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Shubin: Ukraine’s Spirit of the Mines

2. January 2013 by Dasha 0 Comments

Nearly every nation has a unique ghostly legend, and in Ukraine there’s talk of shubin, a spirit said to dwell within the mines of Donbas.

Legends about shubin’s motives vary, but most portray the spirit in one of two ways: a dead miner who offers help and warns others of danger or a former mining master who murdered workers and hopes to claim more victims.

One well-known legend tells of a miner who became lost in a mine after the lights blinked out and left him grappling for the exit. The man despaired for his life, but was saved when a mysterious figure with a flashing beacon led him to safety. However, shubin isn’t always so helpful. Another common tale speaks of an evil mining master named Shubin (a common surname in Ukraine) who killed his employees and continues his terrible deeds by causing mining accidents in Ukraine. Some miners are so unnerved by the shubin legend that they invite church officials to cast out evil spirits from a mine (above).

Whether shubin is real or not, the legendary spirit has become ingrained in Ukrainian culture with bars and entertainment venues naming their business after the ghost of the mines. The spirit has even inspired its own brand of beer, Good Shubin.

Learn more about Slavic legends and mythology here. If you’re chatting with a lady from Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, be sure to ask her about the fascinating legend of shubin.

Source/Photo: Wikipedia