The Disturbing Ritual Of "Necropants"

No, "necropants" aren't a set of elite Dungeons & Dragons magicwear that gives you a sweet +2 damage bonus to all unholy spells. Nor is it the nickname for Michael Jackson's red vinyl leggings from "Thriller." They're something quite a bit more insane, definitely much more macabre, possibly abhorrent and/or profane, and absolutely not a waist-down clothing item you can pick up on the discount rack at the Gap.

Necropants, or nábrók in Icelandic — literally "corpse britches" — are exactly your worst guess at what they could be: skin pants. As in, literally a dude's skin worn as pants, genitals included (mismatched size notwithstanding). Sheered off his corpse, no less, in one go and in one piece, whole and ready to slide into like skinny jeans, hah (credit to Ripley's for that joke). Basically, just imagine if Hannibal Lecter had a particular pajamas preference instead of a facemask preference (not the COVID-19 surgical kind).

However, necropants weren't fashioned by anyone so villainous. Rather, as Atlas Obscura explains, they were part and parcel of a suite of widely-believed, ritualistic, oddly specific, pre-Christian folklore circulating in Iceland since at least the 11th century. (Bear in mind that Iceland, despite its extremely progressive values, is also the country where, as of 2017, 54 percent of people still believe in elves, per National Geographic.) These beliefs developed in a brutal natural environment with a need for sorcerous escape routes from reality and fled underground from Christianity's spread in the 17th century. 

A scrotal slot machine of infinite wealth

So necropants. (Take a deep breath.)

These fillet-o-friends were the central component of a spell said to give the caster unlimited wealth. And where did the money come from? Why, the scrotum of the "purloined pantaloons" (props to Atlas Obscura for that one), of course. But first, you have to find a "destitute widow" and steal a coin from her. Then, slide the coin into the scrotum along with a scrap of parchment inscribed with a magical symbol, a nábrókarstafur. Ah but first, you have to don the pants, skin on skin. And of course, you have to use the corpse of a friend. But, only one who has died of natural causes (then you've automatically got permission to take the skin). But, only after the friend has been buried. And then? Just dig him up, grab a potato peeler (or whatever), follow the procedure, and boom: infinite wealth.

Oh yeah, and how does that infinite wealth thing happen? The original stolen coin from the widow just sort of reproduces further coins within the scrotum. But did we mention that the spell is broken if you take any money out? Joke's on you! Seriously though, the ritual is so freakish and convoluted that it sounds more like a prank that someone fond of black humor played on his buddy. 

Also on the list of Icelandic folk beliefs? Zombies whose snot you've got to clean with your tongue to avoid being devoured.