Church Grim

Church Grim

The Church Grim, Kirk Grim, Kyrkogrim (Swedish) or Kirkonväki (Finnish) is a figure from English and Scandinavian folklore. They are said to be the attendant spirits of churches, overseeing the welfare of their particular church. English Church Grims are said to enjoy loudly ringing the bells. They may appear as black dogs or as small, misshapen, dark-skinned people.

The Swedish Kyrkogrim are said to be the spirits of animals sacrificed by early Christians at the building of a new church. In parts of Europe, including Britain and Scandinavia, a completely black dog would be buried alive in the grounds of a newly built church, thus creating a guardian spirit, the church grim, in order to protect the church from the devil.


  • Arrowsmith, Nancy A Field Guide to the Little People, London:Pan 1978 ISBN 0330254251.

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