From medieval times, history and bloody memories lingers in one of the only and longest standing cathedrals in Norway. This is the story of the Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen and the haunting of the Cathedral.

Once upon a time in history, the Nidarosdomen in Norway was the most visited place for pilgrimage in Northern Europe and is situated in Trondheim in Norway. People came a long way to seek salvation, peace and God in that holy place. That was those days and today it is mostly a big tourist attraction as well as some of Norway’s most well known buildings.

Nidarosdomen in Trondheim: The Cathedral has been rebuilt many times and started as a wooden chapel and the cathedral was finished by the 1320s. This is Nidarosdomen from 1821 by Carl Johan Fahlcrantz. This was how the cathedral looked before its major restoration and additional towers and much more like how it would have looked in medieval times.

Perhaps far from it today, Norway was a country of Catholics in medieval times, having nearly rid itself with its pagan roots of the Vikings and Norse Mythology, much later than rest of Europe perhaps. It was a church, much more mysterious than the one today that built upon both the learned Catholic as well as the pagan viking traditions.

Read more: Check out all of our ghost stories from Norway

Today the monasteries in Norway is from ancient times and most of them are turned to ruins, made to museums and stands as a memory of the power the catholic church once had of the country. Other cathedrals and churches from the time like Nidarosdomen were transformed to act as a house of God, even after the country became protestant.

The Haunted Cathedral in Trondheim

A place where the fantastical cathedrals continues its mission in a new suit is the Nidarosdomen, in the heart of Trondheim and one of the countries most precious religious buildings. But one can still hear the echoes of the past in the big halls and the memories of the monks still lingers in the walls.

Read More: check out our other ghost stories about ghost monks in Norway like The Ghost Monks at Lyseklosteret and The Haunted Natural History Museum in Bergen

Monks were men that gave up most of the earthly life to serve their lives in God’s service. They forsake the right to marry, have children and own properties in their name. The monks became anonymous, one of many and a part of an order with a strong hierarchy. They all dressed the same as their order, in robes to hide, to look the same. Even the face could be covered to not give away the identity. And at least on of these monks are said to still be wandering the halls of the cathedral in Trondheim.

From medieval times, history and bloody memories lingers in one of the only and longest standing cathedrals in Norway. This is the story of the Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen and the haunting of the Cathedral.
The Bloody Monk: The Cathedral Nidarosdomen in Trondheim, Norway is said to be haunted by the ghost of The Bloody Monk. Tales of ghosts that looks like monks or nuns are often reported on appearing in old churches and even just the ruins of them, haunting after a great dishonor to their faith was done or perhaps they themselves couldn’t live the strict life of a monk without a sin?

Nidarosdomen is built over the burial site of King Olav II (c. 995–1030, reigned 1015–1028), who became the patron saint of the nation after his death as he was the one who really brought Christianity to the country, and is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway.

Over centuries the cathedral grew from a small chapel to one of the biggest churches in Norway. It has withstood fires, the reformation, the roof blowing off and if we are to believe the rumours, it has even managed to preserve one of the long residence ghosts.

The Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen

The first encounter we have found on the monk haunting the Nidarosdomen, comes from the month of January in 1924. It is a cold day in the city of Trondheim and the stone walls do little to keep the cold winter outside from the Maria Chapel in Nidarosdomen. Still, the people flock to Sunday service, now turned to a protestant church.

Read More: Check out all our ghost stories about Haunted Monasteries and Churches from all over the world like The History and Legends of the Haunted Abbaye De Mortemer, Dracula and Ghost Nuns in Whitby Abbey and The Evil Bishop Against the Maiden in Love – The Ghost of Haapsalu Castle.

The congregation gathered together in the hall in prayer and song. Perhaps that is what brought the The Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen forward this day? A hymn sung for centuries, a prayer heard this Sunday that acted as a summoning for ghosts? Was is the chanting voices from the whole congregation joined in the song as a choir? Something the monk recognized from the time he was alive?

People were gathering, chanting songs and prayers as the monk themselves once did, wandering with their incense? It’s hard to know exactly what with this particular sermon that brought him out. But since then, he has been a ghost observed many times in the cathedral and has been dubbed The Bloody Monk.

From medieval times, history and bloody memories lingers in one of the only and longest standing cathedrals in Norway. This is the story of the Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen and the haunting of the Cathedral.
Holy Church: The Cathedral of Nidarosdomen is important for Norwegian christians as it is the resting place to one of the greatest saints in Norway, King Olav the Holy that died on the battlefield after bringing the religion to the country. After his death it was said his hair and nails continued to grow after death. Is it the holiness of the cathedral that keeps the ghosts haunting it, or is the place just built upon haunted ground already?

Marie Gleditch, wife of the bishop was the one that saw The Bloody Monk first. She claimed she saw a ghostly figure glide through the crowd gathered for service. She described him as a middle aged man with the monk robe hanging over him. This would not have been an unusual sight in medieval times, but in 1924, long after the monk orders had disbanded, this was not normal. Furthermore, Gleditch described the The Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen to have glowing eyes when she got a better look. But perhaps more striking is that he had a bloody stripe across over his throat, almost as if it was cut right through, giving him his name.

The Ancient Chant of the Ghost Monk

What really happened to this ghost? Was he really beheaded as the bloody throat would suggest? Was he murdered in cold blood? Or perhaps executed for a crime? We will probably never now as details of who came and went to this place was too may to count and keep track of.

Since that time, the ghost of The Bloody Monk in Nidarosdomen with glowing eyes have created headlines several times in the country. It was for instance also seen by a bishop Alex Jonson who saw the figure in the cathedral in 1933. The Bloody Monk has perhaps become one of the more famous ghosts in Norway and people have visited the cathedral, just to try to get a glimpse of The Bloody Monk.

In 1966 a guy named Jon Medbøe forward with his story when he claimed to have encountered The Bloody Monk with his students when they had nightly walks in the cathedral and could hear something that sounded like footsteps dragging over the floor as well as a mysterious chant.

Medbøe who was a music historian and tried to pinpoint exactly what the music was like. He claimed the monk chanted a song, more specific, a choir song from the middle ages. A well known melody from the composer Perotinus from 1208. Was this perhaps the song that was played in 1924? Or something similar?

The Chanting Monk: This is one of Perotinus compositions and gives an idea of the type of chanting The Bloody Monk were doing. Perhaps this or something similar is the reason he is haunting the Cathedral?

Several have tried to come to the bottom of this mystery and after these modern sightings, it was written a lot about it it, even in German magazines. Who was this lonely monk, still wandering the halls, chanting old forgotten songs? How did he die? Even famous Norwegian, like horror writer Andre Bjerke tried to get into the cathedral to film it for a series of paranormal places he did, but he didn’t gain entrance. The church was not really forthcoming with information when it had anything to do with the Bloody Monk’s ghost. Medbøe was banned from his nightly trios into the cathedral after all the fuss it created.

Nidarosdomen tried for decades to cover the story of The Bloody Monk haunting Nidarosdomen up and shift its focus to it being an active church, not a common ghost house. So perhaps the Nidarosdomen still holds onto old traditions, more mystics and secrets we are not meant to know.

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