Urban legends: Mysticism of Kazan

The authorities of the city of Kazan, the Tatarstan Republic, have recently started to demolish the abandoned buildings of ZBI-2 armored concrete factory on Zorge Street. According to local residents, the place that was abandoned more than ten years, enjoyed ill reputation. The locals believe that the factory is a home to ghosts and other evil creatures. Currently, it is planned to build residential high-rise buildings in the anomalous zone.

In Soviet times, ZBI-2 was one of the largest enterprises in Tatarstan, a maker of  concrete products. The factory was closed during the 1990s. Since then, the factory buildings had been abandoned, the property was plundered ...People began to notice strange things later. If someone peeked in the windows of dilapidated factory premises at night, they could see mysterious glow in the air at times. Ghost rumors started to spread quickly, although it was not clear whose ghosts they could be, as there were no mass deaths happening at the factory. Anyway, it was decided not to restore the factory.

For Kazan, ghosts are not uncommon. There are rumors of a ghost haunting the museum of Vladimir Lenin (Ulyanov-Lenin Street, 58). A lady, who worked in the museum said that someone was trying to strangle her. She was convinced that it was the ghost of the leader of the world proletariat.

One of the most mysterious buildings in Kazan is the Kamenev Merchants House on Vozdvizhenskaya Street (now Karl Marx Street, 12). The house was built in the XVIII century. Peter G. Kamenev was a respected man in the city. In the era of the Pugachev rebellion, he chaired the the City Duma, and subsequently, the provincial magistrate. However, he died early, at age 36. His widow died soon, and his three children - two daughters and a son - were adopted by their relatives.

The son and heir of Peter Kamenev, Gabriel P., a Pushkin contemporary, was seriously fond of romantic poetry and even became a famous writer. However, he was not successful in life. He was forced to conclude a marriage of convenience, then he squandered his father's fortune and gave way to despair. Gabriel Kamenev would often visit his father's grave. One day, he was found there dead. The cause of death remained unclear. He was only 31 years old.

All Kamenevs were buried at the cemetery of Kizichesky Monastery, but their graves have not been preserved. In the former merchant's mansion house, they originally opened an institutions for orphans; in the 1920s, the mansion was an office for the Emergency Committee. A legend says that there is a walled basement room in the building. Also, there is a room in the building that supposedly makes people's wishes come true. It is enough to say your wish out loud to make it real. Employees of the museum say that they see ghosts of monks sometimes. One of the guards said that someone whole him up, when robbers tried to penetrate into the building.

House No. 8 on Gorky Street is known as the Kekin House. Legend has it that the owner of the house, millionaire merchant Leonti Kekin, built it in the early twentieth century in just two months on a bet. Sometimes at night, locals can see a translucent human figure of a man in white pants running across the street. Some say that this is a thief, who tried to rob the house one night. Kekin caught him, hit him on the head with a candelabra and accidentally killed the man. To hide the body, he allegedly walled it in the chimney. The soul of the thief still can not find peace and constantly visits this place.

In house No. 14, on the same street, a ghostly figure in a dark robe appears on a regular basis as well. Interestingly, the phantom appears at about 5 o'clock in the evening and disappears 1-2 minutes later.

Near the village of Stolbischi, on the way to the airport, people may often see the  ghost of a bride. Legend has it that a wedding procession crashed there, and now the ghost of the deceased bride in a white dress regularly scares passengers rushing to the airport. A couple of years ago, a young couple walked into the place to take pictures. At one point, the camera malfunctioned, and the photo was overexposed. However, there was a clearly shaped figure of a girl in white on the black background.

There is also a legend of a ghost of a child to Arskoye Cemetery located on Nikolai Yershov Street. Seven-year-old girl allegedly died there about two centuries ago. The child's mother, a widow, had money to build a white marble tomb for her daughter, but her money was not enough to carve the girl's name on the tomb. Since then, the dead girl has been trying to ask people to carve her name on the marble tomb.  

Irina Shlionskaya

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov