to: "obiwanghoststories @ gmail . com"
date: Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 2:56 PM
subject: The leather clothed ghost !
On the west coast of Norway there is a very small place called "Elsaas". Today there are a couple of families living here, but 50 years ago this was only a place for summer pasture for sheep and cows. Elsaas is on a top of a small mountain, with beautiful views in two directions. Both views are to fjords. The one is "Seimsfjorden" and the other is "Alverstraumen". There is a haunting in this place. an old story of something spooky going on up here. It started with a farmer who had his animals here. A few times during the summer he'd go up to Elsaas to check up on his animals. Every time he came back he'd hurry home, and not speak to anyone for a few days.
The locals in the village of Seim, where he lived notised that he seemed scared every time he got home. The last time he went up there, he came back late at night the same day.This was unusual since he usually stayed there for two or three days. He semed to be out of his whits, and didn't speak to anyone. His friends where worried about him, and had him go to a doctor. this lead to him being put into an asylum. when confronted with his last trip to Elsaas he said only one thing. the leather clothed man.
This was the beginning of a ghost tale. this tale is well known among the elder population of Seim, and Kvamsvaagen. the two villages on either side of Elsaas. The story is not something that one speaks loud about. if you talk about it people will look at you as crazy, or very stupid. But when confronted with questions about the tale, one will get answers.
I once spoke with a man who claimed to have seen the ghost. He is a good friend of mine, and could tell of a man he met while taking an evening walk in the area. Elsaas consists of some pasture which is open grassland, planted forest, and two ponds located in a swamp area. The ponds are called the little and big Elsaas ponds if you come from Seim, and Little and big Fossevatn of you come from Kvamsvaagen. There is some really good fishing in the biggest of the two ponds.
My friend met the ghost while walking by the big pond, in the open grassland. He says that the ghost looks like a living and breathing man. Elderly and clothed in old facion leather clothes as from the viking age. He has no weapons though, and is very friendly. He speaks old Norwegian, but is faily easy to understand. After my friend had spoken with the man for a few minutes, he turns to walk home. He suddenly gets a weird felling, and turns back to the leather clothed man. As if vanished in thin air on a bright sunny afternoon, the man is gone. It is not that my friend realizes that he has been speaking with the Ghost of Elsaas.
I made some questions about the Ghost, and where he comes from. The most interesting story was told to me by an elderly lady. She thinks that the ghost is "King Haakon the good". Her explenation is very reasonable. At the time when King Haakon died there weren't any docks in Seim, large enough for the Kings longboats. The tradition was that the kings men should carry the kings dead body, and his slaves and hores where to carry his belonging to take with him in the grave.
A traditional barrial in those days would usually require a lot of drinking, and singing, and the road over the mountain was narrow, and steap. By the time they got up to the marshes surrounding the two ponds, they where so drunk and tired of carrying that they decided to dump the King in the swamp, take the rest of the kings bellongings to Seim and lay them to rest in the grave.
The grave of "King Haakon the good" is still in Seim, but scientists have never found any human remains there. Only the bones from a horse, and some other items, typically used by royalty in those days.
You may use this story as is.
I have left out all the names except the names of places and the "Ghost" him self. Everything written here is supposed to be true. I my self have never met the Ghost of Elsaas, but I have gone fishing in the two ponds. They are both filled with brown trout, and the big pond has some really big ones. the biggest I've heard of caught there was 5 pounds. Early in the morning the marshes there can seem a bit creepy, but during the day, the view is spectacular with a view extending for near 100 km in each direction. A place worthy for a kings grave.