Ghosts in Stockholm
Lola A. Åkerström catches up with the team who lead ghost walks around Stockholm and shares some tales about the city’s other citizens.
My mild fascination with American reality show Ghost Hunters inadvertently led me to these guys. Curious about what Stockholm had to offer “ghost-wise” considering its history and other Viking folklore, I reached out to Stockholm Ghost Walks to learn more about the city’s dark side.
What inspired you to create Stockholm Ghost Walk?
The idea of the Stockholm Ghost Walk company was born when two friends were traveling together overseas. The more they learned about new places, the more they realized that they knew very little about their own home, culture and its beginnings.
Delving deep into historical books and texts, we very quickly began to realize that there was more to our little town than meets the eye. We began telling these stories to our friends and they became just as fascinated as we were.
We agreed that when we were in other countries, we felt just like regular tourists and we didn’t learn anything different to the thousands of other tourists that we met each day. So we decided to create a tour unlike any other. We tell people what the travel guides miss out; the myths and legends. We tell people what travel agencies try to cover up – the medieval murders, the diseases, shady secrets and of course, the ghosts!
These are things that history is made of.
Today we have seven guides and we are all from different backgrounds. Our guides have other jobs during daytime and do this as an extra job in the evenings. Someone is working as a bartender, another is a personal coach, a third is working with sales etc. We do not hire actors. We hire people that just love to tell stories and like our history.
Can you tell us a bit about some of the most fascinating ghost stories in Stockholm?
We have Mrs Gase that got murdered and buried in her own house. Today this is a restaurant. We have the grey monk and the white lady in the Royal Palace.
What is the Stockholm Ghost Society? What does it do and how does it tie into the walks?
We are a small gang who like to spend their evenings and nights in places that are supposed to be haunted. We are not trained professionals, we don’t have psychic powers and we can’t speak to the dead. We just like to see what’s out there. We can’t explain everything that happens on our little trips but then again, maybe some things should be left alone…
Has anything exciting or spooky happened during one of your walks?
Our walk is 80 percent history of Stockholm, 10 percent taste, feel, smell, and 10 percent humor and ghosts.
It’s more about legends, gruesome deaths, diseases and murders than about just ghosts. You will learn a lot about the cruel history of Stockholm.
Where it happens a lot is in our office. We have the office in the German church old grave yard and we have our own ghost – Johanna. She likes to make us know that she is here every now and then.
She died in 1790 but her body was found in our office in 1991…
Stockholm Ghost Walks contain a lot of historical information as well as legends. You will follow guides for 90 minutes and hear tales of murders, myths, mysteries, executions, assassinations, diseases, and ghosts. You will have the opportunity to see, touch, smell and taste history.
Tours start from Järntorget in Gamla Stan. Järntorget is the square located where Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan meets and you will explore the dark streets and alleyways that make up the oldest parts of Stockholm – Gamla Stan