The Origin of the Huldre Folk

In Northern Europe a story is told about the huldre folk or the tusse folk — the goblins, trolls and nature spirits. Now it is said that Adam had a first wife before Eve, named Lilith. She was every bit his equal, and wouldn't be under Adam in anything. But God said that it was a bad thing for woman to be so presumptuous, and he sent her and her offspring away to live in the hills. They are without sin, and they stay inside the hills unless they want to be seen.

A similar story is also told about the "hidden children of Eve". Eve was washing her children one day when God came to visit. She called out all the children she had already washed to say hello to God, but was ashamed of the dirty ones and kept them hidden. God realised her trick and said to Eve, "since you have kept those children hidden from me, they shall remain hidden from you". And she couldn't see them any more. These children became the trolls and haug-folk, and people only see them occasionally. They're not too different from other people, but they aren't Christians.

Both these stories hark back to the Hebrew legend of Lilith, who, fed up with Adam's mysogeny, left him on his own in Eden, and mated freely with demons, bearing monsters. This in turn is a variation on the story of the Beni-Elohim (or Grigori), the "sons of the gods" who mated with human women producing the race of Nephilim. The Hebrews of course demonised many of these figures, as they did all foreign gods. While Lilith and her kind are the keepers of great power and secret knowledge, and should be treated with respect, they are not evil.

One detail that is repeated again and again is that this race predates the union of Adam and Eve, and they are without sin. Even the Bible is quite clear on the fact that Adam and Eve were not the first humans; in Genesis, a chapter before the storm god Jehovah creates Adam and Eve, the Gods (Elohim) had already created man and woman in their image. This earlier race of humanity were the people east of Eden with whom Cain settled after leaving his family home. Witches have always claimed that they are not of the race of Adam and Eve, and since they are without original sin they need not fear eternal torture in a pit of fire.