In German and Scandinavian myth, the Alrunes are sorceresses or female demons who can change shape;

they are believed to be the mothers of the Huns.

As late as the 19th century in some rural areas, they were personified by small statues, which were kept in the home, clothed and made offerings of food and drink.

It was believed that the Alrunes could divine the future by responding to questions with motions of the head.

If the statues were not properly cared for, they were said to cry out, which would bring great misfortune to the household.