Obscure films you need to see #2: Primer (2004)

507a7f053a6ccfec52a3692acd5db4a3

Let’s face it: most times, making a film great requires money. Very few people in this world possess the know-how and inventiveness to genuinely be able to use a small budget to their advantage. Thankfully, there are some. Director/screenwriter/editor/composer Shane Carruth is one of them.

Primer tells the story of two enterpreneurs who spend their days engineering equipment for the scientific and medical fields. The pay isn’t great, and the financial risks involved place the job firmly in the “for the brave and inventive only” bracket. That’s only the surface of things, though – in reality, there’s something much more ambitious and potentially dangerous (not to mention potentially lucrative) going on in the garage-turned-engineering-facility.

There, the two young inventors are working on a device that, if it works, will have a major impact on the modern world. Should it work, the device they’re building will disrupt the time-space continuum, effectively making it a small time machine of sorts (though not the kind you usually see in films where the protagonist uses a huge spaceship-looking contraption to travel to the 19th century). Once they feel the device is ready enough for the first experiment, it’s time to try it. The film follows the unexpected effects of these experiments, so I won’t give away the plot any further.

Primer has such an intense mood, and the actors do such an amazing job that the viewer is almost completely fooled into thinking that this might actually work in real life. Carruth has enough of a grasp of physics to be able to throw in enough pseudo-science to add to the believability of the story, and the small-scale nature of the goings-on add to the audience’s ability to empathize with the characters.

The overarching theme of the film, however, is not really time travel in and of itself. More than that, the film examines the unholy union between the human mind (and human nature) and unlimited power over other people and circumstances.  The characters in the film are not bad people – they’re just people, with flaws and weaknesses. The film seems to ask: “Is it possible for even basically good people to be able to keep a handle on themselves if presented with an opportunity for absolute control?”

The narrative of the film is extremely complex – be warned. The structure of the film reflects the mindset of the two protagonists: what they have discovered is complex and unpredictable, and the information is fragmented and difficult to put together into a cohesive framework. You will feel the same way in watching the film, and that’s the point. Primer is a prime example (pun intended) of a film that stays with you for a long time.

Science is a wonderful tool if used for the betterment of the Earth, but simply making scientific progress without regard for ethical considerations (as those who view science almost as a religion tend to think it should be done) will lead us down a very, very dark path. Personally, I’m hopeful that there are laws of nature yet uncovered that will take effect if the darker side of the human brain gets too close to discoveries we’re not mature enough as a species to handle.

Time shall tell and we shall know. One day.

 

 

 

Alien: Covenant (arvostelu / movie review in Finnish)

Ensimmäinen Alien-elokuva (1979) on yksi kaikkien aikojen scifi-tarinoista. Elokuvan tunnelma on huikean intensiivinen, ja jännittävät toimintakohtaukset saavat katsojan pulssin nousemaan kuin elokuvan avaruushirviö olisi omassa olohuoneessa, sohvan takana vaanimassa. 

Pääseekö Covenant lähellekään ensimmäisen elokuvan hohtoa? Kysymys on tavallaan turha, sillä nämä kaksi elokuvaa lähestyvät aihettaan erilaisilla keinoilla. 

Covenantin tapahtumat käynnistyvät kymmenen vuotta Prometheus-elokuvan jälkeen. Joukko Maasta lähetettyjä ihmisiä on matkalla kolonisoimaan uuden planeetan, jonne on tarkoitus laajentaa ihmiskunnan vaikutusvaltaa universumissa. Kaikki on valmiina: planeetta on esivalittu sopivana, ja retkikunnalla on mukanaan satoja sikiöitä planeetan kansoittamisen edistämiseksi.

Kesken matkaa retkikunnan aluksen kommunikaatiojärjestelmä poimii signaalin, jonka mukaan lähellä on elinkelpoinen planeetta joka sopisi kolonisoitavaksi yhtä hyvin kuin seitsemän vuoden matkan päässä häämöttävä esivalittu pallokin. Koska 7 vuoden cryo-uni ei houkuttele, retkikunta lähettää tiedustelujoukkion tunnustelemaan yllättäen löytyneen planeetan maaperää. Silloin kaikki alkaa mennä pieleen…

Alien: Covenant uskaltaa ottaa riskejä. Olisi epäilemättä ollut helpompaa laittaa joukko ihmisiä juoksemaan taas irvihampaista hirviötä karkuun avaruusaluksella. Tekijäjoukko on kuitenkin liian kunnianhimoinen sellaiseen, ja käyttää aivottoman räiskinnän sijaan hyväkseen tilaisuuden pohtia luomakuntaa, aikaa, avaruutta ja ihmisen petomaista luonnetta. Michael Fassbenderin esittämät “synteetit” David ja Walter käyvät elokuvan kiinnostavimmat keskustelut: miksi kaikin puolin ihmistä etevämpien androidien kannattaisi alistua palvelemaan ihmistä? 

Kun toimintakohtausten aika koittaa, ne nivoutuvat vaivattomasti osaksi laajempaa temaattista kokonaisuutta. Aseet laulavat ja jännittävät taistelut elämästä ja kuolemasta kahden lajin välillä seuraavat toinen toistaan erityisesti elokuvan loppupuolella, mutta räiskintä ei ole itsetarkoituksellista. Elokuvan henkilöhahmoista, erityisesti päähenkilö Danielsista, välittää aidosti, ja heidän puolestaan jännittää oikeasti. 

Covenant ei edes yritä kilpailla alkuperäisen Alienin kanssa. Se tunnustaa ensimmäisen elokuvan klassikoksi ja antaa sen hallita omassa sarjassaan, lähtien luomaan itse omaa polkuaan halki petollisen, äärettömyydessään kauhistuttavan avaruuden halki. 

Matkalle kannattaa lähteä mukaan. 

Interview with actor and ex-Scientologist Steven Mango

steven_mango

1) In case some people have been living in a tomcruiseless universe for the past 50 years, tell us, in your own words, what is Scientology? 

Scientology claims to be a self-help religious philosophy founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology has its own form of spiritual counseling called auditing. There are levels you go up within The Bridge To Total Freedom that Scientology says takes you on a path towards spiritual freedom and enlightenment. It’s all, however, bogus. It’s all a pyramid scheme based on money and power. Plus, the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, is a truly evil person who ruins the lives of thousands (if not more) people around the world.

 

2)    Who are you? How did you end up involved in Scientology? Take us through your journey!

My name is Steven Mango and I am an actor in Los Angeles. When I first moved to Hollywood when I was 18 years old I got into Scientology through an acting workshop, Breaking Into The Industry, hosted by an actor named Gino Montesinos. From there, I signed up for a $50 self-help book course called Self Analysis. I got hooked into Scientology and donated over $50,000 during the course of my time in the cult. I tell my full story in my documentary at https://youtu.be/LfKqOUMrCw8 if you are interested to hear me discuss my 2.5 hour story!

 

3)    It appears that Scientology has a special appeal for creative people. Why do you think that is? 

Scientology targets creative folks. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wanted well known people in Scientology to give it legitimacy. He targeted many celebrities to be a face for Scientology. Scientology believes creative people operate on an aesthetic waveband and they are the creators of our future and our society. In addition, L. Ron Hubbard believed that artists needed to be rehabilitated. They attract suppression and low toned people to them and are frequently a target of others for their special abilities. Scientology opened its Celebrity Centre to give a special place for artists. But, as you learn on my YouTube channel, it’s a destructive place that ruined my life and stole money from me, amongst many other horrible things.

 

4)    What happens when you walk in through the doors of a scientology center and say “Yes” to one of their recruiters? Walk us through the process! 

You normally don’t say yes quite so easily! I have been in regging cycles for hours and hours, locked in rooms, had credit cards charged without my authorization, etc. I never once tried to sign up for a Scientology course on my own accord or self determinism! But, once you say yes and hand over the money, they put you on a routing form. You get your course materials and see the course supervisor to make your schedule. Remember not to be a minute late or you will be sent to Ethics to get punished and asked about what crimes you committed since you last were on Course! Enjoy!

 

5)    Money plays a huge part in Scientology: big buildings, big properties, flashy logos etc. Who pays for all this? 

The parishioners do. I discuss a lot of this on my YouTube channel as well. Scientology courses, obviously, cost an incredible amount of money. There is what’s called the IAS, or the International Association of Scientologists. This is their membership department. You need a membership to be a Scientologist and those can run you from $500/year all the way to upper level memberships that may run you several million dollars! In addition, Scientology will fundraise for their buildings, their Superbowl commercials, etc. Parishoners will donate thousands upon thousands of dollars under duress. They will be threatened to get expelled from the cult if they don’t donate enough. They are forced to give these donations to remain connected to friends or loved ones, essentially.

 

6)    How do they get the money out of you? Most members are normal, average-earning people, from what I know…

You will give everything you have to Scientology. Even if you are a normal, average earning person. I didn’t make anywhere close to the amount of money I donated. They get you to give money on credit cards and loans or to borrow money from others. They will have contacts in the banks to approve high limit credit cards you don’t even qualify for. The ends justify the means. It’s all OK, even if it’s illegal, as long as you get the money in their hands. You will also sell your car or cut back on your life in order to have money to give to Scientology.

Mostly it is forced donations. They would tell me to donate the total amount of my checking account to Scientology. They would rack up my credit cards, even without my permission. They would have me write advanced checks if I was expecting a paycheck. It’s crazy what they do to get you to donate!

 

7)    One of the best known and most controversial aspects of Scientology is the Xenu story, Scientology’s origin story that brings to mind a 1950s B-scifi movie. At one point do they expose you to this story? 

I never did OT 3. The materials are publicly available online. But remember, once you are at the level of OT 3, you have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and have spent dozens of years in Scientology. You believe in it with your whole heart. L. Ron Hubbard was source. He is like a God. You believe everything L. Ron Hubbard says as a guru. All your family and friends are Scientologists. You work for Scientologists. You live with them. There isn’t any turning back once you get to OT 3. You are highly conditioned at that point of The Bridge.

 

8)    Do you believe L. Ron Hubbard actually wanted to help people, or was Scientology meant to be a business from the start? 

It’s hard to say. Most all critics, such as myself, will say it was all a money making scam. However, there were some helpful items in Scientology. Was it worth being in debt, being suicidal after leaving, getting PTSD, and having my life ruined to learn how to communicate better? Of course not! I think there may be a few things in Scientology that are beneficial, but the organization is corrupt and it’s a money making racket.

 

9)    Getting back to you, what’s in your future? 

I have a great life now with my husband Jeff and our two dogs, Phineas and Penelope. I am still pursing my acting career. I’ll be discussing the Scientology EMeter on the A&E TV show Storage Wars on May 31. Check local listings to see what time it airs near you. I am writing my memoir about my experiences within Scientology. I also post weekly videos on my channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE5IHywtKYHcTGfr0AUB1Mw I also am a Beverly Hills hairdresser and take clients in the salon.

 

10) What was it like working on ‘My Scientology Movie’? Where can people see it? 

I love the BBC and Louis Theroux. I always wanted to be in a Louis Theroux documentary. When the chance approached, and it was to expose Scientology, I was on board. I loved being able to tell my story and also act in the reenactment scenes of the Scientology prison The Hole. I was always told by Scientology that I needed to stay silent and that my story didn’t matter. Louis gave me a voice and allowed me to tell my story on a worldwide level. I will forever appreciate the opportunity he gave me!

You can see My Scientology Movie on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, On Demand, and on DVD. Go to MyScientologyMovie.com to see how to see it in a city near you!

(Book review in Finnish) Mihin minä uskon? toim. Eveliina Lauhio. WSOY 2017

dav

Taas yksi kanava julkkiksille puhua itsestään? Ei, onneksi.

Lauhion kirjassa tunnetut suomalaiset kertovat suhteestaan uskontoon, jumalaan ja yliluonnolliseen. Kirja on rakennettu temaattiseen järjestykseen: “Epäily”, “Usko”, jne. Toisin sanoen, teos ei ole pelkkää todistusta elävästä jumalasta – monet kirjaan kirjoittaneista ovat ateisteja jotka löytävät elämänsä filosofisen sisällön jostain muualta kuin pyhistä kirjoista. Virkistävän moni kirjoittaja suhtautuu uskontoon myös ikään kuin ambivalentisti: “en ole varma.”

Joistain kirjoittajista paljastuu uutta ja ihailtavaakin pohdiskelevuutta ja viisautta, kun taas toiset vain vahvistavat aiempaa käsitystäni heistä.

Uskonnottomuudestaan kirjoittava aivokirurgi Juha Hernesniemi paljastuu kirjassa varsin viisaaksi ja sivistyneeksi, empaattiseksikin hahmoksi – ja minä kun kuvittelin että aivokirurgit ovat brutaalin rationaalisia olentoja jotka eivät ole kiinnostuneita edes pohtimaan mahdollista todellisuutta aivojen ulkopuolella! Hernesniemen haikean kaunis pohdiskelu elämän hauraudesta on liikuttavaa luettavaa.

Kauko Röyhkä taas on kiinnostunut täsmälleen yhdestä asiasta: Kauko Röyhkästä. Uskontosuhteen pohdiskelun sijaan Röyhkä päätyy muun muassa kirjoittamaan villistä ajastaan Portugalissa, sekä hämmästelemään kykyään kirjoittaa lauluja ja kirjoja (miehen kirjat ovat aivan kamalia; lukaisepa huviksesi vaikka Ocean City).

Lauhion kirja on mielenkiintoinen, tietyssä mielessä rohkeakin kannanotto 2000-luvun elämänmenoon. Henkisyydestä, jumalista ja uskonnoista puhumisen dynamiikka on ollut viime aikoina se, että joku kirjoittaa jotakin tahallisen provokatiivista Facebookiin tai yleisönosastopalstalle, ja tätä huudahdusta sitten joko kritisoidaan tai ylistetään. Mihin minä uskon on pohdiskelevuudessaan ja mielipiteiden kirjon salliessaan juurikin sitä “ylentävää” keskustelua, jota moni tulenarkaan aiheeseen kaipaa.

Suosittelen.

A Shot in the Dark.

(The following is a chapter from my upcoming book, Northern Lights Sonata.)

On the 3rd of February 1984 the narrative of average, everyday Finnish life was cut off by a gunshot in the night. The shot would produce one of the strangest homicides in Finnish history, a seemingly baffling killing that appears to have no motive, no perpetrator and no sense whatsoever. 


The eighties were a period of excess: it appears that whatever people were up to in those days, they were involved in it 100 percent. Yuppies on Wall Street did more cocaine than Pablo Escobar’s personal army of bodyguards combined, fashion was, let’s say, “experimental” to the fullest, and Rambo didn’t miss with a single bullet while blowing away the enemies of freedom.

In a snowy Finland in February 1984, far away from the limousines of Wall Street, a young couple were enjoying a cozy pint in a bar on Iso-Roobertinkatu, Helsinki.

(David Holloway. Photo credit © Alibi)

The duo, a man and a woman, deviated from the regular customer base of the place. The man, named David Holloway, was Canadian and his wife Linda Jakobsen was Danish. A strange reason had brought them to Finland, one very much tied to the aforementioned excesses and fads of the era.

As it happens, they were both wholeheartedly dedicated to an unusual fad: macrobiotic lifestyle. This is a way of life where one’s diet is a kind of mixture of spirituality and cuisine, an attempt to balance one’s energies through the application of a dietary plan aimed at harmonizing the yin and the yang.

A year earlier the couple had been in England, where they had met a Finnish entrepreneur who worked in supplying macrobiotic paraphernalia customers. The man had convinceded the couple that the place to be for anyone wanting learn more about this “spiritual diet” was Finland, a small country in northern Europe known for its deep connection with nature.

In ’84 David and Linda had made the trek to Finland to further their study of all things macrobiotic, and were living in a commune near downtown Helsinki. Other members of the commune would later remember the couple fondly as friendly and helpful.

But back to that bar.

Around three o’clock in the morning David and his girlfriend decided they’d had their last pints for the night; it was time to head home from the bar. They chose a route leading through downtown, then across a big park, and finally along the shore of a large pond near the park; the cozy wooden house where the commune resided was located next to this body of water.

As they were walking across the park (named Kaisaniemen puisto, “Kaisaniemi Park”) for some odd reason no one knows to this day David told his girlfriend that he wanted to hurry up before her, telling her they would see each other at home. And so, he took off, jogging ahead of his girlfriend before ultimately disappearing from her sight.

Linda kept a more leisurely pace, walking after her boyfriend. After a few minutes she noticed something on the path ahead, something that looked like a black trash bag or a coat laying on the path as though discarded by its owner. When she finally reached a point where she could make out the actual shape of the object, she went into shock – it was David, laying on the path. At first she thought he had had a seizure of some sort, but then she could make out something troubling in the darkness – blood. It looked as though David had been shot or stabbed.

She quickly ran to the nearest building and woke up the resident, desperate for help. Accompanied by this friendly stranger she made her way back to David. The stranger confirmed it: David had been shot in the head. Time to call the cops and an ambulance, in the slim hope that they might still be able to revive the young man.

(Police recreation of the crime scene. © Alibi)

David was still alive when the ambulance blazed through the snowy night, but only technically; he died in the hospital a few hours later.

The police detectives investigating the crime were in for a headache. David appeared to have no known enemies, nor did Linda for that matter. The couple were simply in Finland as students, studying a kind of variation on the old Eastern theme of harmony and balance.

David’s circle of friends, his co-workers at his job, and Linda’s acquaintances and friends were all investigated, but to no avail. People in the commune were interrogated. Nothing. There simply was no suspect. 

So what happened to David Holloway, student of macrobiotic diet from Canada? The possible scenarios essentially have to be built from scratch, but we can speculate. 

1) A freak accident.

Maybe someone was cleaning their gun on their balcony when it accidentally went off and hit the unsuspecting victim. This theory has a certain brutal logic to it, but it fails to explain David’s bizarre need to hurry up before his girlfriend. 

2) A random killing by a wannabe serial killer

This is the kind of lazy theory that can easily be applied to any mystery. Cases where someone simply decides to murder the first person they come across to see what it feels like to kill are extremely rare they are practically nonexistent. Having spoken with police detectives and other experts on crime for this book, I can say with some certainty that this type of scenario is very, very unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely. 

3) Holloway led a dark double life

We all carry secrets in our hearts that we have never shared with anyone. Some of them are too painful to share, while others we keep to ourselves because they might cause pain to our loved ones. 

It is entirely possible that Holloway was involved in something less than noble, and this double life caught up with him in the form of a bullet. However, again we have to ask: how LIKELY is this?

Holloway was living in a strange country, and his Finnish language skills were not adequate to build a network of criminal enterprise, especially one so serious that those involved got killed if they made a mistake. Furthermore, Holloway was from a respected and reasonably wealthy family in Canada, and was not so poor as to have to resort to crime. 

It does, however, seem as though David deliberately wanted to disappear from the view of his girlfriend, perhaphs to meet up with someone in secret. But who? And why?

As for Linda, there was never any indication that she would have been involved in the killing, either. The two were not married, so she was not set to inherit David, nor is there any other discernible reason why she would have assassinated her boyfriend in cold blood.

Over 30 years later, we still have no clue what happened. The police believe they know exactly where the bullet was fired from, but refuse to tell the public due to investigative reasons. What other information they have, we don’t know. It might be time to start sharing that information – it certainly seems like hiding it isn’t exactly helping…

The most famous unsolved murder in Finland’s history.

In the late evening hours of May 17th 1953 an old man sits in the kitchen of his home in a small town named Isojoki in rural Finland. He awaits his daughter, who should be arriving home any minute now from a religious service in town. After the clock strikes midnight, the man gives up and goes to bed, sleeping restlessly in his bed. 

Kyllikki is not home. 


The story of Kyllikki Saari and her sad departure from among the living begins on that night. In the dark of a rural country road, the young country named Finland receives its first enduring murder mystery, a story that will be written about in tabloid papers and books and discussed in true crime television shows for the next  five decades. 

Kyllikki Saari was exactly the kind of person an entire nation mourns. She was quiet, hard working, and seemingly innocent in all regards. Even the most famous photo of her shows her in her Christian confirmation dress, like a maiden dressed for a bizarre sacrifice where innocence is corrupted in the name of taming some dark, irressistible force.

She was a country girl, used to hard work and fear of her Lord. Her great passions in life were related to service to the evangelical church, and she was a frequent visitor to various religious happenings in her town. Even her parents had had a relatively easy time bringing up the teenager, something not many parents can say without sarcasm.

On that night in May in the early 1950s Kyllikki was preparing to make the short cycling trip back home from a religious service in downtown Isojoki. Kyllikki lived in the rural part of town, and the trek home would take her through a pleasant scenery trees, fields and other natural wonders. 

Tonight, however, Kyllikki was afraid. The night has a way of throwing eerie shadows at even the most picturesque labdscapes, and Kyllikki was not excited to be making part of the trip alone. The beginning of the journey would be pedaled in the company of a good friend, but the final stretch of road, leading through a dense forest of trees, Kyllikki would have to face alone. 

As the two friends reached their point of departure, they said their goodbyes, and headed to their respective destinations alone. 

On that final, lonely section of the journey home, surrounded by the dark forest, someone attacked Kyllikki and murdered her. 

To the rest of the community in Isojoki, Kyllikki was initially simply lost. She did not come home, and ultimately her father filed a missing person report to the police. 

A huge investigation was kicked into gear. The area where Kyllikki was assumed to have disappeared was searched with a canvas of around 600 people, all volunteering to look for the missing hometown girl. 

Nothing was found. Not a trace. 

After about two months, two locals picking berries in the woods came across a bicycle, and reported their discovery to the police. The bicycle was indeed Kyllikki’s, and this morbid finding unlocked a new series of searches. This time, with the canvas more concentrated, the search parties found Kyllikki’s shoe and, finally, Kyllikki herself.

She had been buried in a swampy grave, quickly improvised in the dark by her killer. Standing on top of the burial mound was a branch from aa tree, clearly snapped off and placed there to mask the presence of anything unusual in the topography. 


Upon investigating Kyllikki’s body the police learned that she had most likely been the victim of a sexual attack before the killer had finished his victim off. 

As can be imagined, no stone was left unturned in trying to find the culprit. The popular opinion was that if Kyllikki’s killer was found, Finland should implement a special law on him and sentence him to death. Her death was felt deeply around the country, and everyone was curious to know who had murdered this good Christian girl. 

Alas, despite years and years of police work, amateur sleuthing, books, movies and television programs, Kyllikki’s killer remains unidentified. The murder is probably the most famous unsolved homicide in Finland’s history (save for the Lake Bodom triple homicide in 1960), and it still frequently features in newspapers and on television. The case even has its own drink, if you can believe that: if you’re ever in a bar in Finland, ask the bartender for a “Kyllikki Saaren suohauta” (“Kyllikki Saari’s Swampy Grave”). 

Over the years, several people have come forward to claim they know who killed the poor girl; these people’s backgrounds vary from psychics to actual homicide detectives. But stories are meaningless unless they can be backed up by actual evidence, and that has been the shortcoming of all of these well-meaning hopefuls. 

The likelihood that this case will ever be solved is essentially non-existent. Decades have gone by, people have died and memories have faded. 

That is, the memories of specifics.

Kyllikki herself will most likely never be forgotten. 

(sign directing visitors to the site where Kyllikki’s body was found)

Morbid travel tip: Portinvartijan talo (“The Gatekeeper’s House”) in Salo, Finland.

“Portinvartijan talo” stands in Salo, southwestern Finland, about 60 kilometers from the city of Turku. If you’re interested in visiting the place, type this info into your navigator: “Järvikyläntie 56 Salo”.

The story of this house is as peculiar as the building itself.

Decades ago plans were made to build a large castle onto a hill in the middle of the woods in Salo, a town with currently around 53 000 residents in southern Finland. The person behind the project was a man named Osvald Wasastärna, and he wanted this castle to be his personal residence.

Unfortunately, his timing could not have been worse: the Finnish Civil War in 1918 put a dent to his otherwise ambitious plans, and thus, the castle itself, the purported main building of the area, was never built. Instead of building a new castle, Wasastärna ended up buying an old one, a manor called “Tammenpää”.

Though the castle itself was never built, Wasastärna’s project did manage to take a two leaps forward before coming to a premature end. The building that was supposed to house the safety guard of the castle was indeed built, as was a small bridge connecting two spots of land over a steep drop in the ground. As the castle this bridge was supposed to lead to was never built, the bridge is currently known as “Silta joka ei johda mihinkään”, “The Bridge That Leads Nowhere”.

The true kicker of the place, however, is the material used to build the gatekeeper’s house: gravestones. Yes, you read that right – stones essentially stolen from nearby ancient graves. Those are the stones you see bulging from the walls of the house.

As can be expected, the house is surrounded by several folk tales. Here are a few of them:

  • According to several visitors, despite its proximity to a fairly busy road, the area surrounding the house is eerily silent. Even when cars pass by the building, it’s as though their sound is somehow unnaturally muffled.
  • If you ask the average Finnish ghost fan “What house should I spend the night if I want to experience a haunted house in Finland”, it’s very likely you’ll get this building’s name as the reply.
  • Some claim to have heard the sounds of horses and riders crossing the “bridge to nowhere” after dark.
  • A local story says that a young upper class boy was buried in the woods near the area. The point of this story escapes me, however, and even if it were true, what does the grave have to do with the house and the bridge?

Regardless of whether you’re there hunting for a whiff of the paranormal, the area is a curious, eccentric little piece of Finland’s history from the early 1900s, and the surrounding country landscapes are dazzling in summertime. 

Just don’t enter the house at night…