Where ghosts live in Russia

Ghosts are generally associated with family castles, predominantly in Great Britain.
However, our reporters found out that there are many ghosts in Russia. Capitals have the majority of them, however, there are also many ghosts in Russian province, local legends and people say.


Little remained from ancient Moscow, except for the Kremlin. Ghosts love the Kremlin.  From time to time, a red spot appears on the walls of Konstantino-Eleninskaya tower where a torture chamber was located in XVII century. A pale uncombed lady holding a gun in her hands, lives in Komendantskaya tower. This is famous Fanny Kaplan who attempted to kill Lenin and who was executed by shooting by Kremlin’s superintendent Malkov. A terrifying shadow of Ivan the Terrible is walking on the bell tower named after Ivan the Great. Czar Dmitry Pretender appears on the Kremlin’s wall. Last time he was seen there in August 1991. The might-have-been czar was gesticulating and giving some signs to people. The prophecy was understood only in the morning, after a coup happened and the plotters read their address on the radio. And the ghost of Stalin’s special services chief Ezhov is not interested in politics. He just walks around the Patriarch Chambers where his apartments were located before. Even in the corridors of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses one can encounter semi-transparent figures dressed in shrouds.  Don’t think that they are deputies who were exhausted to death at the boring Congresses! At one point, there was a cemetery here, and the souls of the dead people are indignant about the sacrilege.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a mystical city, ghosts can frequently be encountered there. A little invisible lady lives on the Troitskaya Square near Peter the Great’s house. In Mikhailovsky Castle, there is a ghost of the murdered emperor Pavel I. The ghost of the first director of the Academy of Arts, architect Kokorin is wondering around the Academy’s corridors. When the weather is bad, at nights somebody knocks at the Academy’s gates and shouts, “It’s me, sculptor Kozlovsky from Smolenskoe cemetery, I got wet and frozen in my grave…open the door!” A sad ghost of architect Monferran is wondering around the Isakievsky Cathedral. When the architect was alive, he was predicted that he would die right after he completed the cathedral construction. A thin young lady – Shishiga- is walking on Lieutenant Schmidt’s bridge and complaining about her misfortunes. On the opposite bank of the river Neva, near Petropavlovskaya Fortress, famous princess Tarakanova is crying bitterly.  However, the most frightening ghost is Sofia Perovskaya, the member of the terrorist organization within the Socialist-Revolutionary party existing in the beginning of 20th century and conducting assassination attempts on czars and government officials. In a nasty day of March, a young lady appеars on the bridge of the Ekaterininsky Channel. Her face turned blue because of suffocation, there is a purple trace from a rope on her neck, she is holding a white handkerchief in her hand to give signals to the bombers.

Nizhni Novgorod

The most mystical place in Nizhni Novgorod region is Svetloyar Lake having ghost town Kitezh on its bottom. In 1238 the town sank when Tatars besieged it. Magi paternoster transferred town Kitezh in some parallel dimension where the town still exists. It is guarded by a Wonder-Fish, a Russian kind of “Loch Ness monster”. Something weird happens on the shores of Svetloyar Lake as well. UFOs fly over the lake occasionally, last time a whirligig-shaped UFO was seen there in 1998. In winter, a snowman shows up in the area, and he lives 1.5-meter traces on the snow.


Researcher of local history Aleksander Epanchin says that there was village Rusaki having 2 monasteries – for men and for women. The monks started committing sins with the mermaids from the nearest deep place of the river. The Heaven became indignant with the monks' debauchery and punished them. In the beginning of XVIII cеntury, village Rusaki and its monasteries went underground, and Svyatoe (Saint) Lake was created on the spot. At night or early in the morning ringing of bells and motet is heard over the lake, and during full moon a gold cross is well-seen on the lake’s bottom. One day a fisherman put his nets into the lake, and pulled out a rope. He pulled the rope, and a church dome appeared on the water surface. The fisherman was so stunned, that he fell down into the water from his boat, and sank. Elderly people say that mermaids pulled the man into the depths of the lake. In 1960s divers explored the lake’s bottom, and they found a wooden deck with a door in it, a long chain was attached to the door. Local residents believe that the water will go down some day, and both the monasteries will be brought to light again.


Village Kukoboi in Yaroslavl region is considered as the motherland of Baba-Yaga (witch in Russian folk-tales) for a reason. The Head of a local Recreation Center Tatiana Kruglova says there is still a hut standing on high stubs resembling chicken’s legs, and in this hut the witch lived. A goblin lives in the local bath-house. People often hear somebody walking in the bath house, opening taps and moving wash-basins. The former bath house attendant fell ill after meeting the man, and retired from the job. The local bell-ringer started hearing voices after attending the bath house. Also, people say that a mermaid lives in the Ukhtoma river. At night somebody laughs and swims there. Ghosts in village Kukoboi can be encountered even in a local library. The ancient wooden building of the library was built in the beginning of 20th century. One day a weird girl wearing an ancient bonnet, entered the library and started telling about her mistress. Then the girl disappeared, and no traces were left on the snow by her.

Elena Zhuravleva, Moscow, Sergey Anisimov, Nizhny Novgorod, Alexei Bogolyubov, Vladimir, Oleg Knyazev, Yaroslavl

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova