Hejdå!! (hi) I am writing to tell you some interesting things about Sweden.
Did you know that if you have a certain family name and you meet someone else with the same name and you both have family within 50 kilometers of each other in the same region in Sweden and come from towns or areas that happen to be connected by water then you can be fairly certain that you are related? Many couples got together when one floated a boat down a waterway to the next town or took their church boats to a town along the lakeshore and stayed in little stugas (cabins) on Saturday night before attending church on Sunday and then floated back to their home towns.
Does your home have a little ghost in it? Maybe from a previous owner who died there and didn’t quite make the final heavenly trip at the end of life…..Ghosts are everywhere in Sweden. You can find them in old hotels out in the countryside and homes that have been inhabited by the ghost’s family members for several generations. There is usually a good story to accompany them. In one such manor house, a young girl who served the house master as a maid (and other purposes) was pushed or fell down a steep staircase hidden in a wall that lead from the master’s bedroom to the kitchen. Since it was a somewhat nefarious situation she was never completely spirited away to heaven but entered the netherworld because her master had banished her from his bedroom. When she returned in tears to beg his acceptance he was already on to the next maid and so in his haste to get to the new girl he pushed the first one down the stairs where she died halfway. To this day a visitor to this old shloss (castle) can find a hidden door in the wall (look carefully because it is nearly invisible) and when pushed open they find a steep staircase and feel a cold wind blowing up into their face. Sometimes a faint plaintive cry is heard…likely her spirit is still trying to re-enter the master’s world but falling short. He was an unimportant man.
House Tomtes are in every house in Sweden. These little spirits can be good or bad and can cause a great deal of grief for the home’s people when they want to be naughty. Many people have a representative Tomte that they place in different rooms at different times in order to bring good luck or happiness to those within. When my house Tomte is being naughty I turn his face to the wall and make him stay like that until I believe he is going to change his behavior. You can also have a car Tomte, an office Tomte and so on…..until next time, Hejdå!! (bye)