As far as the ghosts were concerned, both locations in Norway and Estonia were essentially cases of cradle robbing. Or at least young women taking up with older men they probably should have avoided in the first place.
The first segment took Ghost Hunters International (GHI) to Fredricksten Fortress in Halden, Norway. Built in 1861, the fortress had been attacked six times during its military life, yet was never captured.
Past reports of paranormal activity focused on full body apparitions of a “White Lady” and the shade of a soldier walking into a secured area.
Client Magnus Runnested presided over the walkthrough and told the story of the aggressive White Lady who took her life by jumping off the cliff topped by the fortress bell tower. After her death her ghost was believed to be responsible for pushing a living Lieutenant off the same cliff to his death.
Magnus said that the woman whose ghost became the White Lady had been abused by the fortress Commander. This abuse drove her to take her own life. The White Lady had frequently been reported as appearing in the form of white mist. Allegedly she showed up all over the fortress rather than being limited to the site of her suicide and alleged murder.
Witness Erik Nyberg shared his experience of observing the ghost of a soldier walking into Enveloppen No. 1. Erik followed the figure, but the room was empty and nothing responded when Erik called out to the vanished soldier.
Staff of a ground floor restaurant in Fredricksten Fortress had long talked about feeling watched and hearing footsteps on an interior stairwell leading to the floor above the eatery.
GHI started their investigation when Robb and Ashley checked out the Bell Tower where the White Lady had jumped to her death. Robb started with standard questions, including asking for her name. Although nothing was recorded by GHI, I heard some fairly detailed answers from the White Lady.
She told me her name had been Ingrid. When Robb asked her, “Did you loose someone here?” she responded “myself”. Ingrid confirmed that she and the Commander had been lovers. She said, “I was a fool.” The affair started out as a mutual attraction but ended badly when the Commander eventually raped her and then abandoned her like garbage. This betrayal of her trust and feeling “thrown away” convinced Ingrid she was worthless. In the depths of her self loathing she threw herself over the Bell Tower cliff along “with the other garbage” from the fortress. After her death she saw things much differently. (This is tragically common with suicides.)
Although death restored Ingrid’s self respect, it had destroyed her body and she blamed the abusive Commander for her destruction. When I asked her why she pushed the Lieutenant to his death instead of her faithless lover she told me she picked Lieutenant because he was important to the Commander. I am not sure the exact relationship of the unfortunate Lieutenant to the Commander but it felt like he could have been a family friend, or a godson. There was some sort of personal connection to the Commander and Ingrid was out for revenge. She calmly told me she pushed the Lieutenant to his death to inflict maximum pain on the Commander. I found her calm yet venomous account of her story somewhat unsettling. Ingrid remains furious about her betrayal, her death and at anyone in her general vicinity. I had to be firm with her when she decided to get into my face. When Robb invited her to push him over the cliff her eyes flashed angrily and she spat “Don’t tempt me!” It is probably just as well GHI didn’t pick up on that comment.
Paul and Brandy investigated Enveloppen No. 1. with a larger laser net than they had used in the past and tried for some EVP results. Although nothing was recorded, the soldier mentioned during the walkthrough was present. Paul asked the soldier if there was any kind of …” message we can pass on for you?” I heard the soldier reply that he wanted a message taken to his mother. Brandy asked, “When did you die?” The soldier seemed taken aback by her question. He paused for a moment and said, “I don’t know.” After a second pause he finally said, “A long time ago.”
I was concerned for this ghost because he didn’t seem to know he was dead. Asking for a message to be sent to his mother was my first clue that for him it was probably still the 1860’s. I got a brief glimpse of his mother and she was wearing a black dress and a mob cap, fairly standard attire for the time. The pauses for thought before responding to Brandy also pointed in the direction of this ghost not realizing time had stopped for him long ago.
I asked the soldier’s ghost if he wanted to move onto heaven. He asked, “Can I do that?” When I assured him he could and called in my guides to help, I saw his father come to collect him. The soldier asked where his mother was. I think the mother had been widowed prior to her son’s death. His father told him that he would take his soldier son to his mother. I was allowed to see a brief reunion before they closed the door to a house I strongly suspect was a mirror image of the one they had during that lifetime. The fireplace was lit and looked welcoming.
Next stop for GHI was the Commanders Quarters. Robb seemed to get a response of sorts when he put on a re-enactor’s hat and his IR camera fuzzed out and a vaguely face shaped oval appeared in the center of his screen.
Robb tried a few questions in Norwegian and English but got no measurable response. Robb got full points in my book for trying Norwegian. I think Robb was right and the Commander never spoke English because I got more emotional impressions from the Commanders ghost than actual words.
The ghost of the Commander was aware of Robb and Ashley’s presence but wearily waved them away with a distinct impression of wishing to be left alone. He was seated at a table, eating a meal that included sliced meat and some sort of round fruit.
Susan and Barry tried their luck on the Fortress grounds. A sound much like a woman screaming was repeatedly heard and then suddenly stopped. I had zero impressions of any ghosts around them at the time.
Paul and Brandy checked out the stairwell leading up from the allegedly haunted restaurant in the Fortress. Their EMF meter went nuts near the exit sign at the base of the stairs. EMF readings jumped again when they stumbled across a small fridge plugged in next to the stairs. They unplugged the fridge and the readings evaporated. Although the impressions of restaurant staff feeling watched in the area were attributed to the high EMF fields generated by nearby electronics, I did see a ghost on the stairs. It was the ghost of a young woman, probably in her early teens. She was afraid of Brandy and Paul and refused to come more than a few steps down from the top of the stairwell.
During the reveal Robb’s “face oval” was debunked as a technical glitch with his camera. It was a convincing debunk because the “face” seemed to have a sword style earring in the area of the right ear. Further inspection of camera footage showed the “sword earring” was in fact the top of a coat rack in the room.
The disturbing screams Susan and Barry encountered on the grounds turned out to be the calls of female foxes in the area. I tend to agree with this debunk because although I didn’t sense any ghosts in the area at the time, I did have the impression of an animal source for the screams. I didn’t know what kind of animal until after the reveal.
Unfortunately the GHI team didn’t have verifiable or personal experiences with the White Lady to report. They concluded they could not find any evidence of paranormal activity at Fredricksten Fortress.
The second location in this episode was The Old House in Tallinn, Estonia. The Old House provided the tale of “The Devil’s Wedding”. The story went that long ago a respectable looking older man in a black suit asked to rent a room for a wedding. He paid well but had an odd stipulation that nobody could witness the wedding. The landlord was curious about the secretive nuptials and stole a peek inside the room during the ceremony. He told his wife he was horrified to have seen the devil himself attending the wedding. The next day the landlord died.
Since I shared GHI’s skepticism that the devil had been in an obscure boarding house in Estonia, I asked my guides what had the landlord actually seen. I was told the landlord was not well the night he spied on his tenant. He had a blood clot that caused him to misinterpret what he had seen. The man was partially hallucinating. The clot caused a fatal stroke the next day.
Like the curious landlord, I wanted to know what was going on during the secret wedding. My guides told me the “respectable” older man who rented the room was the groom. His bride was a young girl whom he had convinced to marry him. I would say she was about 13 or so. She thought she was in love. He was pleased with the thought of a young, compliant bride, but his motivations were more political than romantic. The young girl he married in secrecy was the daughter of a political rival. This gent not only married her but bedded her in front of approximately 25 guests before the festivities were over to make sure the marriage could not be reversed. The nosy landlord happened to peer into the room during the bedding part of the event. I suppose the rear aspect of an older gent dressed in black having his way with a young girl could have been perceived as the activities of the devil himself to an ill and paranoid spy who had a limited view of the proceedings.
GHI interviewed past and current owners of the apartments that made up The Old House. The devil’s wedding was reputed to have taken place in apartment six. The current owner had been woken by music. Guests who had stayed in apartment four, located directly below apartment six had reported hearing the clink of glassware and plates at times when apartment six was unoccupied.
Apartment two boasted the apparition of a former Soviet pilot. A former owner spoke of being asleep in the unit, waking up and seeing a Soviet pilot. He closed his eyes, opened them again and the figure was gone.
GHI covered The Old House with cameras, EMF, EVP and thermal monitoring.
Brandy and Robb tried some EVP work in apartment six. Brandy immediately picked up on sounds like footsteps, but nobody else was nearby. When Brandy asked the ghost of the old gent, “Why did you choose this place out of all places” for the wedding? I heard the elderly groom’s ghost answered because it was “secret”.
Paul and Susan investigated apartment one. A past male guest had allegedly asked the staff for black bread and water one evening. They were provided. The staff was puzzled when the food remained untouched the following day and asked the guest if there was something wrong since he had not eaten it. The man replied the viands were not for him but for the spirits in his quarters.
Paul recreated the food and water to try and trigger a response from the spirits the former guest thought were present. Nothing happened. To provoke potential ghosts Paul ate some of the black bread, much to his disgust.
There may have been spirits in apartment one in the past, but it felt empty to me when Paul and Susan were investigating.
Barry and Ashley tried to get a response out of the ghost of the Soviet pilot in apartment two. Barry was trying to be reassuring in telling the ghost pilot “Don’t be afraid.” Nothing was picked up but their gear, but I saw and heard the ghost pilot reply, “I am NOT afraid of you!” or anyone else for that matter. Bravado aside, what was interesting about the ghost pilot’s response was the massive contempt in his tone and manner. He struck me as a thug with authority when he was alive. Apparently not much had changed because he was hostile as all get out. It seemed likely such hostility was returned by the locals as Estonia was mentioned to have been under “Soviet occupation” when GHI asked if it was probable a Soviet pilot had once been a resident of The Old House.
I did see the ghost pilot standing behind Ashley’s right shoulder as she and Barry asked questions. I swear certain kinds of ghosts always go for the pretty girls. Normally I see such ghostly leering more in old prisons but Ashley had gotten this late Soviet flyboys’ attention right in apartment two.
Back in apartment six Barry and Paul tried their luck. When asked if the devil was really present the ghost of the elderly groom dryly commented that, “I am sure some called me the devil” and laughed. He may not have been a stellar human being but he was nothing worse than a crooked and lusty politician in his time.
The reveal debunked the footstep sounds Brandy and Robb had experienced. Robb tested the old steps by walking on them and then stopping to listen. Sure enough “footstep” sounds were heard shortly thereafter as the treads of the stairs popped back up after he stepped off them. Sounds Barry and Ashley heard in apartment two were determined to be from outside the apartment. It was suggested that a joust between two apartments could have caused noises that seemed to come from inside each space.
GHI concluded based on their lack of evidence that there was no paranormal activity going on in The Old House. Robb noted that the story of the devil’s wedding had been around since the 16th Century and was going to persist regardless of GHI’s work. I am sure he is right. Even the explanations of my guides and the resident ghosts were not half as entertaining as the devils wedding story.
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(C) 2010 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.