Dear Reader Dveej asked me to write some more about the Purse Torment Tavern south of Stockholm. Its name is Pungpinan which is pretty funny, as pung doesn’t just mean purse or pouch, but in modern Swedish more commonly scrotum. The name might thus be translated “Purse Torment” or “Pain in the Ball Sack”, or even “Scrotum Torture”. (Boy am I gonna get hits from the S/M porn surfers now.)
The heyday of the Purse Torment Tavern lasted from about 1670 to 1805. This was back in the era of horse-drawn carriages, when Sweden was covered by a dense grid of rest stops where you could change horses, eat, drink and sleep. Apparently, the prices at Pungpinan were a bit on the stiff side, and so tended to torment your coin purse.
Pungpinan, being an expensive place, didn’t have the best reputation while active. But after it closed down, its name lived on in a deeper kind of infamy because of four murders committed there during the night between 4 and 5 March 1803. Soldier Peter Almqvist had previously done time for burglary. Attempting to rob the tavern, he ended up killing the landlady Maja SchrÃ¶der, her serving girl and both her children using an axe. Almqvist was executed five months later at the gallows’ hill right by modern-day Gullmarsplan.
This entry was scooped by Dear Reader Martin L while it was waiting in the pipe. I usually set my entries to come on-line at the time when New Yorkers do their morning web surf.