Dead man dunes | The west coast by Hvide Sande

Dead Man Dunes

In the old days, ships were sometimes wrecked at the west coast of Denmark on the reefs or in the surf when they were returning home. Many of the dead sailors were buried in 'suitable locations in the dunes'; the so called Dead Man Dunes or "dødemandsbjerge" in Danish.

The small cemetaries in the villages didn't have the capacity nor the space to bury many people at the same time; but that wasn't the only reason why they buried the dead in 'dødemandsbjergene' (Dead Man Dunes). 

You couldn't know for certain that the deceased were christians, and in case they were not they couldn't be buried in consecrated ground. The locals also knew that you had to bury the dead quickly because of health risks. 

The speedy burials took place with due respect to the deceased, who would then not be victims of grave robberies.

Often, foxes and other animals dug out the bodies and bones; therefore the authorities made a law in the middle of the 19th century that said that dead people from ship wrecks had to be buried in the local cemetaries.  

Now, the ocean has consumed all the known dead man dunes; and today, only the stories of them remain. 


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The Whore in Ny Sogn Cemetary

In the village of Kloster between Ringkøbing and Søndervig, there is a gravestone in the local cemetary which reads 'The Whore Anne Marie Seier'