Blog Post

Is Sweden’s Royal Palace Haunted?

Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

A documentary is scheduled to be aired on public television in Sweden tomorrow which documents the belief that the Royal Palace in Stockholm is haunted.

The AFP is reporting on the special which features Queen Silvia clearly stating her belief that the palace is haunted.

"There are small friends... ghosts. They're all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you're not completely alone," Queen Silvia says in the documentary. "It's really exciting. But you don't get scared," she adds.

Known as Drottningholm Palace, it was built in the 1600s on Lovon island in Stockholm and serves as the permanent resident of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

The king’s sister, Princess Christina, reveals her belief in “energies” during the documentary when she tells viewers that “there is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises.”

She adds: "There's stories about ghosts in all old houses. They have been filled with people over the centuries. The energies remain."

Two of the most well-known ghosts haunting the Stockholm palace are the White Lady and the Gray Man.

According to this article appearing several years ago in the Swedish publication, Aftonbladet, the Gray Man is the oldest ghost at the Royal Palace and generally keeps to the north wing of the building.

“Some say he is from the time when the first castle was built, the Birger Jarl's time. He is a small man with old-fashioned coat with hood. It is said he appeared to all the kings who lived at the castle - except for King Carl Gustaf,” the article states.

Queen Silvia of SwedenHowever, the White Lady is by far the most famous ghost. She has been described as being tall and dark haired with delicate features and is seen in a white silk dress with a lace collar. She is said to appear just before or after someone dies at the castle. She is believed to be the late Duchess Agnes of Meran, a German noblewoman who lived in the 1200s. Married to Count Otto of Orlamunde until he died in 1293, she is said to have murdered their children in order to marry Albrect, a Count from Nurnberg. The Count apparently abandoned her and she ended up dying in prison.

Her appearances, usually signaled by the sound of swishing silk, have been amply documented by the royals over the years.

For instance, when Oscar II lay dying, there were many who saw the White Lady walking through the castle, the Aftonbladet reports. This was also the case during the 1920’s when Crown Princess Margaret, the wife of Gustaf VI Adolf lay dying and the palace flag was suddenly lowered to half-staff even though no one had been ordered to do this. When a member of the Royal Guard was sent up to determine who had lowered the flag, he returned looking pale and claiming that he had seen the white lady. Two hours later the princess died.

The currently reigning King Carl Gustaf confessed to having his own experience of the White Lady.

“That was when my grandfather died, Gustav VI Adolf. Me and my sister Christina had eaten dinner and were heading back to my private apartment at the castle. We passed through Bernadotte gallery. We had an adjutant with us, an experienced officer. Instead of going with us, he went suddenly off to the other end of the salon. He walked as in a trance. We called him. Then he shrugged and mumbled something that he would turn off the lights there. Years later he told me that he had seen the white lady in the parlor. He felt like a strong suction from her. He had to go against her. It was like a spell, and it was not broken until we had shouted at him.”

The guard dared not tell him this at the time and the King did not say if someone had died either before or after this particular sighting.

“Personally, I have not seen the White Lady, but I, like so many others here at the castle, felt strange things,” the King added.

Most of the ghost stories are tied to the guest floor where foreign heads of state usually stay when visiting the country. Servants employed in these quarters tell about hearing strange noises such as the moving of furniture and doors opening and closing. The sounds are so real that the former Dutch queen Juliana refused to sleep there after hearing these noises during her first night spent in the castle.

So who – or what – is the source of these manifestations? The Church has long believed that demonic entities are the probable source of “ghost” hauntings. Phenomenon such as unexplained noises and the appearance of ghostly figures are typical signs of demonic infestation in a house.

Although Sweden long ago abandoned the Catholic faith, it would appear that the Royal Palace could use the services of a good priest to rid the dwelling of the “energies” that have been allowed to take up residency there.