It’s not surprising that Russia and its various regions are full of ghost stories, given the country’s long history and expansive geography. Here are stories of some of the most well-known hauntings in two of Russia’s most well-known locations.
The Kremlin and Red Square
Having been constructed in the 12th century, the Kremlin has housed all of Moscows leaders, from the czars to the Soviets, and has consistently been at the center of Russian affairs. The most famous of these ghost stories concern two of Russia’s most famous leaders – Ivan the Terrble and Joseph Stalin.
It has been reported through the years that Ivan’s shadow can be seen and footsteps heard in the bell tower that bears his name. It has also been said that his spirit visited the last tsar, Nikolay II, the night before his coronation. Some have suggested that this foreshadowed the collapse of the Romanov dynasty.
Stalin is said to be the Kremlin’s most frequently seen ghost. He often appears in times of national crisis with witnesses claiming that the ghost wants to establish order. It is also reported that the room will get cold when Stalin’s ghost is present.
Other stories of ghosts and unexplained occurrences abound throughout the Kremlin and Red Square. Semi-transparent figures dressed in shrouds have been reported in the Palace of Congresses. And the ghosts of various czars and assorted political figures have been known to linger from time to time.
Much like Moscow, St. Petersburg’s long history has allowed it to accumulate an assortment of ghost stories. At the Academy of Arts, the first director, architect Kokorin, is said to wander the halls. There is also a legend of a person who knocks at the Academy’s gates on nights when there is foul weather. The man claims to be a famous sculptor who has risen from his grave and demands to be let inside.
Other ghosts are said to haunt the areas near the banks of the river Neva. Perhaps the most fascinating ghost is that of Sofia Perovskaya, a Russian woman and revoluntionary who participated in assassination attempts on czars and government officials in the early 20th century. She is said to appear on a bridge over the Ekaterininsky Channel, her face blue and the marks of a noose around her neck as she carries a white handkerchief to signal to bombers.
Sources: Russia Today and Pravda