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Brothers Tony Martinsson and Niclas Laaksonen along with their wives Linda and Sofia founded LaxTon Ghost Sweden in 2014. The ghost hunting team was one of Sweden's first. Their fascination began with a tragic event in their hometown as children.
"Everything started in Kiruna in 1988 when a fire started in our cousins' house on Christmas Eve. Our cousins Peter and Johanna who were eleven and five years old died in the fire. After that incident, things were happening in our family's apartment, which was the last place our cousins were, since we celebrated Christmas at our house."
LaxTon Ghost Team. Photo: Laxton Ghost
From there the brothers' interest expanded until Tony got a Spirit Box from Linda in 2014, a radio that is purportedly used to communicate with spirits through various frequencies. Immediately, they were hooked.
The duo went on to collect an arsenal of equipment including night vision, heat, and motion cameras, electromagnetic meters, and even developed their own Paranormal Music Box (PMB). It's claimed that the PMB plays a melodic tune if any mass moves in front of it as far as three metres away, and that any spirit in the area can manipulate the frequencies into producing audible messages.
With over 90,000 subscribers and eight million views on YouTube, LaxTon Ghost has been quite successful as one of the few ghost hunting teams in Sweden. This success rose further when on May 1st, 2018, the brothers acquired the Borgvattnet haunted vicarage, said to be one of Sweden's and the world's most haunted buildings.
It has been "a hugely exciting project that requires a lot of investment because we want the manse to remain for a long time to come", Martinsson told The Local.
LaxTon Ghost Team. Photo: LaxTon Ghost
The house was built in 1876 and inhabited mainly by priests between 1876 and 1973. That last one, Erik Lindgren, lived there from 1945 to 1973, and it was during his stay that paranormal activity started to occur.
"Erik experienced many things that could not be explained in the house. The feeling of being observed, children's voices, and doors being opened yet nobody coming inside were common occurrences," Martinsson said.
As the priest experienced these things and told stories, word of the phenomena began to spread throughout the town and beyond, and people have been coming to see Spökprästgården – or the Ghost Priest House – for themselves ever since.
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Martinsson explained his account of the first time he stayed in Spökprästgården for 24 hours straight.
"All four of us had dizziness, nausea, headaches, and a strong feeling that we were not alone, that 'they' knew who we were. We tried to document down as much as we could during the only night we had, but because we were so affected, we got out of the house on a number of occasions and we came out dizzy with a headache. But we defied this feeling and spent 24 hours in total in the house."
That's quite a long time to spend in one of the most haunted houses in Sweden. But they pushed on, nonetheless.
Team tracking ghosts in house. Photo: LaxTon Ghost
"We placed the PMB on a table aiming at the couch (that several people had told us they had seen 'people' sitting in). One and two hours went by without anything happening but then we heard a faint pling sound from the music box. My brother and I ran up the stairs and saw the PMB still facing the couch, and the first thing that strikes us is that the atmosphere in the room is completely different from before. It was as if you stand near an old television screen and the hair on your arm stands up, the room went completely static."
"The PMB picks up again and I asked: Is there someone sitting on the couch?" he continued. "After the question, it begins to play, not just a little – but the whole melody. It was clear that we had contact with some intelligent energy that night."
It's quite the claim, but the story doesn't stop there.
"In the same room as the PMB, we now proceeded to communicate with the energy inside. It started with three bang sounds through the SB7 (Spiritbox) that uses radio noise. The theory is that the other side is able to manipulate this noise into audible words and sentences. In the same second as we heard these bangs through our communication tool, Niclas felt like he got three strokes over his face. But what came to freeze my blood for a couple seconds is when the communication tool said 'Tony Martinsson'."
PMB on ground in house. Photo: LaxTon Ghost
Martinsson insists that there was no doubt about the message he claims to have received.
"My first and last name, clearly. I asked Niclas if he heard that and he did. This suggests that there is something intelligent in the manse, which even knows my name and surname. It was an extremely exciting and fascinating experience that I will never forget."
"Then, we found the door to the attic that was hidden behind the couch on the second floor. Me and my brother moved the couch and slowly opened the door to the attic. We saw a small storage room where old clothes hung and then directly to the right there was a narrow old staircase."
Laaksonen hunting ghosts in house. Photo: LaxTon Ghost
"There was no lighting so we got out night vision camera to orientate us and we walked up the stairs, only getting to the first step when we both experienced huge discomfort and a strong feeling that we should go. We quickly went down the stairs, closed the door to the attic, moved the couch, and went down to the monitor center. Then Niclas complains about sharp pain over his back. I lifted up his T-shirt and turned on a flashlight. Clear marks appeared across his back – red marks that were not there before."
Let's all hope he just scratched his back a bit too hard. Martinsson can even explain where in the house the hauntings tend to reside.
"Things happen in each room but the most popular rooms are the crying room and the blue room. Both with experiences that you see figures and hear crying. The room that people describe as the most unpleasant is the yellow room, where voices and children's screaming can be heard from the walls."
Most people will never go near such a place. But if the idea thrills you, and a journey is on the cards, the haunting reality is about a six hours car ride north of Stockholm in Borgvattnet.
"There is a story about a girl who was with child. Because she was not married, this was a big shame, and she decided to kill the child. It is said that the child should be buried in one of the corners of the house. That's why crying is heard both from the child and a woman."