The Svenska Teatern, Helsinki
The Svenska Teatern, Helsinki

(Image: Esa Ennelin)

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Haunted Helsinki

By , , updated on

It’s Halloween – what better time to tell the tales of haunted Helsinki?

Over the centuries Helsinki has gathered its fair share of specters and spirits, and here we highlight three places where the visiting ghost-hunter might be fortunate enough to spot something otherworldly.

Finnish National Theater

The Finnish National Theater is a good place to start. Built in 1902, the theater has seen its fair share of acted drama and is also rumored to be haunted by more than one ghost, several of which are former actors at the theater.

One of the actors whose ghost is said to wander the theater’s halls is Urho Somersalmi.  In 1962, the drama took a real-life turn when Somersalmi hanged himself after having murdered his wife with an ax. His ghost now reputedly wanders the theater’s halls, wielding the fatal weapon.

While several spirits share Urho’s haunt, one which is easily identifiable is the Grey Lady. A spectral figure shrouded in a grey robe, she wanders through the building searching for her script.

Svenska Teatern

Not far from the National Theater is the Svenska Teatern, or Swedish Theater. The stories of its apparent haunting are less well known, but it is said to be host to multiple ghosts who are identified by their colours – four ladies adorned in black, grey, white and turquoise and three lords in grey, white and black. The most feared is the malicious black lord, who is said to appear when the play “Axel” is performed at the theater.

The Burger’s House or ‘Ruiskumestarin Talo’ (‘Fire Chief’s House’) is now a museum, where you can see how the Wickholm family lived. Entry is always free.
(Image: Maritta Jones / Discover Helsinki)

The Burgher’s House

Kruununhaka was, in the 1800s, home to the city’s petite bourgeoisie who lived there in small, wooden houses and the Burgher’s House is the only one that remains today.

Burgher Alexandre Wickholm, the head of Helsinki’s fire brigade bought the house in 1859. During his life, Wickholm enjoyed sitting on a small boulder in the garden at his home. When he died, the stone was moved and placed at his grave, after which a number of disturbances began to occur at the house.

The disturbances ended when the stone was returned to its original site in the garden. It has been told that his spirit can sometimes be seen sitting on the stone after darkness falls.

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