Posted by: Karl Shuker on December 11th, 2013
In Skåne and Blekinge, the two southernmost provinces of Sweden, a very daunting creature pervades the Season of Goodwill, and its presence is anything but good. Scarcely known outside its Scandinavian provenance, outwardly it resembles a pig, but no ordinary one, for this preternatural entity is in many ways the porcine equivalent of Britain’s phantasmal Black Dogs, and is just as dangerous!
(c) Richard Svensson
Most commonly referred to as the gloso (other names for it include the galoppso and the gluppso, all translating as ‘galloping sow’), this dire beast is grim in every sense of the word. This is because the gloso is a church grim (or kyrkogrim in Sweden), i.e. a supernatural creature derived from the spirit of an animal or person supposedly sacrificed when the foundation of a church was built, and which now protects the church and its grounds for all eternity, and cannot be killed by any normal weapon. Those unfortunate enough to have encountered this terrifying entity liken it in basic appearance to an enormous female domestic pig, usually jet-black in colour (though sometimes ghostly white), but with a ridge of razor-sharp spines or bristles running down the centre of its back, a pair of huge tusks curving out from its jaws, eyes that glow a fiery red, and the fearful yet very real ability to breathe fire. Other tangible, physical abilities attributed to the gloso, and which thereby distinguish it from insubstantial ghosts or spectres, include its predilection for devouring fresh corpses in the churchyard and for sharpening its tusks upon gravestones. It also leaves visible tracks in its wake.
Further details can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.