By far the most popular exhibit at the Iceland Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery in Skáholt is its pair of nábrók, literally “corpse-breeches”: the whole, flayed skin of the lower half of a man’s body.

Looking something like the lower half of a bog body, they are, to all appearances, the whole preserved skin of a man’s feet, legs, thighs, and buttocks, complete with genitals and pubic hair. (Presumably those on display—oddly dubbed “necropants”—are mock-ups rather than the genuine item.)

Here's how to get your own pair.

First you make a deal with a living man to take his skin after death. (You can't take someone’s skin without prior permission because this would lay you open to retribution from the outraged dead.) After his death and burial, you dig up his coffin and flay the skin off his body, in one piece, from the waist down.

Then you don the corpse-breeches yourself (presumably after having tanned them in some fashion), and wear them 24/7. According to some authorities, the breeches eventually meld to your skin, although not everyone agrees on this point.

Next you steal a coin from a poor widow on Christmas, Easter, or Whitsunday. (You could translate this into Pagan as Yule, Ostara, or Midsummer, if you like). Place this coin, along with a particular runic sigil (see above) scribed on a piece of parchment, in the “purse” (i.e. scrotum) of the corpse-breeches.

Having done so, you will now never lack for cash, because there will always be plenty to be found in the magical pouch of your corpse-breeches.

Here's the catch.

Like magic power everywhere, the corpse-breeches present something of a dilemma to the aging warlock (in Iceland, most witches were—and presumably still are—men), since you cannot die until you've passed your pair along to someone else.

Once you've found a willing recipient, though, here's what you do. The new owner dons the breeches by placing his right leg into them for the first time while you're still wearing the left leg. When you remove your left leg and he puts his in, you're scot-free and he's golden.

To the best of our knowledge, this particular magical technology was not known to the Hwicce, the original Anglo-Saxon Tribe of Witches. If it had been, they would have called the corpse-breeches litch-breeks.

Incidentally, in case this article has piqued your interest and you're thinking about acquiring a pair of litch-breeks of your own, I'm afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Mine are already spoken for.