In 2017, Norway took the place of Denmark as the happiest place on Earth. Norway is also one of the most beautiful countries because of the amazing Scandinavian architecture, natural breathtaking sights, and the midnight sun.
Despite being one of the most famous places that tourists want to walk on, locals also take pride on having one of the most haunted places in Oslo, Norway – the Akershus Fortress or the Akershus Castle.
The Akershus Fortress. (Link: https://www.visitoslo.com/en/product/?TLp=14900)
History Of The Akershus Fortress
The Akershus Fortress or Akershus Castle was built sometime in the 1300s and it initially served as a defensive line for Oslo and to protect the royal residence in the capital of Norway. After it being a medieval castle, it also served as a military base, a prison and the Nazis even stayed there for a number of years. Currently, the Akershus Fortress I used as the home of the Prime Minister of Norway.
More on who built Akershus Fortress, it was reportedly built by King Haakon V because of the attack that a Norwegian nobleman named Earl Alv Erlinggon started. Because of such attack, it occurred to them that their defensive lines were not working so they came up with a plan to construct the fortress. Indeed, the fortress served its purpose because it was able to survive the sieges like the one by the Swedish forces and t hose led by Charles XII.
King Haakon V of Akershus Fortress. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haakon_V_of_Norway)
During the World War II, the fortress was surrendered without combat to the Nazis. It is believed that most of the killings were done during this time because a lot of people were executed here.
A photo showing the surrender of the Akershus Fortress to the Nazis. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:German_surrender_of_Akershus_Fortress.jpg)
As for the Akershus Fortress being a prison, the castle has housed a lot of criminals for many years. Lots of famous people were imprisoned there such as author Gjest Baardsen, thief Ole Høiland, the supporters of Marcus Thrane, and more. Accordingly, when the Akershus Fortress became a prison, they had this section called “The Slavery.” This is because prisoners could be rented out for some work that are done in the city.
A photo showing an exhibit portraying Akershus Castle as a prison. (Link: https://www.tripadvisor.co.il/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g190479-d206477-i146086648-Akershus_Castle_and_Fortress_Akershus_Slott_og_Festning-Oslo_Eastern_Norw.html)
The Ghosts At Akershus Fortress
The Akershus Fortress is said to be the most haunted area in Oslo, Norway. Some of the famous ghosts in the area are Malcanisen and Mantelgeisten.
Malcanisen is said to be a demon dog. This doggo guards the gates of the castle. Accordingly, anyone approached by the Malcanisen will die anytime in the next three months. It is unclear how this story originated but it is widely believed to be true. Reports claim that the dog that is haunting the gate area of the castle was buried alive.
As for the Mantelgeisten, this is reportedly the ghost of a woman who is often seen in the castle. She is frequently seen walking towards the chamber where she was placed when she was at the Akershus Fortress. She has no facial features and usually appears from the darkness. She also usually wears a long robe when she decides to show herself to the people visiting the Akershus Fortress. It is unclear how the woman died or what may be her reason for haunting the castle.
Another type of ghosts at the Akershus Fortress are the burning women or the Nightpyres. They are reportedly visible before any fire at the fortress and were described as baby-sized women who have frightening laughter and ugly grins on their faces.
One of the buildings at the Akershus Fortress also housed the Norwegian Robin Hood named Ole Hoyland. He was able to escape after planning for four years but after three years of freedom, he was imprisoned once again. He tried to get out of the prison once again but was unable to do so that is why he asked for a pardon in 1846 and 1847. In 1847, after his request was rejected, he committed suicide in his cell at the Akershus Fortress.
Ghostly guards have also been seen by some visitors disappearing before their own eyes. Also, some visitors heard ghostly horse galloping and screams possibly from the people executed at the Akershus Fortress. It is believed that the ghostly horse galloping is the same horse that was shot by the Norwegian soldiers when the horse’s owner, a drunken Swedish soldier, rode alone against the fortress walls and claimed he will conquer Norway. The Swedish soldier was also shot by the Norwegian forces.
A guard at the Akershus Fortress today. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53351976@N02/28405119026)
Also being heard in the area are prison chains rattling, inaudible whispers, scratching, and more.
Some visitors also claimed that they were pushed by some kind of force when they visited the Akershus Fortress.
The Akershus Fortress Now
The Akershus Fortress remains to be a military-owned area but it is open to the public especially to the tourists from 6:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening. People usually visit the Akershus Fortress for the notorious ghost stories but others also visit it for the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Norway’s Resistance Museum.
Also, the Akershus Fortress houses the Royal Mausoleum, which is the final resting place for many prominent royal figures of Norway. Some of these figures are King Sigurd I, King Haakon V, Queen Eufemia, King Haakon VII, Queen Maud, King Olav V and Crown Princess Märtha.
The Akershus Fortress is also the place where a lot of official events and dinners take place.
Inside the Akershus Fortress. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60509750@N08/8054777563)
If you want to go to the Akershus Fortress, it is located roughly 10 minutes by walking from the city’s center. There is nothing to pay if you want to visit the fortress.