Here I go again, with another eight creepy stories from my place of origin. This time, I have included some (said to be) haunted places, unknown to the Western world, and of course one true story that has happened over and over throughout the centuries.
1. A church in a watery grave
A church, a place where one searches for peace, help, and God. But when this sanctuary falls victim to the claws of time and the elements, it becomes a rotting reminder of times past. And so begin the stories, particularly one, told and retold among the locals.
Two pairs of young students decided to go for a drive to a small mountain village, next to an artificial lake created in the 1940s. Not accounting for time, the couples found themselves driving through a dark, narrow path in the middle of the night. About 2 miles after they passed a dam, their car suddenly came to a halt, and no matter what they did, it wouldn't start again. Frustrated by their failed attempts to restart the car, they came out of the vehicle only to be faced with a bloodcurdling sight.
Right in front of the sunken church, on the tiny meadow, they saw people, all dressed up, laughing, dancing, disturbing the numb silence. The vague light from their car, hinted that something was not quite right with the crowd. Freaked out by the view, they entered their only means of escape which miraculously, started on the first try. Next thing they knew, the crowd disappeared in a blink of an eye, just as it had appeared. Upon arriving back in their hometown, (located about 20 miles away from the village) and still shaken by the sight, they all gathered in the home of the driver.
With little, or next to no sleep, the next morning they asked their friend's grandmother if she knew anything about what they saw. Upon hearing what they went through, she told them about a cemetery near the sunken church. In order for the lake to be made, the locals had to flood both the church and it's cemetery. The last event that never got to happen, was a wedding. The bride had taken her own life, once she heard that her soon to be husband had been brutally murdered, hence the ghostly wedding party celebrating in the meadow.
2. One's resting place
This one made me think twice about spending a night at a friend's house. It goes something like this:
Three childhood friends were having a sleepover at a small weekend house where the grandmother of one of them used to live. It all went well during the day, they enjoyed the idyllic, country landscapes, barbecuing, and having a good time in general. But the true nightmares for the host didn't begin until that night. Having only two beds inside the tiny house, she decided to sleep in the bed of her deceased grandmother, who had been dead more than a year. Not wanting to creep her friends out, she didn't say anything before going to bed.
As slumber gently took over, she felt two ice cold hands over her neck. Upon opening her eyes, she saw her dead grandmother above her, rage distorting her pale face, choking her restlessly. Paralyzed and frozen in fear, she could barely breathe let alone scream. Somehow, luck found a way around the angry entity and one of her friends heard her violent gasping for air. She turned on the lights, and the nightmare seemed to be over.
The girl, as freaked out as she was, still didn't want to say a word to her friends, she snuggled beside them in the other bed, in a desperate attempt to leave the incident behind.
However, the night was far from over. Daunting footsteps dragged them away from their drowsiness. But what turned their blood into ice, was hearing the other bed crack, and seeing the blanket rise, as if someone was getting ready to rest in the bed just a few feet away. Even with the lights on, they could still make out a figure beneath the cover, somehow they found the strength to get the hell out of the house, and spend the night inside their car.
The next morning, once the sun appeared in the sky, the hosting friend told them about her grandmother, and how she lived and died in the tiny cottage. Jeez, she only wanted her bed back, what's the big deal? Well, the catch is she was one hell of a grandmother, having served with the Partisans, she was responsible for more than one death during the riots in the Balkans during WWII.
3. Where tragedy dwells
Ah, the haunted green castle, and it's disturbing history, that includes a story about a doctor who moved in with his wife, son and two daughters, decades before WWII. The family seemed to lead a peaceful life in the green castle, but a few months later, one of the daughters fell off a horse, breaking her back and suffering an excruciating death. Soon after, the son became ill after spending time around the well at the back of the house. One night, having heard someone calling out his name, sick and delirious, he fell into the well and drowned.
With the parents still mourning the death of their children, they failed to notice the changes their last daughter went through. The little girl had begun talking to herself, often refusing to eat, and spending her days, even nights around the back of the house. About a year after the death of her siblings, her head was found inside the rusty old bucket of the well.
Unable to deal with the tragic deaths of her children, their mother hung herself. Her husband followed, splattering his brains all over the walls of what he thought was going to be their dream home.
Unfortunately, the house was demolished about a year ago, so the truth about it's inhabitants may be lost forever. Or is it?
4. A bridge is but a bridge
For some reason, bridges have always been a subject of many urban legends in the Balkans. The stories are many, but I chose this one because of obvious reasons.
There was a river in the Balkans where no bridge could ever stand. Upon countless efforts to build one, a man finally appeared with the determination necessary to solve the problem once and for all. Ignoring the locals and their rumors about a supposed curse, one afternoon he fell asleep before the shore of the river with only one question on his mind - how to built a bridge that would withstand the river's strength?
In his slumber, he saw the figure of tall dark man coming out of the water, nearing him with a mischievous grin. The shadow kneeled in front of him, glaring at him with two huge, pitch black eyes. Assuming the devil had came to take his soul, the builder tried fleeing, only to realize he was in between a dream and reality.
But the devil didn't want his soul, he offered the knowledge of how to build a bridge that would last forever. Of course, the Devil had a few conditions of his own: the bridge had to be made within 40 days; a minute more and he would go down with it. He wished for the shadow of the builder's wife to be entombed in the bridge (meaning the soul of his wife), and finally, the Devil wanted his image to be forever engraved into the structure. He wanted to be both visible and invisible, both touchable and non-existing. If the builder could not do it, the Devil would take his soul as well.
Not knowing what the strange creature meant by the last two conditions, and mesmerized by his desire to build the bridge for the sake of his villagers, the builder accepted the conditions, and indeed finished within 40 days.
This resulted in a structure that survived for more than five hundred years, and the gruesome death of the builder's wife, who was stomped to death by a horse the second she placed a foot on her husband's glorious achievement.
The builder got away with his life and never again saw the shadowy figure that had whispered in his ear, not realizing that he stared right into the devil's eyes each time he looked at the bridge.
5. Child's play
Here's another example that people should seriously consider the history of a place before deciding to build anything, let alone a kindergarten! This story took me awhile to investigate, since people won't even talk about it, not to mention post anything on the internet.
About 25 years ago, people decided to built a kindergarten on a supposedly empty space. As it turned out, the place was taken after all. Troubles begun during it's construction, curious accidents, sudden deaths of workers, every architect and engineer's worst nightmare. Somehow, after summoning both Christian and Islamic priests to bless the area, the accidents seemingly decreased, and the construction ran it's course.
One month after opening, the kindergarten was immediately closed. Authorities never gave any particular reason, but what the employees and children went through didn't stay under the rug.
It begun with the employees, they often counted more children in the afternoons than in the mornings. Slowly, it progressed with the children too. Groups of kids, all began seeing the same "imaginary" friends, talking to them, playing games with them (Imagine a kid, dancing around alone with his palms gripping nothing but air). But that was just the tip of the iceberg, the children failed to understand that what they were seeing, were souls of their buried friends, taking an afternoon nap right underneath their beds.
The employees soon noticed the strange behavior, and summoned priests, both Christian and Muslim, but that only made things worse; screams, between walls of empty rooms, doors opening and closing on their own, water running out of closed faucets, windows and light bulbs shattering for no reason, voices of babies screaming their lungs out; all things that happened during daylight hours. Once darkness fell, strange shadows roamed inside the empty building, before the eyes of the petrified night shift guards.
What really put the last drop in the glass, was an incident that almost gave two caregivers a heart attack. The children were all tucked in inside the wide sleeping area, peacefully taking their afternoon nap. Yet, the sitters were disturbed by creepy cackling. At first, they thought a prankster was fooling around with them. Their blood froze once they saw all kids sound asleep, but the laughter only got deeper. Not able to locate the source, they entered the sleeping area, only to hear gut wrenching whispers coming from the corners of the room, accompanied by the smell of rotting corpses, filling the ice cold air. In a blink of an eye, they woke the kids up, and yanked them in to the yard, where they waited for the parents to come and pick them up.
The children never returned to that kindergarten again. Two decades later, authorities decided to renovate, and open it once again, but this time it closed after only one day. The building is in use even today, as a shelter for foreigners and I can't even imagine what they are going through.
6. The rider
Imagine you're lying in bed, sinking into the soft, warm mattress, feeling the bliss of the long desired rest after a hard day, and suddenly your consciousness becomes imprisoned inside an unresponsive, paralyzed body. Barely able to stuff air into your lungs, screaming internally but not able to let out a noise, you feel the weight of something, pressing against every molecule of your being. It all ends up in no more than 30 excruciating seconds, just before you see your blanket levitating above the bed.
I know this state is known as sleep paralysis, but here in the Balkans, sometimes imagination takes precedence over reason. Such is the story of a rider with a golden hat, disturbing the sleep of some poor souls.
There was once a wealthy trader who had seven sons. Six of them were strong, masculine boys, but the last one was weak and sickly. At a time when plague roamed their village, their mother banished the youngest son from the home, saying he would get sick and kill them all off. Barely a teenager, the boy looked back at his hardened mother, casting a horrible curse. He wished the plague to strike them with no mercy, destroying their estate, killing her precious sons. He only wanted her eyes to see how her children die, one by one devoured by the illness, and her voice to be screaming out his name.
She paid no mind to the boy's words, and let him go, to wander alone in the cruel world. The boy became a wealthy man, and his words came true. His family, their wealth, everything and everyone except his mother perished into nothingness. One day, the homesick boy inside of him desired to see his family again, to show them his success. He put on a hat forged out of golden silk, he got as a gift from a sultan, and headed for his village.
Upon seeing him, his old mother thought he was either the sultan, or sent by the sultan to take the last remaining thing she had in the world - her estate. She grabbed a rock, and threw it at the stranger's horse, causing him to fall and break his neck. When she got closer, having recognized her last living son, she screamed out his name until her heart stopped beating.
People say that the man still roams the streets, searching for his mother and when he finds himself off the horse's back, he rides unsuspecting victims about to fall asleep. It is said that if one manages to take the golden hat off the rider's head, great fortune will follow him for the rest of his/her life. But how do you take something you can't even see?
7. Pale beauty on the back seat
Well I think this one is circling in many regions, but still I decided to give you the Balkan version of it.
In the pouring summer rain long after midnight, a cab driver was restlessly fighting off his fatigue on his way home. He wanted to get away from the rain as quickly as possible, so instead of taking his usual route, he took a shortcut through a wooded area beside the road. One he had never passed before, for some reason. Barely able to make out anything outside, he saw a scarcely clothed young woman, soaking wet under the flood coming from above. Walking alone beside the dark road, she didn't seem to be in any kind of hurry despite the late hour or the weather. At first, he thought of passing by her, but being a father of two girls himself, he decided to stop and talk to her.
She would have walked right past him, if he hadn't spoken to her. He asked the beautiful creature, what on Earth she was doing outside. She answered she was headed home, since her house was just a mile away. The man felt sorry for her, and offered to take her home. Not waiting to hear the offer twice, she sat in the back seat, all the while hiding half of her face from the driver. He gave her his coat, since her shivers didn't seem to stop, even some time after entering the car.
She didn't say much, except for the direction where she lived. Sensing the girl had troubles of her own, the driver didn't insist on conversation, drove to the address she gave him, and watched as she entered a tiny house beside the road. On his way home, he remembered that he had forgotten to take his coat back, but paid little mind since he decided to go back the next morning.
And so he did, but instead of the young girl, an older, petite woman dressed in black answered the door. Thinking nothing of it, he asked for his coat, but the woman knew nothing of it. He explained about the passenger he left late in the night, a beautiful young woman he watched enter the house. The woman burst into tears, in front of the puzzled cab driver, and proceeded to explaining that her daughter had died in a tragic accident just a few years back.
She had been coming home with her friends from a night out, one of the girls got sick so they stopped their vehicle so she could take in some fresh air. As she crossed the road to check upon her friend, a truck appeared out of nowhere, hitting her sideways, breaking her skull, spine, and ripping half of her face off.
Skeptical as he was about anything paranormal, the man didn't believe his ears. Not having his coat, and tired of explaining, the woman told him where her daughter's grave was. The man went to the cemetery, and as he neared the supposed grave, he saw his black coat hanging on the tombstone. Not only was it still wet from the rain from the previous night, but it was also soaked in blood, but only from the left side, the half she tried to hide.
OK, so I'm not taking on a cab driving career any time soon, or ever!
8. Cadaver for a groom
This one is just a plain tragedy, perhaps one that might have been avoided, since there was a warning sign.
A single mother of two grown sons was twisting and turning in her bed, struggling to get some sleep, just two nights before the wedding of her eldest son. She didn't even notice when slumber fell over her eyes, and a strange dream played before them. She saw her late husband, sitting on the rustic chair right next to her bed, all dressed up with his hands one over another. He spoke to her about their sons, about how well she raised them, how proud he was that one of them was soon to be groom and a father.
The woman knew not about a grandson, so just before she could get the chance to ask him, he stood up and got closer, saying there wasn't much time, and how she mustn't let the boys go to the planned bachelor party. After those words, he vanished and the woman awoke, still sensing the odor of the man she loved and lost more than ten years ago.
Thinking her nerves were playing tricks with her head, she ignored the dream, for a while anyway. Not wanting to disturb the happiness of her eldest son, minutes before they left the house, she told her second son of her dream, warning him to be careful, since he was the troublemaker of the family. He laughed it off, but still promised his mother everything would be alright.
They went out, drinking, having fun with friends, celebrating the last night of freedom his brother had. They sat down in a tavern, one more than 20 miles away from their village, wanting to let off some steam in a place where no one knew who they were. They drank their way into the night, to a point where the little brother forgot all about his mother's dream and his promise. They met up with some girls with a questionable morality (the innkeeper pointed them out as a bit loose) and the night seemed to go without a hitch.
That is, until the enraged older brothers of the girls entered the premises. Drunk and angry, they yanked their sisters off the laps of the strangers, and proceeded to the exit along with them. Things would have ended there, but one young man just couldn't keep his temper under control. Yes, it was the brother of the soon to be groom, yelling they paid good money for their company, not knowing he was getting in the middle of a family matter.
Four enraged, hulking men turned back, and attacked the five insolent strangers with no mercy. When he saw a knife, about to enter the heart of his younger brother, the man not destined to become a husband and a father, stood before the blade, taking the blow right into his heart. The blade plunged, and then twisted inside his chest, killing him almost instantly.
Frantic about his brother's death, the second son loaded the lifeless body on his back, thinking and hoping there was still a chance he could be alive. He walked for 20 miles with his brother on his back, stabbed and beaten he somehow managed to bring him home.
Their mother had just dressed for the upcoming wedding, her nerves were all over the place, pacing in the hall, wondering where her sons were. Just as she opened the door, thinking the boys may come any second, her eyes sunk into every parent's worst nightmare. Her youngest son, smeared in blood was traversing the yard toward her. She ran to help him, but when she got closer, her heart almost stopped from the pain. Her eldest son fell off his brother's back, and his shirt told the story of his death. Turned dark red where his heart used to beat, a river of dry blood went down his pants, to the new shoes he had bought for the occasion.
His mother buried him in the shirt he was supposed to crown his love into marriage.
I'm sorry for the long post, but I felt these stories deserved to be presented into the right light. I hope people enjoy them.