Welcome back to #TravelTuesday, a summer series on Spooky Little Halloween where we put a spooky twist on this popular hashtag and travel to haunted destinations across the globe.
This week I am excited to welcome Anette from Norwegian Halloween to the blog! She will take us on a tour of her home country and show us the haunted hot spots to check out when we visit!
5 Scary Spots in Norway
By Anette, norwegianhalloween.com
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 then there was that Viking thing too. What do you think of when you hear Norway? Black Metal? A-ha? Kvikk-Lunsj? Or “Isn’t that the country where they have the polar bears walking in the streets?”
We don’t actually have polar bears here in the mainland of Norway, but we do have an 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!
Let me just start by saying, the history of the continental spot called Norway dates back to 10,000 BC. We have gone through ancient history, Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages, the Early modern period, Late modern period and two world wars. That is A LOT of history.
As a result, we have a lot of different buildings with different means and happenings.
A lot of the places I will be showing you are 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 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 three days by five farmers. Kinda doubtful, I know, but that’s how we Norwegians tell stuff!
2: Borgund Stave Church
This is my favorite stave church that Norway has! It’s the oldest one, and it’s 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.
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 of Trondheim. Trondheim is located ca in the middle of Norway and at the edge of the northwestern 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 wasn’t 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 grimmer. 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, and 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 tuberculosis. 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.
Just after World War II, the drug streptomycin was invented and practically eliminated tuberculosis. 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.
Luster sanatorium is also a high attraction for ghost hunters, and there are a lot of videos on YouTube of people exploring it. A horror movie was also recorded here: Villmark 2. The movie is quite scary and very unsettling and includes all the urban legends that surround this place. The building was doomed to be demolished but a company bought it 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
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 World War 2. Below is a picture of the memorial called: Retterstedet.
And as a result, there are rumors of ghosts and hauntings. Akershus fortress is believed to be Norway`s most haunted location.
And to my big surprise, 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 five 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. (Learn more here.)
Anette is a Halloween addict from Norway. She has YouTube channel with a new video every Wednesday where she shares her best Halloween hauls. Anette also has a blog, norwegianhalloween.com, where she posts all things Halloween. Her Instagram is updated with pictures all day every day, and her Twitter also chirps once in a while! You can also check out her Facebook page for more spooky stuff!
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