|This is where the notorious toll house used to be.|
|Also Known As||Goddeloos Tolhuis|
Goddeloaze Tolhûs (translation: Godless Toll House) was a building on Schwartzenbergloane street, perpendicular to the Goddeloaze Singel, a canal located in Faenwâlden which is a village in Friesland. Somewhere during 1934 or 1935 the toll house was torn down and replaced for a different building. The canal is notorious for its ghost stories, some of which revolve around the house in question. A bridge stretches out in front of the house which knows an equal amount of hearsay. This bridge is not to be confused with Skilige Pypke, which lays elsewhere along the canal and was said to be haunted as well. Because of the many stories surrounding the toll house, it has become difficult to point out how its name was coined. One story says a skeleton was found under the bridge during restorations and the toll keeper hung himself after being interrogated.  Another story says the Goddeloas Tolhûs used to be inhabited by two rich old ladies who were robbed and murdered. There's also a strange story about an ice skater who sank under the bridge and called out for help, but a ghost prevented the town's people from helping him. The most popular explanation is however the tale of Gerben Goddeloas, although it is well documented something strange was going on with the house before he started living there in 1812.
Gerben And The Goddeloas Tolhûs
The toll house was once inhabited by a fisherman and toll keeper named Gerben (or Germ) Klazes Boskma, who started living there in 1812.  He was said to be harsh, flouting, in the habit of cussing terribly and performing evil deeds. Some say he aimed gun at his wife once and nearly killed her. As such, he lived there alone and became known as Gerben Goddeloas. The story of Gerben goes that he laid on his death bed and was looked after by acquaintances. When his carers left the house for a short moment they later found Gerben dead, sitting upright with his head screwed on backwards. Some say a sulfuric scent marked the air and claimed it was the devil's work. When Gerben was still alive, his daughter Sjoukje met a tragic death after visiting his house along with her man and 2 children. Their boat sank as they traveled back home, causing for all of them to drown. It could very well be that Gerben Goddeloas led a tragic life, but many found him unpleasant and suspected him to be a murderer.
The Phantom Sailing Boat
Gerben's son in law, fisherman Romke Harkes van der Meulen (later called Romke Goddeloas) moved into the toll house with his two sons, daughter and wife after the passing of Gerben Goddeloas. They were loved among townsfolk and for a short while the people of Feanwâlden forgot the uncanny tales surrounding the place. Then one day, both of the boys took off in a sailing boat and a sudden storm arose. Their powerless parents begged for a safe arrival as they peered over the violent waters. Not much later their prayers were answered and to their relief, they could hear the singing of their sons. The boat floated towards them but just as the boys came in reach of the shore, their boat disappeared into thin air. Weeks later their bodies washed ashore. The boat is still said to make its appearance from time to time.
Other Unsettling Cases
Townsfolk used to say the toll fence close to Goddeloas Tolhûs was haunted. The ghost of a blacksmith would often appear and make its rounds, walking back and forth to the bridge stretching over the canal. One day a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen its killer walk over and they both broke out in a fight. Ever since that moment the ghost stopped appearing. An ice skater once drowned underneath the bridge in front of Goddeloas Tolhûs at night. He called out for help, but a ghost prevented people from being able to save him. Another story tells of two men who had earned a pretty penny from their recent hard work and celebrated by drinking at a local inn. They walked home inebriated, cussing terribly as they walked past the Goddeloas Tolhûs. At the devil's mercy, they were found dead the next day with their heads screwed on backwards. Another tale tells of a group of young boys who used to compete in crossing the bridge using the fewest possible amount of steps. One boy would always win and conceitedly claimed that not even the devil could beat him. But lo and behold, there he stood and easily beat the boy at his little game. It was said the devil's horse legs left prints on the bridge. Goddeloas Tolhûs was also said to have once been inhabited by a widow known to offer alcohol to male passersby. She claimed to have "a little shop underneath her skirt" and gave birth to 12 children, many of whom knew not who their father was.
- Leeuwarder Courant, 22 September 1998: Pagina 16 (http://www.dekrantvantoen.nl/vw/article.do?id=LC-19980922-16002)
- Leeuwarder Courant, 1 Maart 1941: Pagina 9 (http://www.dekrantvantoen.nl/vw/article.do?id=LC-19410301-9001)