As mentioned in a previous post; Starting in June, I will be showcasing some Urban Myths and Legends on YouTube, featuring some of the best Urban Legends of Russia and New Zealand.
My first project will be to revisit the town of Chapayevsk and do a short film in the Municipal Cemetary, as I explain the Legend of Elena, who reportedly roams the Cemetary.
The second Webisode will take place in Zhiguli mountains near Shiryaevo which is in the Samara region.
The Legend of Zoya is well known in the Samara region, so I will also be featuring this Urban Legend.
Going by Legends, on January 14, 1956, a young factory worker Zohi arranged a party. All who were invited had a partner to dance with but Zoya did not. Her fiance Nicholas did not come. Then she took out the icon of St Nicholas, and cried out: “As long as my Nicolas did not come I will dance with this Nicholas!” It is reported that she danced with the icon in her hands. Friends tried to stop Zoyu, but she said: “If there is a God, let him punish me.”
Suddenly they heard a thunder and lightning in the room. The other youth fled in fear. And when her friends returned, they saw Zoya standing in the middle of the room, paralyzed – almost stone-like, with the icon still in her hands.
For 128 days Zoya stood in the middle of the room. Crowds of people came from far and wide to witness the miracle.After 128 days, it is said that she woke up, repented and quietly died.
I have also heard that there are some great Urban Legends & Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg and Moscow, so coming in the Summer will be more Webisodes online.
AND as part of my Book Tour of Russia and New Zealand, I am giving one person in each country (Russia and NZ) the opportunity to be part of my “Dinner with an Author” experience.
The winner will get to have an evening with C.A.Milson which includes picked up at your residence, Dinner at a restaurant, followed by a Night Out on the town, an Autographed copy of The Chosen in paperback, and AS A BONUS: Be a featured Guest Host on my upcoming YouTube Project. The “Night with an Author” will also be broadcast on YouTube.
Two Runners up will each receive a $50 Gift Certificate.
RULES ON HOW TO ENTER: entry is OPEN to anyone. However, if the Winner does not reside in Russia or New Zealand, then that winner will receive a Gift Voucher for $100 to spend on Amazon.com.
Entry is OPEN to anyone in Russia and New Zealand.
To enter: Purchase the The Chosen direct from my web, leaving your contact name and details.
This year has seen a new change come about with many things.
Firstly, with my book: I am pleased to announce that I had a professional translator translate my book into Russian, which is now available through this website.
For those who have read the excerpts, you can now pre-order limited Autographed paperback copies of The Chosen in Russian.
With other news, my article in SchoolEnglish magazine was a good success. Especially with my article on Ghosts of Chapayevsk. In continuing with Russian Folklore, I will be featuring more articles and expose shorts on such Urban Ghost Stories.. A treat definately not for the faint of heart 🙂
I would also like to announce that coming this year will feature an added bonus to this site. I am talking of course of Urban Legends Online.
My research on Urban Myths and Legends will be on YouTube, featuring some of the best Urban Legends of Russia.
Do you have an Urban Legend or Ghost Story that you would like to see on YouTube?
Contact me as I may feature you on my YouTube Channel.
Urban legends thrive on people’s deepest fears — that our safe world can crack at any moment and a madman will change our lives forever. That alone is enough to give anyone some second thoughts about our everyday routine.
Legends and folklore tales range from the maniacal serial killer to the completely unexplained. Everyone loves scary ghost stories, when the days get shorter, the nights get longer — and imaginations run wild.
Chances are you’ll find many versions of these stories as they get passed on from person to person. Children have a tendency to twist the plots and make them fit their particular circumstances. The Halloween season seems to bring out the best of local urban legends, both old and new.
Many spooky stories are old classics from years past. They may not be the version you’ve heard, but that’s what makes it fun. The following legend may not suitable for young children or the faint of heart. If you’ve got nerves of steel, proceed with caution…
So get comfortable, dim the lights and read this account of a True Ghost Story and then decide for yourself. Did it really happen, or was it just a figment of someone’s imagination?
Now as I have visited Chapayevsk before, I knew that there some horror stories to this city, as it is a city that is on the brink of ecological disaster. It has even been said that the mayor of Chapayevsk has considered relocating everyone to a new city and have Chapayevsk declared a quarantine zone. But the disasters did not happen in recent years, as this story will unfold.
The following is an account that was told to me by a good friend in Samara, who was told this story by her mother, who has witnessed the strange happenings in Chapayevsk. The story involves the only daughter of a farmer in Chapayevsk, who fell in love with a local factory worker during WW2.
It was known that Chapayevsk operated a chemical weapons plant during the Great Patriotic War, and during the War, it was known that many people had fatal accidents or died in that factory, either due to toxic poisoning, chemical fires or other unexplained circumstances.
Elena was a beautiful young woman in her twenties and was betrothed to Alexey Basanov, who worked at the chemical plant. Tragedy fell this young couple though, as reports attest that there was a chemical fire at the plant, and Alexey was one of the many victims that died, just some days before they were to be married.
Unable to cope with the loss of her only love, Elena threw herself infront of a train, wearing the long, white gown that was made for her wedding day by her grandmother.
Elena was buried in the Municipal Cemetery. Witnesses claim that Elena did not pass into the other world because they have seen her ghost roaming the cemetery, and walking along the train tracks, where she died, on numerous occasions.
The first claims of her sightings began back in January 1952, ten years after her death. Since the first sightings, it is said that her ghost appears searching for her lost love.
Whether she finds Alexey in this life or the next is a mystery, but nonetheless it seems that Elena does not want to be forgotten.
When I heard this story I went to Chapayevsk to see if these rumors were indeed true. Needless to say, my own visit to the Municipal Cemetery is something I will not forget in a long time. Although I did not physically see the ghost of Elena, I can attest that I did feel an eerie presence in that cemetery. Whether it was her spirit or not, that is for you to decide.
One thing is for sure, Chapayevsk has many ghost stories waiting to be uncovered
Now it’s is up to you, the reader to decide for yourself.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My journey to Chapayevsk was something left to be desired. I had heard local rumors of this town, and from legends believe, the town of Chapayevsk reminded many people of a version of Silent Hill.
Now you can imagine just how my imagination was running riot on my hour long train ride to Chapayevsk. Buildings falling apart, scrapings of paint ascending into the sky, darkness that covered the area, the sound of a warning siren every few hours, flesh eating zombies from beyond the grave every which way you look, some guy wearing a helmet to cover his lava scorched face, brandishing a 20 foot steak knife….
But was there any of that fantastical stuff? NO! I was sadly disappointed by no sign of flesh eating zombies from the beyond 🙂
What I did see though was a town so heavily polluted that entering the town was like being exposed to an extreme overdose of radiation (Hmmm, one conjers up the thought of a Simpsons episode here where Bart calls out “Watch Out Radioactive Dude!”)
We started our little trek by visitng the ticket booth, then taking a walk past the chemical plant. Hmmm, gave me some ideas, but not many. The chemical plant looked like a demiliterized zone. The eerie thing about this chemical plant was that it had a hell of a lot of ravens in the trees. Now I am not talking about just your average 3 or 4 ravens here. I am talking about DOZENS and DOZENS of the feathered creatures. Seeing them was like watching a scene from Alfred Hitchcocks flick “The Birds”. For a second I thought I may have to high-tail my ass to the nearest phone booth and duck for cover 🙂
No such luck this day 😦
Next up was the old church they were restoring. A beautful piece of architecure that has been in restoration for the last decade. Obviously there is a serious lack of funds to maintain this church as it is literally falling apart everywhere you look, and the grounds are maintained by a gypsy woman who looked like she was born when Stalins’ parents were children 🙂
The food in this little town was also something left to be desired. It is well advised that if you are going to buy food here, take with you a good litre or more of Pepto Bismol. (Seriously, with a town on the brink of a major environmental holocaust, would you “really” want to buy food here?).
With the town features looking anything but scary, we did see an elderly woman in a wheelchair begging for money. Such a sight is common around these parts, and it makes you wonder just where the likes of The Salvation Army is. In many places in Russia, there is a definate class of those who have nothing, and this woman really had NOTHING. So I gave her ten rubles. Her eyes lit up, and she was amazed. As I am told, that is a whole day wage for common people. But it made me wonder just how many others in this town were just like her.
We saw an abandoned puppy with a broken leg. No one seemed to care or bother to notice. Infact, when I went to pet it, it cringed. Obviously it’s former master only showed affection in the forms of beating it. Very sad.
After that we bid farewell to Chapayevsk, and got on the train to return home to Samara. Another eventful trip in which not only did the train take 2 hours to make a 60 minute trip, but the train driver overshot our stop by several miles.
Although the town was extremely depressive, it did give me some ideas for scenes and characters. Like the guy who works in the convenience store who handed me a lighter after having his dirty hand in his mouth; the druken woman who walked down the street, staggering, yelling and crying; the abandoned buildings that were on the brink of collapsing; the ravens (Strange, that reminds me of E.A.Poe); and who can forget the puppy with the gimpy leg.
Alas I await my next adventure.
For those who don’t know much (or anything) about Chapayevsk, here is a little something I found online. For more results you can google the town
Harsh winters, polluted air, crumbling apartment blocks – the residents of many Russian towns might feel that they have cause for complaint. But in Chapayevsk, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants in European Russia, the mayor himself has suggested a novel way of solving the town’s problems – abandon it. You can hardly blame him – 96 per cent of all children there are deemed unhealthy.
Chapayevsk, close to the Volga river and the city of Samara, is home to factories that produced chemical weapons for many years, and is blighted by air and soil pollution. According to the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, at a round table meeting on the environment in Samara this week, the town’s mayor, Nikolai Malakhov, said that resettling the town’s residents would be an “ideal solution” to Chapayevsk’s problems.
The town was founded about a century ago and was named Chapayevsk in 1929, after the Bolshevik Civil War hero Vasily Chapayev. It was the site of a chemical weapons factory that churned out mustard gas and other deadly weapons in industrial quantities. The factory also made conventional bombs and mines. According to factory veterans, chemical warheads were made by pouring mustard gas solution from a teapot into the bombs, with the toxic chemicals frequently spilling over into factory drains. Over time the city’s water became contaminated with dioxins and other poisons. Today the factory produces herbicides, not chemical weapons, but the pollution in the air and the ground is there to stay.
A study undertaken by American scientists in 2005 found that not only was the air in Chapayevsk contaminated with dioxins, but also locally produced fruit and vegetables, as well as the meat from locally farmed animals. The more local produce that people ate, the more likely they were to get ill. The scientists found dioxin levels in the ground as high as in those parts of Vietnam sprayed with the infamous Agent Orange during the US campaign there. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the fatality rates from throat, liver and kidney cancer in Chapayevsk are three times higher than in nearby cities. The American study found a whole range of sexual abnormalities in Chapayevsk boys, who typically have a late start to puberty.
With the factories no longer providing work, the town also has a high level of unemployment, and one of the highest levels of heroin use in the country, which is contributing to the start of an HIV epidemic. So the mayor’s plan sounds like a good one. But a spokesperson at the local parliament denied that there was any serious talk of relocating the town’s inhabitants.
Some experts believe that abandoning the town might be the most economically viable option, however. “For 100 years, factories in Chapayevsk have been producing weapons, powders and chemical components,” Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s official environmental watchdog, told a Russian agency. “There are several cities like this in Russia. But we can spend 50m roubles (£1m) on recultivating the stream that runs through the village that has been contaminated, and nothing will improve. To do it right, we’d have to dig a new channel, redirect the stream there, and remove all the soil. Can you imagine how much that would cost? The only sensible way to solve this problem is with resettlement.”
But despite all the problems, a representative of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, said that Chapayevsk was far from being among the worst Russian cities. “It had an air pollution index of 7.8 in 2007,” said a spokesperson. “To be in the league of the dirtiest towns in Russia, it should be 14.”