I think December has always been the most haunted month, from the gothic-narrative point of view - a lot of Edgar Allan Poe stories are set in December. It's the last month of the year, and it's supposed to be sort of this mystical, spiritual month. And being Swedish, December is also the darkest month out of the year.
I did a lot of research on what solitary confinement does to you, how you become acclimated to being surrounded by people again after being by yourself for such a long time. It's really a horrific thing. It's definitely worth considering it as torture. We're just not meant to be in solitary confinement.
I love the story behind the Vasa Museum: in the 17th century, the Swedish king was trying to make a statement by building a huge ship that would sail around Europe carrying the Swedish flag and proving that we were a force to be reckoned with, and basically, the ship was top-heavy, and so it went 300 or so yards and sank.