The building where I work right now has a dark past which to this day haunts certain people who walk it's halls..
Toftes Gift of Helgøya was Norway’s first child welfare institution, a gift to Christiana community by the wealthy business man Andreas Tofte. Until it was absolished in 1949, 3000 boys were at one time or another starved, abused, and harrassed there. At the most there were 160 boys living there and most would describe the institution as more of a prison (if not worse) then caring orphanage.
The boys would work the farm lands around the main building and work days could be 12 hours long. Discipline involved beatings, starvation, and the absolute worst were put in dark cells in the basement. The longest recorded stay in one of the cells was 14 days. They were not fed during these times and sanitation conditions were non-exsistent.
If the boys tried to escape from the island they were brought back by farmers who were paid to go out in their boats and bring the boys back.
The boys were also schooled when they weren’t working in the fields. They learned a variety of skills such as knitting, basket weaving, and wood working outside of regular school courses such as math.
Last year when I worked on the main land I heard stories from the women who worked here on the island about strange happenings here at the building we now call Midtun. Gates shutting themselves, doors also, walking through a hall and experiencing several variations in temperatures, shadows moving about, things missing, water being left on all night long so that it ran over the sink and onto the floor…the children claimed to see an older woman sitting in a corner of the various rooms knitting. The adults never saw her but the children described her and her description was correctly repeated each time there was a sighting. It was determined that it was the knitting teacher or home ecomonics teacher who the children were seeing..
Enough strange things were happening that it was decided they’d bring in a medium who could remove the spirits and send them on their way. According to those present when the medium visited Midtun this is what happened: The knitting teacher refused to move to the light because according to her she wasn’t dead! The medium also met several boys spirits and an older man’s spirit. The older man was sent into the light but the boys who posed no threat were left alone. Apparently the next day gates were slammed and according to the women who worked there at the time, it was very evident that the knitting teacher wasn’t happy that they had tried to remove her.
So you can imagine my anticipation about beginning work at Midtun this past August. While I can’t say I believe in ghosts I can’t say I don’t either..I haven’t been proven either way so anything could be possible. I made a lot of effort to be as cheery as I could the first weeks I worked there and especially when I was alone I’d sing or smile or just try and be positive, hoping my positive energy would ward off any scary ghost energy that happened to try and take contact. But nothing…no cold chills, no shadows, nothing, so I was able to relax and many of the women working with me said things were “quiet” now that they hadn’t noticed many of the things they had noticed before.
Well, today I was dressing a little girl and as I was dressing her she was looking down the hallway like she saw someone and without saying anything she pointed. I looked and didn’t see anyone and I instantly smiled and I asked her, “do you see someone honey?” she just nodded her head yes. I said, “is it an older woman?” again she nodded her head, yes…I just smiled, I didn’t see anything but had no reason not to believe she didn’t really think she saw someone. I finished dressing her and asked her if the woman was still there and she looked around me and down the hall and nodded her head yes again…so I of course shared this stuff with my co-workers and they said it’s starting up again, and that it was about time it had been quiet way too long. They just laughed like it was no big deal but I was kinda left thinking….huh…hmmm…ugh…hmmm…so I don’t know, I should probably keep that positive energy going at work and hope that today’s little episode is the worst that I experience at Tofte’s Gift (Midtun) and that will be ok. I’ll keep you posted how my ghost story develops…
What about you? Do you believe in ghosts? Sarah asked me this and I’ll ask you; Why do you think children see ghosts and we adults don’t?
Until next time my friends- keep the positive energy flowing….:-))