Five of The Worst Ghosts of St. Petersburg

The most important, most mysterious and most terrible events in Russian history took place in St. Petersburg: from the murder of Paul the First to the October Revolution. It is no wonder that all of them are overgrown with an aura of rumors and legends, many of which are associated with the ghosts of innocently murdered kings and their subjects. We recall the five most terrible ghosts: from a drowned excavator to a burned-down metro-builder.

Dead digger
A terrible reminder of how the city was built on the Neva

The common phrase that St. Petersburg is built on bones was also reflected in numerous urban legends, such as the one that tells about a dead excavator. It was in 1716. The builders of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the sentries suddenly heard a terrible scream coming from the Neva side – during a storm, it accidentally fell into the water and one of the diggers began to sink. It was not possible to save him, they also did not search for the body in the water. A hundred years later, the ghost of that digger appeared on the shore near the Peter and Paul Fortress, which greatly frightened the guard guarding the fortiation. Then, of course, they did not find the drowned man — only a trace of a large shoe remained on the sand of the Hare Island. They say that the digger still periodically wanders along the banks of the Neva, his arms outstretched. In the same place, according to legend, the executed Decembrists still go.

Where: Rabbit Island

Ghost of paul the first
Conspiracy victim looking for her killers

The slain Russian emperor himself was prone to a mystical interpretation of events. And after his murder in the Mikhailovsky (Engineering) Castle, rumors spread around the city that the pale figure of a man in a night dress and with a candle often wanders the corridors of that building. Sometimes she still wears a white officer’s scarf around her neck (then they were generally worn at the waist, they were strong, made of silk, because Paul was strangled with one of these). In Soviet times, the guards even began to stumble upon something cold and hard, but invisible – it was believed that this was all the same ghost. Despite the fact that “Pavel” did not do anything bad to any of the visitors and employees of the Engineers’ Castle, they still felt horrified to meet him. They say Paul is now wandering through the corridors, apparently searching for his murderers — in order to take revenge.

Where: Engineer Castle

Spirit of Rasputin
Ghost who returned home

Interestingly, the ghost of the main friend of the last royal couple, killed on the eve of the revolution, is disturbed not by the visitors of the mansion, where they tried to poison him first, and then shoot him, but the residents of the house on Gorokhovaya Street, where he lived and worked. His pale figure, according to legend, often wanders through the corridors of that communal and black staircase through which, if necessary, he ran. Residents of the house at one time told fascinating stories about how the ghost of the old man walked around the communal apartment and checked whether everything was in order – most often he visited over the holidays.
Where: Gorokhovaya street, 19

Skeleton of Kunstkamera

After the October Revolution, many valuable objects disappeared from the museums and palaces of St. Petersburg. Including the skull from a huge human skeleton, left by Peter the first in the Kunstkamera himself. And then at night in the museum they began to hear the roar of bones – this is the skeleton wandering through the halls of Kunstkamera and was looking for his “head”. Even the director of the museum believed in the ghost of the skeleton, stating that anyone could see him, and that he was absolutely harmless and indifferent to people. But over time, the skeleton began to act strongly on the nerves of someone from the staff, and then the problem was solved in a rather original way – they attached a skull to the bones. The new “head” of the skeleton, apparently, liked it, and he no longer bothered anyone.
Where: University Embankment, 2 (Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography)

Ghost of St. Petersburg metro

There is a legend that the ghost of one of the first metro-builders who died in the gas explosion on the stretch near the “Electrosila” in the late 1950s lives in the St. Petersburg subway. During the sixties, train drivers — especially on the “blue” branch — often had to see a human figure on the tracks, which disappeared in just a few seconds. And then the complaints of passengers who were pushed by some kind of “terrible hard worker” began. Find this “bully” did not work, distributors of rumors fired. But, they say, most of the incidents on the subway, connected with the fall on the way or from the escalator, are caused by this very “hard worker”.
Where: Any station of the St. Petersburg metro

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