Rackarringen (The Knacker’s Ring) is a place where the knacker slaughtered horses to old for work. This was a long time ago but this ring remains deep into the woods in Skåne, Sweden. There’s a small sign guiding you there from a dirt road. From there you follow a narrow path and within a circle of trees you’ll find it. The information sign shows nothing because the words have faded with the sun. But we have Wikipedia.
In Sweden the knacker was the executioners servant. When the executioner was done with the beheadings and hangings the knacker was the one who took care of the corpses, buried them in the gallows. He also took care of suicides that he buried in the forest. He was also used to kill and flay horses and to kill cats and dogs. Why the knacker had do take care of the horse killings was because nobody else wanted to. The horse was, in the pre-christian era, a sacred piece of animal. No butcher wanted to deal with it. When the knacker was done with the killing the horse was left to rot because nobody dared to eat it’s meat. The poor knacker was also the one who took peoples waste, ass and groin fluids away from the cities at night. According to a regulation from 1729 the knacker was to be buried as “dishonorable” in a place north of the church. The profession, which always had extremely low social status, disappeared with the abolition of capital punishment and with the improved procedures for sanitation in the cities.
For the swedish readers: Saxat RAKT av från Wikipedia… Uttrycket, “ska vi ta en rackare” i sammanhanget en snaps kommer sig av att då hästslaktaren kom på besök och skulle ha sin slaktarsup serverades denne i ett speciellt spetsglas på ben och fot. Detta glas var enbart till för rackaren som ansågs vara oren och ingen annan drack av det glaset[…] Orden rackare och rackarunge lever kvar idag som ett skämtsamt och ej nedsättande tillmäle. Även byracka och rackartyg kan härledas till rackare.
We camped the night in the middle of this Rackarring for no reasons. No ghost horses or knacker zombies appeared. Just some random smoke from the ground for some reason and also a lot of pollen which K.O’d my face real bad. Other than that it was a good trip with great company. If you want to visit this ring of stones with a history you’ll find it here – 56°04’31.0″N 13°22’02.5″E.
Drone footage by Henrik Jensen.