Region of origin: Norway
Alhough the term has connotations with ghosts, the traditional gjenganger is more akin to a revenant: a fully corporeal figure risen from the grave who for one reason or another was “restless” in death (often those who died from suicide or murder). When risen, the gjenganger will attack people starting with those it was closest to in life, capable of decimating entire communities through violent means or spreading disease caused by its bite that could turn into a full-scale pandemic. If a recently-deceased person was feared to potentially become a gjenganger, a number of rituals were performed to ease the spirit and guide it towards the afterlife.
Originally posted on Tumblr on February 27, 2016