The Björketorp Runestone & Curse
The Björketorp Runestone is one of many standing stones (menhir) located in Bleking, Sweden and is one of the world’s tallest runestones, measuring 13.7 feet (4.2 m) high. It is part of a stone circle with two other blank standing stones, with several other solitary stones in the surrounding regions. Most scholars date the runestone’s inscription to the 7th century AD. It’s carved with a type of runes that form an intermediate version between the Elder Futhark and the Younger Futhark. The runestone is inscribed on both sides, the shorter message appears to say “I foresee perdition” or “prediction of perdition” and the longer side’s inscription (pictured) translates as:
“I, master of the runes(?) conceal here runes of power. Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who breaks this (monument). I prophesy destruction / prophecy of destruction.”
Local lore says that the curse came true at one point. Long ago, a man wanted to move the runestone so that he could have more room to farm, so he piled wood around it to attempt to heat the stone and then crack it with water. The weather was calm with no wind at the time, but as soon as he lit the fire a sudden gust came and lit the man’s hair aflame. He dropped to the ground to put it out but his clothes caught fire and the poor man died in agony. The flame around the runestone, however, was miraculously extinguished, as if someone had smothered the fire.