Besides its myth pertaining to Santa Claus, Lapland is known for its legends of not-so-friendly beings, such as witches. According to some beliefs, they once lived in an area which even today fascinates visitors with its peculiar appearance.
According to local legends, it was the location of the castle of the powerful witch Yagunie. She would regularly change her appearance in accordance with the 4 seasons and could transform into an old lady, a young maiden or adult woman.
The witches of Lapland were thought to be the patrons of the winds, so before ship captains would sail out they would try to buy good weather from them. If one angered them and did not provide the right homage, they could expect hurricanes, diseases and bad weather during their journeys.
The focal point of these legends was the witch Louhi. Locals respected her as the queen of the North and were careful not to earn her wrath, as they could then face fierce punishments.
It was believed that Louhi inhabited Vottovaara mountain and that the region was considered holy in pagan times. There was an ancient complex at the top, surrounded by giant stones that would emit buzzing sounds.
The mountain was thought to be a bridge to the afterlife and a gathering spot for evil spirits. Today, you won't find any animals there, while the trees grow into strange shapes. According to legends, this is due to the strong negative energy of the region.
On the incline there is a mysterious stair with 13 steps, leading to a steep precipice. Some report to have seen a woman dressed in white clothes there, perhaps the spirit of Louhi herself.