The Swiss are embracing Halloween with great glee, but do not be fooled just because Halloween isn’t a Swiss tradition doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that go bump in the night here.
Take the story of the Joller House which stood up until 2010 in Stans when it was torn down because no one was brave enough to live there.
The house belonged to one Melchior Joller who moved into it in 1840 with his family of five children and his wife. But shortly after moving in things began to get really scary. Melchior wrote a journal that can be read to this day where he recounts the paranormal activity. Stones were thrown around the house, furniture was shoved around, it sounded as if someone took a hammer to the house with such a force and continuously that no one could sleep; food flew around the kitchen, windows slammed open and shut and when his son saw a ghost at 8 o’clock in the morning and fainted Mr Jöller felt that he had had enough and sought help. But no one believed this outstanding member of society, who was also a member of parliament, and just laughed at him. Within 5 years of non stop campaign from this poltergeist, Mr Joller fled to Rome and sought to see the pope for help but died a broken man at the age of 47.
So who was the vengeful ghost who drove this lawyer to his death? None other than his own grandmother, Veronika Gut, a fierce, rich farmer woman who believed that Nidwalden should be freed from any foreign power (in this case Napoleon) and was the head of the armed resistance in the late 1700’s. She led a tragic life losing her son in a battle against the French and four of her daughters drowned needlessly fleeing from Napoleon’s soldiers; after which she couldn’t stand the thought of anyone being happy. Much to her horror her grandson Melchior (born to her last living child) grew up to be a liberal who was open to trading with the French. This was something she could never forgive him for. Some say she actually died just to haunt him, in any case she managed to drive him to his early death and the house remained haunted until it was torn down in 2010. People say that her restless, homeless spirit still haunts the area and no further property is planned to be built in place of the old house…
I once visited the (now closed) Fischer Gallery and they had one of the doors from the old haunted house for sale. I can’t imagine that anyone would want to own something that would invite the spirit of Veronika Gut into their home… or perhaps you would?