In 1860, a religious revival took place in Vrådal in West Telemark, inspired by a young peasant girl, Gunhild Sveinsdotter. The was attributed with visionary capabilities. The revival had a powerful effect on the rural community, where thereafter pietistic beliefs shaped ways of thinking and living. The article discusses how the revival affected the local society, how the wider society reacted and how a local narrative has transmitted the memory of these incidents to later generations. Gunhild’s role as a visionary messenger and revivalist leader is interpreted in the light of the gender roles of the time, emphasising the access she had to the cultural and social resources of the rural community. Stories about the visionary in Vrådal are also considered in relation to similar stories from other parts of the country, and concepts of the visionary messenger are viewed in a wider European tradition.