Sunday, June 2, 2013

Norway: The Bloody Monk

Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway. Within this city sits one of Europe’s oldest and largest stone churches. The Nidaros Cathedral or “Nidarosdomen” in Norwegian is a medieval cathedral built in 1070. It was restored in 1814. 

Photograph: Morten Dreier

This church is the result of many craftsmen who spent their entire lives working on it. Norway’s most famous ghost haunts the Nidaros Cathedral.

Several generations of Norwegians have seen the ghost of a bloody monk in this cathedral. Like most good ghost stories there are legends about this monk as well as a real haunting. 

One reliable witness account was printed in the newspaper, Aftenposten in 1930. A bishop’s wife by the name of Marie Gieditsch during a church service in 1924 saw a most unusual sight. As the priest was singing a hymn, she saw an apparition of a medieval monk first standing in an archway in the cathedral. This figure’s sad bright blue eyes locked with hers.

“He had a tonsure and wore monks robe. His face was beautiful, with sharp lines and glowing eyes. The monk walked right through one of the choir members attending the mass. While the priest was in front of the altar, the monk moved behind him.”

Alarmed Marie saw this figure place its hands around the priest’s throat and begin to choke him. Others in the church saw his hands encircle the priest’s neck, but they did not see the rest of him.

“Then he raised his head, and the woman (Marie) saw that he had a stripe of blood on his throat.”

Marie repelled by the sight of blood dripping from his slashed throat averted her eyes downward only to look up a moment later to see the monk standing in the area near the church archway again. Despite the blood, she described him as being young and very good looking.

“I looked back up, the monk was standing with his arms crossed then he just disappeared.”

The priest who conducted the service later stated he had gotten a feeling of desperation, and then a sense that something was stuck in his throat. Part of the legend is that Marie also saw this apparition remove its head from its bloody body before it disappeared.

Various witnesses over the years have seen this monk in the cathedral, in the smaller chapels and also outside near the cemetery. 

Yet other church members have seen this monk’s hands reach out and choke other people. It seems this is how he shows his displeasure with people he does not like. Some claim they have even conversed with this ghostly monk.

Recent accounts also mention inexplicable chanting and organ music is heard coming from the Nidaros cathedral late at night.

Another ongoing phenomenon in this church is seen in one small basement room. This room is so low people cannot stand upright in it. 

Photographer: Steve Cadman
Early in the cathedral’s history, the basement was used as a tomb for prominent figures from Trondheim. Ever since people have spotted rose petals scattered across this small room’s floor. 

When recent witnesses have inquired about these petals, they are told that they just appear. It seems once a week fresh rose petals appear and the wilted ones disappear. No one knows who does this. The entrance to this room is always kept barred and locked.

This ghost story about this monk is so popular in Norway that it was made into a television series and it inspired Frid Ingulstad’s novel The Monk, 1991.

One footnote--after I published this post--DeviantArt the largest online community of artists held a contest to see who could draw the "Bloody Monk." They also gave me linkbacks which were wonderful. Here are just two of the art pieces that were drawn--


Leona Joan said...

What a haunting story. Thanks! 😎

Unknown said...

It's so interesting to learn different things about the world we live in. Thank you for this informative article!

Voltageshock said...

Great story. With that church being dated way back no wonder its haunted. I love hearing about old ghost hauntings that been passed down for centuries. Very intriguing to say the least! Thank you!