Uppsala is one of Sweden’s oldest cities, and it has been a significant political, economic, and religious hub for over 1000 years. Therefore, it might not come as a surprise that a few individuals seem to linger here, even hundreds of years after their passing. Here, you’ll learn more about Uppsala’s ghosts – and the places you might be (un)lucky enough to encounter them. We also provide suggestions for a few other moderately eerie activities.
Hear the Drowned Lady’s Screams at the Castle
Wiks Castle is one of the country’s best-preserved medieval fortresses with origins dating back to the 13th century. The castle is located south of Uppsala and today features a hotel, beautiful nature, an apple orchard, and a residential college. Like any castle with self-respect, Wiks, of course, also has its own ghost. Guests have, on several occasions, reported seeing unexplainable things both inside the castle and in the park outside. A gigantic female figure with a long cloak and a triangular hat sometimes emerges from the water in the bay outside. Residents in the area tell tales of waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of screams across the lake.
One theory is that it’s Anna von der Grünaus who haunts this place. Anna was a lady-in-waiting at the court before she married and moved to Wiks Castle in 1610, where her time was short and unfortunate. Just two years later, she became a widow. Anna hailed from Austria, had long black hair and dark eyes, and spoke a language that the local people didn’t understand, leading to rumors that she might be a witch. In the same year she became widowed, during the winter of 1612, Anna was on her way to nearby Skokloster Castle to visit her friend. Their travel party chose to cross the ice behind the castle, which unfortunately cracked beneath them. Anna fell through the ice and, thanks to her many layers of clothing, floated on the water – something that was considered typical of witches at that time. Her companions panicked and fled. Anna was later found frozen to death in the water.
"Visitors have been shocked after encountering a hovering female figure, which disappears into the wall."
Explore the Ruins and Dungeon Cells of Vasaborgen
Vasaborgenis the remaining parts of the original Uppsala Castle. These 16th-century ruins have witnessed a multitude of horrific events – from bloody and staggering incidents like the historical Good Friday Battle, where mass graves of soldiers were found around the ruins, to the infamous Sture Murders that took place in the dungeon cells.
Princess Cecilia Vasa, daughter of King Gustav Vasa, is also part of the castle’s history. She was a woman who followed her own path, and it caused quite a scandal when, at the age of 19, she took a liking to a German nobleman who was found in her chamber. Rumors spread throughout the country, and she became embroiled in such a conflict with the court that during her stay at Vasaborgen, she was forced to use the kitchen entrance. It is believed that she felt unfairly treated and that’s why she’s said to haunt this place. Visitors have experienced strange events, including vanishing furniture, swaying chandeliers, a mysterious sense of discomfort in certain parts of the castle. And during guided tours, visitors have been shocked by encountering a hovering female figure that disappears into the wall.
Vasaborgen offers ghost tours that are particularly popular around All Saints’ Day, but you can also book private tours year-round or keep an eye out for exciting events. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget – find more information about Vasaborgen here.
Find the Hymn-Reading Ghost in the Cemetery
Visiting the Old Cemetery in Uppsaladuring All Saints’ Day, when thousands of candles light up the graves, is an atmospheric experience. But it can also be quite eerie. In the mid-1800s, there were well-established rumors that the cemetery was haunted, to the extent that the city’s residents took significant detours around it after nightfall. Several testimonies over the centuries speak of a particular apparition who walks through the cemetery with his head bowed into a hymnbook, muttering verses. There are even those who claim to have attempted to chase down the apparition, only to see it vanish before their eyes – all the while continuing to hear the murmuring of the hymn verses…
If you’re brave enough to take a tour of the cemetery, you’ll experience a true cultural treasure – many influential personalities from Uppsala’s and Sweden’s history are buried here. You can do a guided tour of the cemetery using your smartphone.
Join in as Zombies Take Over the Streets of Uppsala
For those seeking an exciting but more down-to-earth horror experience, Uppsala has something special to offer. Every year, during the All Saints’ Day holiday, the city’s streets are invaded by zombie enthusiastsin terrifying special makeup, masks, and attire. But don’t worry, the zombies participating in the Uppsala Zombie Walk are far from the horror movie variety – instead of hunting for brains, they offer lively music and candy to spectators in the streets.
Those who wish to join the Zombie Walk themselves can receive assistance from the organizer with makeup and styling (free of charge). Whether you choose to watch the parade from a distance or participate in it yourself, this is certainly an unusual and appreciated experience for horror enthusiasts of all… well, many ages.
Get Goosebumps on Guided Ghost Tours
If you’re interested in history with a touch of the dark and mysterious, myths and magic, Norse folklore and so on, you should definitely check out Sweden History Tours in Uppsala. Learn about bloody rituals around protection and love, creepy Swedish folklore creatures, called vaesen, and stories ranging back all the way from the Viking age, to the 19th century.
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