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“I’ve started so I’ll finish”

5 September 2006

The chosen specialised subject was infantile tetanus, but Magnus Magnusson wasn’t here to put our minds to the test. As a member of an Icelandic film crew he was here asking many questions about the ‘dreaded sickness of the eighth day’ which led to the rapid death of so many new-born babies on St Kilda in the 1800s. 

So why was an Icelandic film crew out here on a remote Scottish island?

A small island community in Iceland suffered from the same tragic illness, known in Icelandic as ‘Ginklofinn’.  The parallels don’t stop there – the community lived on seabirds and fowling for puffins still goes on in the present day.

Magnus Magnusson


Samantha, ST Kilda Archaeologist

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