Norway is perhaps remembered as two things. Either as the savage Vikings, plundering Europe and beyond, or they are perhaps remembered as this rich oil country of today. Most often, perhaps not remembered at all, were it sits at the edge of the world. But few people know of the dark times in between. It was only in the 50’s and 60’s that the country grew in wealth, and before that, it was one of Europe poorest countries. So centuries with coldness, starvation and ghosts. The folk lore is still thriving and the ghosts of the past, lurking around the corners, in between the walls, and inside the houses and homes.
On a very un-scary place like Bærum Verk, a village in Norway, the quaint streets and not the most busy city life, we find one of the country’s most haunted place along the river and mountains were it is built. Between the old wooden walls of the ancient houses creeks the history from the many lives that walked through this place since it was first built in the 1600s when it was found iron ore there. The tales of the Bærum Verk are many. Dogs refuse to go into certain rooms There are steps and doors creaking. Doors that never wants to open.
The times were changing
Norway is not very known for their factory and mining skills, but at the birth of the industrial revolution, the mountains were hacked into, the waterfalls harvested to use as energy. The grouping of people changes, from being spread out on small farms and along the coast, they grouped together inland to work the land, hack into the mountains, train the water to make their bidding. Some of these communities are alive an thriving today, like at Bærum Verk were people still live and work, long after the iron foundry the settlement was founded on closed. And so does the ghosts of the past as well.
The legend wants to tell of the former owner, Conrad Clausen that hauntes the Verksgata (Verksstreet). At least he is one of them, and according to the workers and people living there, there are a lot of them.
Conrad was only a young guy when the whole place fell on his shoulders. He took over the iron foundry in 1773 at 18 years old. In those time, small villages for the workers was often built around foundry like this, a lot of them standing to this day. Clausen gave all of his life, his energy to the place were he lived and worked. Even if his life was going to be a very short one. Only at the age of 31 he died in the bedroom. The same bedroom now operating as a meeting room for people working there today, now the foundry is turned into a shopping mall.
Ghosts on the Phones
Typical, isn’t it? A young man dies too soon, steps in the night, creeking of the doors and sceptical dogs. But perhaps the strangest with the haunting must be the phones.
It is the middle of the night. No one is at work, no one is there to answer the phones. Noe one is up to make a call to them. But still, they are ringing. The people employed in the offices of the shopping mall, where Clausen lived, claims that phones calls constantly during the night. To the same time, quarter past twelve or quarter past one. Depending if it is summer- or winter saving time.
It’s rumored that if you try to take the phone it will only answer with a strange beeping sound. Straight after the phone in the room next to will start calling. And then in the room next again. That is how it continues through the whole building.
Yes and? Why haven’t they just called the telephone company? Yes, they have, several times. But no one seems to be able to figure it out. The leader of the shopping mall, Gry Skådinn told the local newspaper that it was exacltey what the workers at the mall tried to.
“When we get into work in the morning, the whole switchboard is blinking away.
But when the telephone company comes to fix the whole thing and explain it all, only more questions rose.
“Before I started here, we found that the phone signals came from the lunch rooms. That was back in the day, the bedroom of Conrad Clausen, and were he died,” Skådinn says.
The Woman in Green
It is not the only reported ghost, haunting this settlement of iron workers. On the oldest tavern in the country, there are also been reported many cases of unusual happenings. Bærums verk has become somewhat of a cultural place. That is what the people planned at least when working at the tavern thought of when serving recipes based on old ones and classical Norwegian food. Perhaps that is contributing keeping the ghosts alive here. The buildings are protected and will remain as part of the cultural heritage, the smell of the food in the tavern, perhaps similar the one they used to eat when they themselves were alive. In any case, the strange occurrences, like the with the phones to the malls is happening all over the settlement.
So unusual in fact that several journalists, ghost tourists, paranormal investigators, mediums and the ghost hunter tv-show in Norway stopped by to get a glimpse of it. Most claim they did.
At the tavern for instance, the staff as well as the owners have had trouble dedaling with a green clothed woman, a very louded imagery in Norwegian culture.
“It’s just not practical working int the oldest tavern when a ghost in green clothes just walks around,” the owner, Ulla Laycock told the local newspaper. But she and her husband found away to work for their advantage though, as they noe published their book on the persistent hauntings of the place.
The local history team have identified the woman in green as a woman called Anna Krefting that still walks among the guests of the tavern as it fits with her period clcothes whe’s been observed in.
Living With the Ghosts
“There is a lot in the walls in this place, and it is important to take care of, the writer of the book, Caroline Paulsberg says.
It is however interesting how the locals and workers feel about living in the country’s most haunted place, or rather, haunted village. On their own facebook group, they claim that, yes, it is haunted, but they would like to keep them around. Most of people around haunted places would perhaps not feel the same way. But according to them, the ghosts are only nice, and they have the same right to be their as the living, having once themselvse lived and worked there.
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