. The second light to the right.
    2. The third light to the left.
    3. The third light to the right.
    4. The second light to the right.
    5. The second light to the left.

    So, when you enter the first screen, go right two lights and up to reach the next area. At this new screen, go left three lights and go up. Keep doing this until you get to the Huldra again.

    You do not have to worry about getting lost. If you choose the wrong light, you'll just go right back to the start, and in the default position. The trick is to match the notes. Try on your own before just following the solutions.


    You need to go through the correct lights.

    After getting to the Huldra, eventually you'll be back outside. Click on the key. It will dissolve into the snow. It's not gone, though; we need to find it, and that's in the next section.

    Mylings & Horse - Part I

    You lost the key; where could it be? It dissolved in the snow, so it's perfectly logical (or not) to assume that it is in the lake. The lake is the "Brook" area. It is the southernmost area on the map. You have to go down a log to get to it (not kidding). When you're at the lake screen, go east and you'll find a horse in the lake.


    The horse, after you pull him out of the lake.

    This is none other than The Brook Horse. Pull him up -- literally do this, by dragging on him with the mouse. He's wearing a suit (of course), and he has a job for you.

    Mylings & Horse - Part II

    The Brook Horse requests you find four souls. He outstretches his arms and shows what the souls look like -- they look a lot like freaky little ghosts. After you find each one, hold onto it (hold click), head back to The Brook Horse, and give it to him.

    Encyclopedia Myling

    Look at the top-right corner of your screen. Does anything look different? If your toolbar is expanded, you'll see that the Encyclopedia icon has been bloodied. Go into the encyclopedia, click on the "Mylingen" entry, and scroll down to the button. Hold-click on the Myling at the bottom of the entry. If you're at the horse, you will automatically exit and give it to him. That's one down.


    The Myling in the encyclopedia.
    Kiln Myling

    The kiln is actually just one screen north of The Brooke Horse screen. Simply go up the log, then head west. The kiln is the small white house with the circular roof. Go inside. It is locked! To unlock the hatch, hold down the U and N keys while you drag the lock up. So, for the top lock, hold down U and pull the lever north. Likewise, for the bottom lock, hold N and pull the lever south.


    Open this hatch by literally holding down the "U" and "N" keys.

    Open the hatch; the myling is nestled inside. Hold-click and go back to The Brook Horse. Remember that you need to keep the left mouse button held down, or you will drop the Myling. If this happens, simply go back to the kiln and pick it up again.

    When you get to The Brook Horse, he'll automatically collect the second soul. That's two down.

    Carriage Myling

    The carriage is located in the area to the direct south of the Dead Tree. It's in the middle-east. When you reach the area, you'll immediately know a Myling is here because there is blood everywhere. Go west to find the carriage. Drag it to the right; it will ram into the rock. Drag it to the right again to reveal the Myling. Take it all the way back to The Brook Horse.


    Ram this carriage into the big rock.
    Windmill Myling

    As you might have guessed, this Myling is in the windmill. Go to the Windmill screen and head inside. Spin the wheels to the left. After you spin them enough, there will be a small jump scare. Exit the windmill and the Myling will be outside. Take it back to The Brook Horse.


    The Myling hangs from the Windmill after you rotate the wheel inside.

    Mylings & Horse - Part III

    With all the Mylings, The Brook Horse reveals the key. Try to click it when a malevolent Night Raven swoops down and snatches it up. Before we tackle that, press the four blobs of light (these are the four souls of the Mylings you just found). After clicking all four, they will make one bright flame. We will be using this light to find the cursed raven.


    The key and the souls.

    The Night Raven - Part I

    First, make sure you have the flame from the lake. We'll need it in a second. If you've been wandering around, go back and get the flame before going to the Underground Storage. The Underground Storage is your next destination; it is marked on the map as a triangular structure, and the name of the area is, indeed, "Woods & Underground Storage." It is an area right in the center of the map. Enter the storage, WITH THE FLAME, to proceed to the next part.


    The Underground Storage area. Be sure to bring the flame!

    The Night Raven - Part II

    So you're in the underground storage. It's really dark, but you have a flame that lights up stuff around it. Basically, you need to search for an exit to the storage, using the flame to help you see. The exit is on the upper part of the screen. Simply hold the flame on the top part of the screen and scroll to the right until you find a broken latch. Oh, and there's a lot of blood, as per usual. Pull the bottom part of the latch to the right. This drops down a ladder.


    The latch. Pull the bottom part to the side.

    The Night Raven - Part III

    Go up the ladder -- you can stop holding onto the flame for now. Up the ladder, you'll reach the snowy surface. Go east and the raven will lay on the ground. It is not very big -- it's pretty much to scale with the rocks in the foreground. Click on the raven and it will spring up. Continue to click on it several times and a bigger raven appears from its mouth. If you continue clicking, the bigger raven fully rises up and leaves the key below it.


    The small raven lying on the ground.

    The Church Grim - Part I

    You got the key, and the lock is the gate to the church. So, head to the church. Remember to take the key with you! It will be your light source in the storage. Backtrack through the storage and head to the church. It's the northern area, in the center. When you get there, hold the key over the gate. It opens up.


    The locked gate. Remember to bring the key from the raven.

    The Church Grim - Part II

    Past the gate is another puzzle. There are five tombstones, a big one and four small ones. Each of the small tombstones can be raised in the air if you drag it up. There are four dots as you raise them. And each tombstone has a carving -- The Huldra, The Brook Horse, The Myling, and The Raven.


    The tombstone puzzle!

    You need to figure out how far up you need to pull each tombstone. This is a two part process. For the first part, you probably already noticed, as you wandered through the game, that some of the trees have carvings on them. How many trees, you might ask? Four of them.

    Each of the trees has two carvings on them. One of them is the corresponding carving on the tombstones (Huldra, Horse, Myling, Raven) and the other is a seemingly random carving. But it's actually not THAT random. If you did a little snooping around in the storage, you probably saw these images on the wall. And yes, near each there are dots.

    So, sketch down the four carvings, their corresponding tombstone carving, and head to the storage. Look for each of the carvings and write down the number of dots that are around it. Ignore the five and six dot carvings -- after all, you can only pull up the tombstones four dots.

    Here is the solution to the tombstone puzzle:

    • Huldra: 4 Dots
    • Horse: 2 Dots
    • Myling: 2 Dots
    • Raven: 3 Dots

    The answer to the tombstone puzzle.

    This is from left-to-right if you can't make out of the carvings on the tombstones. So 4-2-2-3, from left to the right. Pull them up so the corresponding number of dots shows. When you've inputted the correct combination, the five tombstones flash and then all five lower -- including the big tombstone in the middle that was originally blocking your path to the church.

    The Church Grim - Part III

    You can't enter the church, but you can most certainly rotate around it. This is actually another puzzle -- you must rotate around the church, in a certain way, a certain number of times. No, I am NOT kidding. This is probably the most difficult puzzle. If you don't want to figure it out, you can skip to the end of this section, which details which ways you need to rotate around the church. You actually get an achievement if you solve the puzzle without doing the rune footwork below.

    First, this puzzle involves those strange rune stones you saw around the area. In particular, there are three small rune stones, and each of these stones has a pattern on them. There is also a big rune stone, and you can make patterns on it.

    So, you need to copy the patterns on the small rune stones, and then replicate them on the big rune stone. The big rune stone is located in the southeast part of the map -- it's denoted by a big stone and the area is called "rune stone."

    The smaller rune stones are denoted by an eye with a small half-circle above them. There are three of them. One is in the area where you found the raven, so it's past the underground again. Another is to the east of the kiln. And the final one is in the area that is southeast of the storage area on the map.


    The three patterns that you can input on the large rune stone.

    When you input all three of the patterns on the big rune stone, you get a vision, quite literally. In this vision, you see an arrow. It will point either right or left, disappear, then reappear again. Copy down the directions it points -- this is the key to rotating around the church correctly.

    Here are the rotations:

    1. Left.
    2. Right.
    3. Left.
    4. Right.
    5. Right.
    6. Left.
    7. Right.

    You need to make full rotations around the church, so start at the front of the church, rotate around, and end at the front of the church. When you make a full rotation, the small goat-like icon above the church's door will make a small black flicker. When you've done all of the rotations in the correct order, the church doors open. Head inside.

    The Church Grim - Part IV

    You're confronted by The Church Grim, which looks like an upright goat wearing an undertaker's coat. First, pull up each side of The Church Grim. This reveals its heart. With the heart lit up, repeatedly click on it. The goat makes a small spasm -- just keep clicking until the screen turns to glass. When this happens, click all around the glass to break it. In the process, you literally break reality, and you reach Beyond.


    Pull up each side of the coat to reveal the heart.

    Beyond - Part I

    There is a big stone on the screen with little stones attached to it. You need to break each small stone. To do this, click just around each one. A black shadow appears and breaks it. Repeat this process to break each stone. After that, click the big stone to continue.


    Beyond, Part I. The rock with the stones around it.

    Beyond - Part II

    Now it's a triangle globe. All you can do here is move it. But what's the fun in just moving it a little? To get past this part, quickly spin the globe -- just keep spinning it around, as fast as you can, to reach the third part.


    Beyond, Part II. Spin the globe as fast as you can.

    Beyond - Part III

    This part is simple. There are star signs floating around the circle in the center of the screen. You need to click on each star sign in the correct order. The order is from least dots to most dots. So, click on the single dot first, then click on the star sign with two dots, then three dots, and so forth, until you've clicked them all.


    The solution to the star sign puzzle.

    Beyond - Part IV

    There is a large stone with shards around it. Hold-click on the ring of shards around it, and move them "forward, backward, forward, backward" (according to hints) or clockwise, counterclockwise, clockwise, counterclockwise. After each movement back and forth, you'll notice one shard goes into the large stone in the middle. Continue rotating the shards back and forth until they are all stabbing into the large stone.


    Move the shards backwards and forwards.

    Beyond - Part V

    This time, the stone is in the shape of The Grim. For this part, simply spin the head around. As you spin it, the grim's head "de-evolutes," meaning that it gets smaller and loses parts. When it's completely de-evoluted, a lot of things happen, and then you're thrust into the future.


    Rotate The Grim until it is no more.

    The Future - Part I

    This part is simple. Pan through the markedly green terrain until you find a woman on the ground. Click on her, and that's it. After a small cutscene, the credits roll. But we're not quite done just yet. After the credits ends, you receive a rather ominous message "Look North of the Windmill and South of the Brook." And remember that box?


    Click on the woman lying on the ground.

    The Box

    The box holds the second ending to the game. First, you need to make sense of the cryptc message "north of windmill, south of brook." Your initial inclination may be to actually go to these areas and try to look off on the distance. However, all you need to do is look on your map! If you move your cursor over the map area that is north of the windmill, you'll see letters. These letters make the word "theoalm68," which is the username for the locked journal. For the password, move your cursor over the area of the map below the lake. It says "1894" -- the password for the journal.

    Username: theoalm68
    Password: 1894

    Go to the locked journal and type in the username and password. You log into Theodor's personal journal, which has dozens of posts. I encourage you to look through all of them and read everything, as it is pertinent to the story. In addition, look for symbols in the entries. What you're looking for is the same symbols that are on that mysterious locked box.


    The combination for the box, from left to right.

    These are the symbols and their related journal entry:

    1. Upside-down Triangle (October 8th)
    2. Half Circle, Right Part (October 30th)
    3. Square (November 19th)
    4. Normal Triangle (November 29th)
    5. Half Circle, Bottom Part (December 18th)

    Now that you have the code, go to the box, which is on the "Woods & Box" area. If you're starting a new game, it is directly above the first area with the cottage.

    At the box, input the combination. Upside-Down Triangle, Half Circle (Right Part), Square, Triangle (Right Side Up), and Half Circle (Bottom Part). The lock is similar to an old phone -- you need to put to turn it until the circle is over the symbol. When you've successfully inputted a symbol, it will faintly pulse in white.

    After inputting the correct combination, scroll down the letters and watch the second set of credits roll.

    Hints

    Hints are listed in the hints menu, but if you click on a hint, you won't gain the hints achievement. This section is more to compile the hints as a reference. If it's your first time playing and you do not want to open the hint in-game (for fear of losing the achievement), then this section can prove quite useful for you.


    Prologue - Part I: (1) Someone waits at the windmill. (2) Find the windmill north-west of your cottage.

    Prologue - Part II: (1) Head home to the cottage.


    Titles: (1) Letters are hidden in the dark.


    The Huldra - Part I: (1) Search for the church. (2) You'll find the church gate in the north.

    The Huldra - Part II: (1) She holds the key. Follow her song. (2) The Huldra waits in the far south-east. (3) Follow the Huldra.

    The Huldra - Part III: (1) A wooden doll dances in a shed. (2) It doesn't dance at all, unless it gets wound up. (3) This dance is known as the owl dance.

    The Huldra - Part IV: (1) Follow the perfect song. (2) Listen carefully, only one tone is in tune. (3) The second light to the right. (4) The third light to the left. (5) The third light to the right. (6) The second light to the right. (7) The second light to the left.


    The Mylings and the Horse - Part I: (1) The key turned into water. Where could it be? (2) The key is at the bottom of the lake. (3) The key and a pale horse lures in the lake in the south. (4) Drag the horse out of the water.

    The Mylings and the Horse - Part II: (1) It seems to be asking for four souls. (2) Let blood and strange sounds guide you. (3) There is something in the east, that weren't there before. (4) A blood stained carriage? (5) Horrid cries can be heard by the windmill. (6) Perhaps the wing is connected to something on the inside? (7) In the kiln, another unwanted child resides. (8) The key to the kiln lock is, indeed, keys. (9) The encyclopedia might enlighten you on one of the myling's whereabouts?

    The Mylings and the Horse - Part III: (1) Touch the souls of the unwanted children.


    The Night Raven - Part I: (1) Let the flame guide you in a dark place. (2) Underground storages are usually pitch black.

    The Night Raven - Part II: (1) Search in a high place for the exit. (2) The hatch looks like it can be removed.

    The Night Raven - Part III: (1) Touch the thievish bird.


    The Church Grim - Part I: (1) Bring the key to where you first encountered it.

    The Church Grim - Part II: (1) Raise the tombstones to the sky. (2) Tree carvings hold half of the answer tombstone riddle... (3) ...the other half of the tombstone riddle is hidden in the darkness.

    The Church Grim - Part III: (1) Walk around the church in the sacred order. (2) A large rune stone reveals the secret of the church. (3) ...and small rune stones reveals the large stone's secret.

    The Church Grim - Part IV: (1) Peek under the robe of the grim. (2) When the heart is revealed, touch it. (3) Break reality and peek into the other side.


    Beyond - Part I: (1) Destroy the parasites. (2) Touch the cosmos to create heavenly projectiles.

    Beyond - Part II: (1) Spin the triangle globe. (2) Keep spinning until it implodes.

    Beyond - Part III: (1) Touch the star signs in the correct order. (2) Pay attention to the number of stars.

    Beyond - Part IV: (1) Spin the diamond of the universe. (2) Forward, backward, forward, backward.

    Beyond - Part V: (1) Spin the head of the grim. (2) Keep spinning until it's completely de-evoluted.


    The Future - Part I: (1) You've done as told. This is what happens next year.

    Encyclopedia Entries

    The text in this section is from the in-game encyclopedia. This section can be useful if you want to read up on the lore of the game without having to open the game up. In addition, several solutions to puzzles are hidden in the encyclopedia's text. It is VERY important, and it is HIGHLY recommended that you read it if you want to fully appreciate the story and the puzzles.

    Introduction

    "This Year Walk Encyclopedia is a collaborative effort between Simogo and Theodor Almsten, who is the author of all the written content.

    "Theodor Almsten Curriculum Vitae

    "Theodor Almsten was born in Stockholm, 1968, but spent most of his youth in Edinburgh where is his mother was born. He graduated from Lund's university in 1992 and is Doctor Philosophiae at the faculty of Ethnology. His lectures on "The Manifestations of Evil in Folklore" has been full every term from 1998 and onwards.

    "Theodor has written three books on Scandinavian folklore. The Crone's Tongue has been translated in 16 languages and received the prestigious Hornet Award in 1999. He has had numerous appearances on Swedish Television and an unaired children's short film called The Grim was partially based on Theodor's research."

    Arsgang (Year Walk)

    "Year walking was at its core a vision quest with the purpose being to foresee the future. There were very rigid rules concerning the year walk and not adhering to them could prove very dangerous, even fatal.

    "How the practice of year walking came to be is shrouded in mystery, but it seems to have been a widespread practice in Sweden until the beginning of the 19th century and in some rural areas as late as the beginning of the 20th century. The practice was likely over a thousand years old and most certainly pagan. Year walking varied greatly regionally and even locally there might have been differences between one village and the next. All the variations had a couple of elements in common, though.

    "A year walk could not be done on any common day. There were certain days a year when the gate was opened, generally in liaison with important festival days such as May Day, Midsummer's Eve or Christmas Eve and most commonly New Year's Eve. A year walker could not partake of any of the food or drinks that were served on these days -- a sacrifice of no little significance since these feasts were some of the rare occasions when food would be plentiful and varied. A year walker had to avoid other people, so they commonly locked themselves in dark rooms and were not allowed to see a fire for the entire day. Perhaps not a vast sacrifice on Midsummer's Eve, but on cold winter days it would be uncomfortable at least, if not hazardous. If the year walker followed these steps he would leave his dark room at the stroke of midnight -- this would be his last chance to cancel the year walk. Once he ventured out there was no turning back.

    "The church was the final destination for a year walker. On his way he would typically encounter a number of supernatural creatures, which would pose a threat physically, mentally and spiritually. If a year walker made it to the cemetery he would walk around the church in an intricate pattern. This would open the year walker's eyes to the future, but it would also lure out The Church Grim.

    "After having completed the year walk, the walker would see visions that could manifest themselves in different manners. When the year walker left the cemetery he might for instance see a sombre procession of dancers dressed in their finest church clothes. These would be the people that would die the following year. A reoccurring theme is of the course the year walk who meets his own ghost on the road. Another story tells how the walker would see newly dug graves. Love played a great part too, so a walker would typically meet wedding processions or even attend weddings yet to come.

    "One testimony from the late 19th century tells of a mental patient named Martin Nilsson, who described his visions as otherworldly experiences: "Before I saw what happened next year, I lived among the stars. I lived there for many lifetimes it seemed. What do I care for next year? Time has already ended."

    "Today the practice seems to be almost entirely forgotten."

    Skogsraet (The Huldra)

    "The Huldra is known to have played a part in Norse mythology, but she is likely of an even older origin from when man lived off the forest rather than the fields.

    "The Huldra was the guardian of the forest. She tended to the trees, plants and animals. A single large tree in a grove surrounded by smaller trees was often considered to be The Huldra's home, or even The Huldra herself. In most stories she presented herself as a beautiful young woman. This was however not her real appearance, very few saw The Huldra's true face and even fewer lived to speak of it. She was often described as a lonely and woe filled creature. Her relationship with humans was very complex.

    "She could enthrall a man with her beautiful song and lure him deeper and deeper into the forest, where she either wedded or killed him. The men kissed by The Huldra became apathetic and slow.

    "According to some accounts The Huldra was a positive force; if a hunter was kind to The Huldra she might blow her breath down the barrel of his rifle which would bless his hunt. Colliers considered her their friend, as she kept fires from spreading from their charcoal kiln. She also helped those who willingly offered their blood to her, but this was dangerous as The Huldra might drink the giver dry.

    "The Huldra was thus capable of doing both good and bad deeds. It was very hard to predict whether she would help or harm, since she played by rules known only to her."

    Backahasten (The Brook Horse)

    "Sweden is a country that has a lot of lakes, rivers, streams and brooks and Swedish folklore is filled with strange creatures residing in the dark waters.

    "The Brook Horse was a pale horse who lived in creeks or lakes, luring children to ride on its back. The Brook Horse's spine grew for every rider that it lured on top of its back. When The Brook Horse was satisfied, it leaped into the water whereupon the children drowned.

    "The Brook Horse had a lot in common with The Nix, a handsome young fiddler who lured young girls down into the water, and according to some they were one and the same. It's likely that The Brook Horse was made up to keep children from playing too close to the water.

    "One of the more unusual descriptions comes from a story told in the north of Dalarna. A young man is on his way home from his work at a charcoal kiln. He decides to wash up in a nearby creek. The man finds a strange stone, formed like a small child in the water. He picks it up. The man notices that he is not alone. He is being watched by a horse walking on two legs. The horse stretches out a human hand to the man who gets frightened and runs home to a shack he shares with his fellow workers. He tells the tale to his comrades, who laugh at him and call him a drunken fool. He shows them the stone that now looks quite ordinary. The man curses and goes to bed. When the workers wake up the following morning they find the man dead in his bed; his lungs filled with water and the stone nowhere to be seen.

    "The Brook Horse was almost always closely associated with death, not always in a negative way. For instance in the sad folktale Lille Nils, The Brook Horse is the one who finally leads Little Nils' soul home and thus ends his long series of misfortunes."

    Mylingen (The Myling)

    "Infanticide was a fairly common crime in Sweden during the 19th century and earlier. The two most common motives were that there was no room for another mouth to feed or that the child had been conceived outside of wedlock. The souls of these unfortunate children became Mylings.

    "Typically The Mylings were murdered by their mothers, often unmarried women who had been left to fend for themselves. The Myling would commonly be left in the woods to die or they would have been drowned by their mothers in brooks or bogs.

    "Some Mylings died at the hands of "angel makers". The angel maker would typically be paid by the child's poor mother to find a decent home for the infant. When the mother left, the infant was murdered.

    "The most common way for The Myling to haunt was through a horrible wailing sound. The Myling might take the form of ball of light similar to those of an Irrbloss (Scandinavian will-o'-the-wisp) and lead the curious traveller astray. Sometimes they would cry for their mothers to breastfeed them which would apparently set them free.

    "One story from Bergslagen tells of an old farmer on his way home through the forest. He is approached by a small child who follows him and says "Grand-father, Grand-father, I am so hungry". The old man tries to ignore it but the child keeps on nagging, so finally the old man loses his patience. "If you can find someone to feed you, then feed. But you won't get any milk from me". The child seems pleased and leaves. When the old man comes home, he finds his daughter lying dead on the floor, bleeding from her chest. The child he met was the spirit of his murdered grandson.

    "A person who helped The Mylings find their way to the other side was often left with a gift. According to some sources, The Myling would be taken in by other supernatural creatures such as hobs -- or if it had been drowned; The Brook Horse."

    Nattravnen (The Night Raven)

    "Carrion birds were deeply linked with misfortune and death in Scandinavian folklore. The Night Raven or Nattravnen was certainly no exception. The Night Raven was described as a large bird with a sharp beak, sometimes with holes in its wings.

    "If a person gazed through those holes, he would become ill. Other stories told of a giant skeleton bird that could never satisfy its hunger. Travellers foolish enough to be out at night risked being devoured by the terrible bird, especially at festival days such as Christmas or New Year's Eve.

    "The Night Raven has also been described as an ordinary raven, but if it landed on a house someone would die shortly with a terrible fever. Overall The Night Raven was strongly associated with disease. When farmers sent their children out to collect wild bird's eggs, they had to be careful that they did not pick the eggs of The Night Raven. Those eggs were considered deadly, but if the child was unsure he could knock on the egg three times and say "Out with thee evil spirit". If the egg belonged to The Night Raven, it would turn black. The Night Raven not only infested the eggs; it also possessed birds, preferably carrion birds.

    "According to some sources The Night Raven was a spirit of an evil greedy man who had not been buried properly. The green manifested itself in The Night Raven's fondness for shiny objects."

    Kyrkogrimen (The Church Grim)

    "Of all the creatures in Swedish folklore, The Church Grim was doubtlessly the most complex and certainly the most feared.

    "Little is known of it, since it was considered bad luck to even speak about it. The Church Grim's appearance varied which could possibly be attributed to the nature of The Church Grim's origin.

    "When a church was built in medieval times, an animal was sometimes buried alive under the floors -- most commonly goats since these were comparatively cheap. There have also been stories of criminals being buried alive as punishment. In other versions the criminal's heart was cut out and placed inside an animal carcass that was sacrificed. The heart was central in many of the myths surrounding The Grim. Stories from the south of Sweden told that if you could touch The Church Grim's heart, you could stare into the eye of creation.

    "The Church Grim guarded the church against thieves and grave robbers, but because of it even honest folks avoided the church at night. Some stories say that if you were unlucky enough to be the last one to die during the year, you would serve The Church Grim the following year.

    "There are other stories that suggest that The Church Grim was not a guardian at all, but rather a sort of parasite that was drawn to the energy of the church. While there it fed on people's hopes, dreams and fears. A recent and controversial theory suggests that that The Church Grim was closely related to a nameless Bronze Age deity."