Skeletons in the Closet - and Cellar
Anne Tenna
Resident Dungeon Historian

A Swedish real estate agent has an unusual piece of property up for sale: a five-bedroom house, complete with medieval tomb and skeleton in the cellar.

The central Visby town house on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland was built in 1750 on the foundations of a Russian church. The kitchen lies on the presbytery, and the tomb containing the skeleton -visible through a glass panel -is in the cellar.

The real estate agency's owner Leif Bertwig says there is no reason to be afraid as the skeleton "lies in consecrated soil and rests in peace."

Bertwig said the remains likely belong to a Russian man who died some 800 years ago.

The starting price for the house -all included -is 4.1 million kronor ($640,000).

Back when I was selling real estate, I remember there was a very old home on the market, which was quaint and in a serene location. It would have been an easy sale, only it also happened to have a family cemetery on the lot.

Over 200 years ago, it was actually customary to bury your loved ones close to, if not on, the family property. So, if this same house would have been for sale in, say the 1790s, that particular feature would not have been all that unusual. Today it would raise eyebrows.

In Europe, where countries are much older than our own, they're much more accustomed to finding old homes with much more macabre characteristics. So, naturally, they would be pretty nonchalant about it all. In fact, having an 800 years old corpse in the cellar could possibly be a selling point!

Imagine having guests over for dinner, finishing up with coffee and dessert, then going down to the cellar to sneak a peak at Vladimir. It's like having a Halloween party year-round!

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