The Devil’s Wedding House – Tallinn’s Haunted 6 Rataskaevu in Estonia
One of the coolest things you can do when out and about on your travels is to look out of the window of your accommodation and see the local ghost walk tour standing outside, pointing up at your window, or maybe being on that ghost walk, and as people gasp at the dark story, you calmly announce: “that’s my accommodation tonight.”
Well you can, and I managed to find one of Europe’s most notoriously haunted houses on AirBnB. And it’s not just a random house with creepy stories, but it has previously attracted TV shows, such as Ghost Hunters International, who headed all the way from the US to stay here. It is of course 6 Rataskaevu, an address that is famous in Estonian folklore.
The house in question is an old town house in the medieval centre of Tallinn, in Estonia.
The city, steeped in history through every narrow alleyway and cobbled street, it is these buildings which were on the same streets that have been used for over a thousand years.
The city is located on the Baltic Sea, making it an important location for trading, but also making it a target for capture. It has been taken by the Danes, the Swedes, the Russian Empire, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union until 1991 when Estonia regained its independence after years of occupation.
For those who go travelling around Europe often, you will have noted that capital cities usually come in different sizes, usually depending on the size of its country’s empire or how long it has been a capital for. For example, London, Paris and Rome are huge, as they are very old cities that belonged to large empires. Tallinn is relatively small as it only recently gained capital city status, but if is very beautiful to explore.
In Tallinn, these old buildings have seen plagues, world wars and occupation.
There isn’t a shortage of places to stay if you want to absorb the history. You could try the Sokos, with a hidden floor for Soviet spies to listen to guests in bugged rooms. There is also a hostel in the old town that was once the home to the city’s executioner. However, this for me is the place to stay if you want to spend the night terrified.
And it has a unique feature meaning people are always taking photographs of it – a blocked up window at the top of the building. This all ties in with the history – your bed will be right on the other side of that window.
The story is weird, but there is an element of truth to it. In the 1400s, this building was used as an inn, but business was poor, and the inn keeper was about to end his life as desperate time fell. The story does deviate between several versions, which I will try to tell, but all agree upon one thing – this was the site of the Devil’s wedding party.
As the inn keeper was about end his life, a dark stranger arrived. He asked if he could hire out the inn for a lot of money, with the special occasion being his wedding party. He needed a place for so many guests, but the condition was that nobody else was allowed inside the building. The inn keeper could not believe his luck and agreed. This amount of money would solve all of his financial woes.
Before long, coaches arrived and guests went upstairs. Loud music played, but this made the inn keeper more curious and suspicious. What was going on, and why was he under strict orders not to look inside the upstairs room? According to the first legend, he had a little look inside, and collapsed, dead outside of the door to the apartme
A second version of the legend claims that after the party, the dark stranger left a huge bag of money, but as the inn keeper walked over to pick it up, it turned into cow dung, and he turned around to see that the stranger had vanished.
The locals were so terrified about what they believed occurred inside that room, that the window was permanently blocked up and for years, nobody was allowed inside. Tallinn has several legends linking it to the Devil, so residents were unsurprisingly superstitious.
For centuries, this room was blocked off. Businesses opened downstairs such as a restaurant, bars and inns, but the top floor remained out of bounds, until the building was turned into apartments.
The house has had several uses. It is believed it has links to the KGB during the city’s soviet era. Rumours still circulate that the building was used for secret agents and spies to live in so that they could monitor the residents of Tallinn, arresting anyone who did not comply with the regime’s strict laws.
On the subject of the KGB, a KGB museum is open to the public not far away, and uses the original prison cells for its exhibitions. In fact, if you travel to other Baltic cities such as Riga and Vilnius, they also have former KGB prisons open as museums, with the one in Vilnius still being one of the most harrowing places I have ever visited, especially its execution chamber.
Residents living below in Rataskaevu have reportedly heard footsteps, medieval music and the sounds of people drinking, despite this top floor being empty.
In an interview with Estonian TV, Dhea Helistvee, a former owner, stayed in apartment 6 when her friend Arne Haugdal woke her to say she could hear medieval music despite the room being in complete darkness and nobody else staying there.
One man staying here asked the restaurant downstairs if he could have some water and some black bread. He claimed it wasn’t for himself, it was for the spirits. He claims to have seen an old woman in the apartment asking for it after she woke him from his sleep.
And before anyone suggests the sound of people partying could come from the mentioned restaurant, obviously I looked into this on my baseline tests and found that only when I opened the window or went outside onto the rooftop terrace could I hear the sounds of people. There are 2 floors between the apartment and the restaurant and noise does not seem to travel through the building.
In the apartment directly below this one, A man called Harro Harusoo was sleeping in there when he was awoken to see a person wearing Soviet pilot clothing. This may come from the buildings Soviet and KGB history. This was mentioned during an interview with Ghost Hunters International.
For this investigation, I was limited in terms of what equipment I could use. Getting boxes of paranormal gear across on a commercial flight whilst travelling for leisure at the same time was difficult. I decided to bring the spirit box with my laptop so that I could translate from English into Estonian, the REM pod and EMF meters. I was also trialling some new equipment – an EMF mic, which records only electronic sounds and no audio. A lot of EVP research was conducted around this diodes in the 20th century. It didn’t capture anything at all so doesn’t really appear in my video.
The SLS camera and GeoPort were too big to carry, so sadly had to remain back in the UK. Taking a GeoPort through airport security would be a stressful experience given the amount of wires and amplifiers that George Brown uses to build these amazing devices! The staff at the airport would certainly have pulled it apart.
Watch the video at the top of the page to see what happened!
Visit Tallinn & 6 Rataskaevu
Tallinn is an amazing city and I feel possibly under a lot of people’s radar. It is very favourable with the Instagram generation, as its old city walls are still in very good condition and look amazing in photos.
A lot of people do the 3 Baltic countries together as a trip, myself included. I travelled through Lithuania, Latvia and into Estonia, with all 3 countries really impressing me with their coolness. Tallinn is also very close to Finland and its capital Helsinki, which is connected by a 2 hour ferry. Again, highly recommended!
To book the 6 Rataskaevu apartment, it can be found on Airbnb but it’s easier to book directly through the owner’s website https://dreamstay.ee/
Some of the other apartments have saunas and larger rooms, but I’m guessing the reason you’re here is for ghosts, so you don’t need those! The apartment is over 2 levels, so it has an upstairs living room area, with kitchen and one of the beds being downstairs. It also has a nice rooftop terrace.
Want some more gory places to visit in Tallinn? As mentioned, the KGB museum is very interesting and dark.
A lot of people sit on the main square to eat and drink. It’s expensive as you’d imagine, but did you know some people do not realise they are dining directly over the site of an execution? Modern day decking for tourists actually partially covers the marker for where the gallows once stood.