There is a tiny house next to ours. It’s not part of the property, and no one lives there. No one really knows who owns it, if anyone. It’s a between house.
You wouldn’t think, looking at it, that two centuries ago, it was inhabited by a young unwed mother and her daughter. It’s smaller than most tiny houses, smaller than my Chouette, but it wasn’t an unusual size for a house back then. Today’s tiny house was yesteryear’s comfortable cottage.
Of course, back then, the land looked quite different. The brook running past was larger and the water drinkable, not full of manure and chemicals. The river was unbound and full of fish. There were forests, and not just farmland. You could live off the land back then, and when that’s an option, the house can be quite small.
This is a perspective often lost in today’s tinyhouse movements, where mostly the indoor designs get attention, and it’s all a question of how to live an indoor life in a comprised space. But the infrastructure often takes a back seat. But this is the main thing about living ‘tiny’, you need a living habitat to put your house in.
There are few places left where this is possible. Even if you have a large plot of land, you still need drinkable ground water, which is rare because of industrial agriculture and mining. You need fish and animals and plants, but over half of wildlife is gone in only my time so far, and the climate is much more unpredictable, so you can’t rely on anything really. What I mean by reminding you all about this, is that the only real way to freedom of the road, is to rewild and repair the land, or rather, let it repair itself. And the only way to have room, is to make room by actively dismantling industry. Only then will it be possible to live off the land, and only then will it be possible to comfortably travel it, or live a quiet life in a tiny cottage.
But, I promised ghosts.
As mentioned, the house was built for a young mom and her child. I don’t know all the details, but there are two larger farms in the area. The one which our house was once part of, and a larger one that’s next to us. The house on this land is abandoned, and it’s falling apart at a rapid pace, even if it’s much fancier, larger and has probably been inhabited longer. They are both haunted.
I don’t know if it’s by the original inhabitants, all I know is what I’ve experienced. The door to the small house is locked and bolted, but on some mornings, it’s wide open. We don’t have a key and nobody around here has one either. The lock is an old iron bolt type, and not likely to just nope out of it’s own accord. Also, it has not typically been after stormy nights that the door has been open. I close it again, so the house won’t get damaged further, but it swings open again. Also, last autumn, we also put some small offerings around the area for whatever lives here, and I placed a small whisky by the entrance to the small house. The next morning, the liquid was gone, the glass not tipped over, and while there are several animals around here, none of them will touch alcohol. Now, I can’t say for certain that it’s ghosts- it might be nisser or other haugafolk (mound people, I will talk about these in a later post) But whatever lives here, it seems friendly. I’ve never felt uncomfortable walking by, quite the contrary, the house has a warm, welcoming air about it. Not at all like the larger mansion on the property next to ours. Which I will get to in my next post.
Until then, strange travels ❤
2 thoughts on “A tiny house and a ghost story”
This reads like an Icelandic story about the other people. They have loads of stories of invisible people living in rocks or old houses. I liked the one about the seals where the seals climb out of their furs for washing and this one human hides tge seal skin so the seal girl stays with him. They are happy together for a while but finally she misses the ocean so much that he returns her seal skin and she returns home. That was probably the only story in that Icelandic book with a happy ending
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Thank you for the story 🙂 Valdres does actually remind me more of Iceland than several other places in Norway in that regard. Not the landscape so much, but in that people here seem a bit more relaxed about admitting that the otherfolk is still around. Norwegians in general strike me as very scared to seem ‘superstitious’ or ‘old fashioned’, even more so than most countries I’ve lived in. I don’t know why. I do have some stories from our local area that I thought I’d share in coming posts.