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Russia is a massive country that covers over six million square miles. One would think that a area so large would definitely have paranormal activity in it. And you would be correct. The obvious challenge with doing investigations in Russia is its extreme weather. Temperatures have been documented to have fallen as low as 90 degrees below zero. With such an intense cold, it would be difficult to gather paranormal information from equipment, but not impossible. From my research there are very few investigators who have taken up the gauntlet and documented paranormal activity with equipment. There are, however, no lack of ghost stories.
In this article we'll explore a couple of the most haunted sites in Russia. The history of this country has been defined by its powerful leaders, developing into the nation it is today under Vladimir Putin. These same leaders have also shaped and influenced much of the paranormal activity of the area. Their many times turbulent and bloody past have left energy imprints on the atmosphere. And so, naturally, this leads to many reports of residual hauntings - as the ghosts of Russia's past linger on in its hallways and on its beautifully-built sites.
Khovrinskaya Zabroshennaya Bolnitsa
Construction of the building began in 1981 and it was intended to be one of the greatest feats of the Soviet Union. It is believed that its design is replicated after the familiar biohazard symbol and it could treat as many as 1300 patients at a time. Abruptly, though, its construction was halted in 1985.
There are a couple possibilities as what actually happened. One of these is that the architects made a mistake when they built this massive structure on top of land that is saturated with underground water. The weight of the buildings are slowly sinking into the ground.
The other explanation is simply that the funding ran out. Judging from the size of the complex, it would take an incredible amount of money to build this hospital. The details are a bit sketch, but we do know the Russian economy collapsed in 1991 under the leader at that time, Mikhail Gorbachev. In light of this economic disaster, it would certainly seem feasible that a project like this one would never see completion.
Because a building of this stature was essentially left abandoned, this opened up the doors for locals to try and take advantage of the site. Various members of the homeless community and other vagabonds broke in and set up home. Many of them over time ended up dying within the labyrinth's walls. It is believed that nearly 1500 souls may be trapped inside due to deaths from suicide, accident or murder.
Darker forces are at work at Khovrinskaya which may have spawned intense paranormal activity. Members of a local satanic cult held their meetings in the hospital and performed both human and animal sacrifices. Symbols and slogans of their society are painted on the walls throughout the complex. It is claimed that in 1990 the Russian government, who may have known about the activity for some time, burst in the building with armored troops and bombed out the hospital of its inhabitants. As a result, the bottom-most levels are flooded out from the underground water that pushed up through the foundation. This site remains shrouded in a very strange paranormal mystery, as numerous dark spirits are said to roam Khovrinskaya's halls.
Check out this quick video of Khovrinskaya's past:
The Seat of Government Power
Twenty-five minutes south of Khovrinskaya Hospital lies the infamous Kremlin. This site is a series of beautiful architectures which were first constructed back in 1147 A.D. "when the Grand Duke of Kiev, Yuri Dolgoruky, built a a wooden fort at the point where the Neglina and Moskva Rivers converge."¹ It is this location in Russia, which has evidence of human activity as far back as 500 A.D., that the beginnings of intense paranormal activity has its roots.
In 1326 the Russian Orthodox church moved its location from Vladimir to the Kremlin area, uniting both the church and state under the large red stars. In this same 14th century, Ivan the Great did some major renovations to the Kremlin. He introduced stone to the buildings and under his reign he coordinated "the construction of the magnificent Cathedrals of the Assumption, the Annunciation and the Archangel, and the uniquely Russian Terem Palace, the royal residence. The addition of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower completed Sobornaya Square, and added to the imposing effect of the Kremlin skyline."¹
Peter the Great (as an interesting side note was 6' 8") moved the central government to St. Petersburg in the 18th century, but did build the Kremlin Arsenal. After the Revolution of 1917, the Kremlin regained its authority as the seat of the Russian government and continues to exist as such today.
The Ghostly Rulers
"People in Russia become ghosts much the same way they do in other cultures; they’ve died violently by murder or suicide or died too young. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that the spirit remains on earth for about forty days after death. Many people believe that a person whose life ends abruptly must remain a ghost until that natural life span is up. Some may stay around much longer."³
Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) was one of the first leaders to make his impact on the Russian paranormal world and the ghostly activity in the Kremlin. Although he did have some positive accomplishments like creating close ties with England and the construction of St. Basil's Cathedral, history better knows him for his "terrible" deeds.
The two incidents that happened on the grounds of the Kremlin were when he "[b]eat his pregnant daughter-in-law for wearing immodest clothing, possibly leading to a miscarriage. He and his eldest son then engaged in an argument and Ivan struck him in the head with a staff, killing him."² His cruelty became renowned throughout the kingdom as he was held responsible for creating peasant serfdom and for executing and exiling certain boyars (high-ranking aristocrats directly under the prince) whom he felt were in conspiracy to him.
It is believed that after his death, his ghost still roams the halls of the Kremlin buildings, mourning his many sins. His ghost has been seen inside the bell tower with his name and footsteps have been heard as well. Several czars throughout history have encountered Ivan's ghost, including the last one - Nicholas II. Anytime his ghost appears, it is a portension of disaster.
Ivan the Terrible is not the only Russian leader to find himself trapped in the physical realm. One of the most perplexing ghost cases happened with Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), the head of the Russian government from 1917 to 1924. His political theory of Leninism made his life and writings a sort of gospel within the Russian communities. He is considered to be one of the most influential and significant figures of the 20th century. Despite his many accomplishments, it is not his legacy that creates the ghostly hauntings within the Kremlin grounds. Rather, the events surrounding his mysterious illness and eventual death are what set the stage for some very unusual paranormal activity.
Lenin's physical downturn began in 1921 when he was diagnosed with sound sensitivity, insomnia, and headaches. The following year he suffered two strokes which temporarily left him unable to speak and paralyzed the right side of his body. His third stroke also immobilized his right side, but this time it left him diagnosed with Wernicke's aphasia - an illness that robs the individual of their ability to understand written or spoken language:
"Persons with Wernicke’s aphasia can produce many words and they often speak using grammatically correct sentences with normal rate and prosody. However, often what they say doesn’t make a lot of sense or they pepper their sentences with non-existent or irrelevant words. They may fail to realize that they are using the wrong words or using a non-existent word and often they are not fully aware that what they say doesn’t make sense." ⁴
You might ask, "what does all of this medical jargon have to do with the paranormal?" Well, that would be a good question.
Something very strange seems to have happened to Lenin while suffering from his multiple strokes and laying in recovery at his mansion Gorki Leninskie. His ghost was seen on multiple occasions in more than one place. In 1923 his apparition was seen in the Kremlin. This same Lenin was also reported to be in Moscow, although he physically wasn't there. The reports state that he was seen walking very quickly. The problem with these reports is that Lenin was very sick at the time, could not even walk at all, and was in bed at the Gorki. Add in the fact that he wasn't even dead.
The final ghost sighting of him was observed by several people, affirming the fact with more than one set of eyes. Lenin died three months afterwards.
Is it possible that something happened to Lenin when his brain went haywire from the three strokes that allowed his spirit to leave his body before the point of death? If so, how might this be possible?
Or, is all of this just the figment of certain active imaginations within Russian society? Might their strong admiration for their leader have created these sightings?
The power of Russia's leaders throughout history have had a significant impact on its people. So too have these leaders made the same kind of impact on the paranormal world.