Discover Bonnstan - a cultural heritage treasure chest!

Many stories that were told about Bonnstan proved that this was not an ordinary place. It was not just a place only for you to visit or sleep over, but also a place for romance. In the late evenings, a group of young men used to go around the chambers, singing songs, proposing to the girls they fancied.


Bonnstan is one of the best-preserved cultural heritage areas in Skellefteå's municipality. Only a few other places have history so clearly written in the buildings as Bonnstan, an old church town with a history dating back to the 1600's. But Bonnstans history has so much more to it than meets the eye. Stories and tales tell about the supernatural events and tragedies.

Something that is quite common among the stories and tales is what you can call the”treasure flame”. It was told that if a fire appeared out of nowhere meant that a treasure was near. However the treasure could only be carried if it was excavated under absolute silence. A single word or sound and the treasure was gone.

– There are many stories within this theme going around in Bonnstan and Västerbotten. It was said that no one was able to keep quiet when they started digging because what appeared in front of them surprise them all. Some treasures were never even found, says Ulf Lundström a local storyteller at Skellefteå museum.

In Bonnstan, the chambers are privately owned and it is a popular destinations during the summers.

Sea creatures and the bells

Another story was about the church bells. It was said that during the time of war, throughout Sweden, the idea of temporarily sinking the church bells in the river it seemed like a good idea. It was to prevent it from falling into the enemy’s hands. But when the war was over, they could not find the bell, no matter how hard they searched. A wise man said that the bells were taken by sea creatures.

– He told the people to continue the search, and if they happened to find the bell it must be carried under absolute silence. Also with the help of two white oxen, says Ulf Lundström and continues:
– After 20 long years, they found the bell and the men carried them in silence as they were told.

When suddenly they spotted something in the west, it seemed to take the form of a wobbling object and it seemed to get closer and closer and it became bigger and bigger. All men looked bewitched by the object when suddenly one of them screamed “a hen!”. The same second, half of the men fell into the river together with the bell and it was never found again.

Bonnstan has always been a meeting place for people - Nowadays and in the past

The marriage proposal in Bonnstan

But it was not only stories of supernatural character that circulated around Bonnstan. Many stories that were told about Bonnstan proved that this was not a ordinary place. This place was not only for people to visit or sleep over but also a place for romance. In the late evenings, groups of young men used to go around the chambers, singing songs, proposing to the girl they fancied. Usually, they were turned down, but sometimes the girls opened the door and let the guy in. Once they were inside the chamber the man were allowed to lay in bed with the girl, with his clothes on, and just talk to her. Sometimes with marriage as a result.

The Midsummer celebrations in the Old Church.

The blocked up chamber

Given that there were taverns driven by priest or widows in Bonnstan, so it was to no surprise that a fight occurred sometimes. And one time it ended really badly. It was in the 1980s that a person found a blocked door, that was completely untouched in his chamber. And inside they found old bloody rags.

– After a little investigations it was revealed that two brothers got into a fight 60 years earlier. One of them was so badly hurt that he later died, where the mother and brother blocked the chamberroom and never spoke of it again, says Ulf Lunsström.