5 Scary spots in Norway!

Halloween In My Town!

Norway. The majestic country . With mile long fjords , trees as far the eye can see, Trolls up in the mountains, six months long Winter .And the there was that Viking thing too.

What do you think of when you hear Norway?
Black Metal? A-ha? Kvikk-Lunsj?  Or “Is`nt that the country where they have the polar bears walking in the streets?”
We do`nt actually have polar bears here in the mainland of Norway , but we do have a island group called Svalbard , and THEY have the polar bears!

And another fun fact is that if people tell you to go to Hell , you can actually go.
Even funnier is it that the word “Hell” means luck in Norwegian!
hell-norway
Photo: Lifeinnorway

Let me just start by saying , the history of the continental spot called Norway , dates back to 10,000 BC.
We have gone thru Ancient history , Early Middle Ages ,High Middle Ages ,Late Middle Ages , Early modern period ,Late modern period and 2 world wars.
That is A LOT of history .

As a result,we have a lot of different buildings with different means and happenings.

Alot of the places I will be showing you ,is places I have as a goal to visit myself!

So let’s start with the amazing Stave churches !
They are all built in the middle ages!

1: Heddal stavkirke

standard_Heddal_stavkirke.jpgPhoto: SNL

Heddal Stave Church (Heddal Stave Church), formerly also known as “Hitterdals Stavkirke” or “Ryen Church in Hitterdal”, is a stave church in Notodden municipality in Telemark.

It’s from the 1200s and is the  biggest stavechurch that still remains. A lore says it was built in 3 days by 5 farmers . kinda doubtful, I know, but that’s how we Norwegians tell stuff!

2:Borgund stavkirke

Borgund-side-total.jpgFoto: riksantikvaren

This is my favourite stavechurch that Norway has ! It’s the oldest one ,and it from 1150! That is insane!

It is located in Borgund in Lærdal municipality, in Sogn og Fjordane county, approx. 30 km east of the village of Lærdalsøyri, located in the heart of the Sognefjord .

3: Nidarosdomen

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Photo: SNL

standard_nidarosdomen_vestfronten.jpgPhoto: SNL

Nidarosdomen is Norway’s original archbishop church, and one of the largest medieval churches in the Nordic region.

It is located in the amazing city Trondheim ! Trondheim is located ca in the middle of Norway  and at the edge of the north western coast. It has the most amazing Norse mythology there is!

This church also has its own ghost!

It is said to be a monk  ,that wonders around.

There are many stories, both urban stories and “confirmed” testimonies, about the monk. As history has it, it says that the ghost must be of a relatively modern descent ,because he wasnt mentioned until the 1920s.  That is a quite old ghost in my eyes,but history knows best!

That was the churches I just had to show you all! They are so amazing and really deserves a visit!

4: Harastølen AKA Luster Sanatorium

Now over to something more grim.

Leprosy was first described in 1873 by the Norwegian doctor Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen. But had been in Norway since 1266.

The disease hit the west coast of Norway quite hard,actually Norway was one of the hardest infected countries.
In the Middle Ages, hospitals were established in Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Tønsberg and Oslo, where far-gone lepers were patients.
The disease broke out again in 1837.
With it came turbequlosis.
In 1896 ,doctors decided to build a bigger hospital for these patients that had gotten the”consumption”.

Harastølen was opened on November 2, 1902, under the name “Lyster Sanatorium”.  At the opening the sanatorium had 96 beds. In 1924 the capacity was extended to 120 beds, in 1950 to 150. So the disease took it toal.

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Photo: BT.no
Just after World War II, the drug  streptomycin was invented, and practically eliminated tuberculosis, and with that the use of the building and its purpose was gone too.  The building was later used as a psychiatric hospital. From 1991, Harastølen has remained empty.

villmark-2.jpg

The movie is quite scary and very unsetteling , and incluedes all the urbanlegends that surounds this place.
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The building was doomed to be demolished , but a company bought it of the county , and are planning to turn it into a hotel!
That means there will be many more ghost hunts to come!

5: Akershus Fortress / Akershus Castle
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It is a medieval castle that was built to protect  Oslo, the capital of Norway.
The castle has also been used as a military base, a prison and government office.
It was built in 1290 and has some really gruesome history .

It has been a place of slavery and executions. The number of Norwegian people being killed here is 42 , All of them shot by the Nazis during WW2.
Below is a picture of the memorial called: Retterstedet.
1200px-Retterstedet,_Akershus_7jun2005
And as a result , there are rumors of ghosts and hauntings.
Akershus fortress is belived to be Norway`s most haunted location.

And to  my big suprise, There has now been organized a Ghost Walk through the fortress! It is the ONLY Ghost Walks in Norway , and has been going on for 5(!) years , without me knowing about it. I would have to drive for 11 hours to get there, but I must!
It is open ALL YEAR!
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http://xn--spkelsesvandring-mxb.no/en/ghostwalk

So if you ever plan om visiting Norway: Be sure to check out some of these places!

 

Creepy Christmas: Part 4: The Witches Of Christmas!

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Today is the last Sunday of Advent!
Tomorrow is Christmas eve  , and here in Norway , that`s the day when we all gather for dinner and open presents!

Christmas starts at 5pm , then we all eat as much food as we possible can  , before opening the presents around 8pm.

So in this last Part of Creepy Christmas , here is a post about The Witches of Christmas and some other Creepy Norse Christmas creatures!

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As you may know , Norway has an ancient history.
Some of it bloody. And so most of our tales and legends , have quite the scary touch to them.
åsss
Åsgårdsreia by Peter Nicolai Arbo

And Christmas time is no different.
Usually , all of the tales and legends hail from the times of when Norse mythology roamed.

As the legend has it , this time of year , the spirits of the dead gets more restless , and angry. Witches also start to appear more frequently.

Åsgårdsreia

The most know legend is the one about Åsgårdsreia. They are a bunch of restless spirits , who comes riding at night , around Christmas times.

If you have not had the time to finish all your chores before Christmas , lets just say that`s where the trouble starts.
When you are sleeping tight , and with no worries at all , you start hearing hoofs and bells approaching . But its not Santa.
ås.jpg
«Julereia» (1922) by Nils Bergslien

It`s Åsgårdsreia. The legion of restless , angry souls , who are here to collect your sleeping soul , to be doomed to travel with them , on their furious ride thru the skies. Forever.
To stop that from happening , one could save oneself with drawing tare crosses on every door you had. Even the livestock would need the tare cross , to stay safe.

Gandferd

You also have the legend of the Gandferd!
Were in stead of Ghost riding together , you had WITCHES, That`s right : WITCHES.
And this part is pretty cool you guys.
This legend is from Norse times , and it is said to be the legend where broom riding Witches , comes from!
Just imagine hearing their evil laughter , as they fly above your house.
The fear and panic as they rip your home and stuff apart .

Hide Your Brooms! The Christmas Witches are coming!

heks
Artist Unknown

This next one , is an old tradition.

It is as simple as hiding all your brooms. Cause on Christmas eve ( Tomorrow) , the witches comes out to play!
It is said that these witches can not walk on the bare earth , without dying. So to get around , they need to steal brooms from unknowing Norwegians. Don`t worry tho , I always make sure to place out the 3 brooms I have , every Christmas eve. Last year I even decorated them with light strings. What a sight that would have been!

The brooms would usually be hidden in closets and drawers.

Also , Empty presents would be placed out under the Christmas tree , as the witches LOVES to exchange the presents with frogs and rats. Yes , RATS.

So remember to put out some brooms for your fellow Witches!
Merry Yule everyone!

Creepy Christmas: Part 3: The Yule Goat !

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Have you ever wondered why goats are so popular during Christmas time?

Well , here in Norway at least , they have to do with ancient Norse tradition going back to before Christianity invaded the pagan religions .

So , Between Christmas and 1st of January , people wearing masks and costumes , will go door to door, and have the neighbors have a guess at who it is that are under the masks! Singing Christmas songs is also a common thing to do , and is usually rewarded with candy. This tradition is very similar to Halloween!
And in some places , it is normal for a person form each visited house , to join the posse on its way to the next house. And so it goes on.

Julebukking is a pre-Christian pagan ritual. “Yule goat” originated right here in Norway, from the time when we all were pagans , and worshiped Thor: THE GOD OF THUNDERRRRR . He was quite the man , cause he traveled in a chariot , pulled by GOATS. Two awesome goats.

So during the Yule tide, we filthy pagans ,would disguise ourselves ,with a goats skin over our backs and go from house to house ,carrying a severed goats head. .I know WTF.
In these modern days , the yule goat is a dying tradition , but it is still super popular in Alaska! Scandinavian immigrants brought the tradition over , you`re welcome!

But there is still a jule bukk symbol left , that you will almost definitely find in every Norwegian home during Christmas: The Straw Goat!

It comes in many shapes , colors and sizes. And it usually has a red silk ribbon tied around it.

I buy a new one every Christmas , My favorite one so far , is this little black one , named Philip :

So I hope you all will have an amazing Yule and stay safe from the yuletide spirits!

Happy LussiNight! Will her ghost white, distorted face be looking in your window tonight?

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Happy Lussinight !

That is if you have done all your pre – Christmas chores!

Is everything ready?

Have you cleaned every corner of your house ?

Have you baked all the cookies?

If the answer is NO to one of the above. Well ,you better get a move on , to prevent a visit from the demon vette Lucci!

Lussi is said to have been created from a mix of st.Lucia and Lucifer . Crazy , right?!

She usually shows up on the night to the 13th of December .
This is the longest AND darkest night of the year. So it is a perfect fit for something like her to make an apperence.

She comes to check that ALL Christmas preparations are in order . She tastes the homemade beer , food and if she found anyone still working after sundown , all hell would break loose.

Lussi would bring her ogre ( figuratively) looking friends , and wreck your house and barn. Cause if you have not finished making everything in order by now , what does it matter if she just makes it a bit worse , just to make a point?
She and her crew were known to run across your roofs , come down the chimney , and hurt whatever poor soul who was present . Her white, distorted face could also be seen squeezed against windows.

If she was not happy enough about the Christmas preparations , she would cry out a warning: “Inkje bryg, inkje baga, inkje store eld hava !! ( Nothing Brewed , nothing Baked , No big fires lit”
They could even hurt the farm animals , if they felt like it.
But another fun fact here , is that this night , was also the ONE night a year , all animals could talk to each other. So one could only imagine the confusion going on if Lussi got her hands on one of them.:
Horse:” Where did Carl go? ”
Cow:” I don`t know , he was here 2 seconds ago!”
Pig: “Is that him there ,standing on the ceiling ?”
*Carl casually flies by*

To protect yourself against this demonic presence , you could either carve or paint with tare , crosses into your doors ,. Or have anything made of steel by hand , I know what you`re thinking : GET THE SALT ,SAMMY! , or even lit candles would help as protection! And of course, the most common warning , that would usually keep you safe: STAY INSIDE.

Happy Lussinight!
Stay safe!

Christmas Horror Movies

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas, Uncategorized

Some of my favorite horror movies , are Christmas themed!

Some must watch Love actually , The Christmas Prince etc , to get the Christmas spirit , but me? Give me a Christmas Horror Story!

I bet a lot of you probably also have the same Christmas rituals , where these listed movies are included!

1: Krampus

2: Daddy`s Home 2

3: A very Supernatural Christmas

4: Rare Exports

5:Black Christmas

6: Silent Night

7: Gremlins

8: A Christmas Horror Story

9:

Creepy Christmas : Part 2: A Merry JÒl !

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Believe it or not,Vikings started a lot of the Christmas traditions we see today.
Actually , the old Viking Christmas celebration is quite like the modern one.

As you might know , the pagan/ old Germanic folks called Christmas for Yule. And Yule comes from the Norse word JÒl or JÒlablot , and is almost identical to the modern Norwegian word : Jul !

The Vikings started their celebration on the 21st of December and partied hard for 12 straight days. Sound familiar?

Christmas Trees

Another thing the vikings did , was to decorate ever green trees !

Since the trees stayed green and healthy all year thru , they become a symbol of good health and fortune , so when JÒl arrived , they would decorate the trees with carved figurines and gifts , for the spirit in the trees , to grow and prospure to the next spring.
Holly Christmas Wreath!

The Vikings love for ever green plants , did`nt end there!

They made round wreathes out of Holly . The circle symbolising the start and end of a years cycle. They then placed them over their doors for protection against evil spirits.

Same with the mistletoe!

I really hope you all have a safe and creepy Christmas!