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Polish ghost stories


Qacer 38 | 125
15 Aug 2007 #1
I have many friends from other countries. Whenever we hang out, we always end up talking about something interesting including ghost stories. However, I don't recall hearing any ghost stories from my Polish friends. Plus, I have not encountered any Polish movies that featured ghosts, yet. It seems like they don't talk about it much.

Are ghost stories prominent in Polish culture?
Moon - | 44
15 Aug 2007 #2
My grandmother had a few ghost tales to tell when she was alive... One that I can remember from the top of my head...

Back in the day, before there was conviences like washers and dryers... the old fashioned way to do your laundry was to have a large tub of water and a washboard. One eve my grandmother was washing clothes and when she was finished she threw out the muddy water over the side of the porch. She swore up and down that when she threw the water she heard a voice say... "why did you do that?" and there was no one else around.

It's not really a scary story-but it makes you wonder.. I believe in the paranormal -- I think it's really all about belief to have a personal encounter.
beckski 12 | 1,617
15 Aug 2007 #3
I don't live in Poland. However, my 100+ year old home is said to be haunted.
Haunted or not, I think my home is unique and has plenty of character.
Krzysztof 2 | 973
15 Aug 2007 #4
It may be a valid point, Polish cinema industry was controlled and financed by the state until the late eighties, so you couldn't get funds for any stupid movie you wanted to make, and the writers/directors had to be careful in their choices otherwise they wouldn't get any money for the movie. And escapist genres (like horror/thriller) were looked upon as inferior, the only exception were silly comedies :)

So I can name a few Polish movies that deal with ghosts or other supernatural forces, but those forces are usually only a starting point, and the authors focus on more serious aspects.

There's a great classic fantasy/mystery movie from 1965 "Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie" by Wojciech Has (based upon the novel of Jan Potocki written at the beginning of the 19th century) - you have all there: cabalists, magic, ghosts, reincarnation etc.

Matka Joanna od aniołów (Mother Joan of the Angels, by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961, based upon the story of Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, dealing with the famous devil possession of a monastery at Louden, France)

Roman Polański made at least several movies with ghosts or other supernatural beings somehow featured, but all were filmed after he left Poland:
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) - comedy
Rosemary's Baby (1968) - devil possession
Le locataire (The Tenant, 1976) - possession by or obsession about a dead person
The Ninth Gate (1989) - conjuring Satan
you can even add The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971) since there are witches etc.
Some of Krzysztof Kieślowski's films (La double vie de Veronique, 1991, some episodes of The Decalogue, 1989) were dealing with the Supernatural, too.

and lower quality cinema:
I saw a Polish movie from 1967 "Duch z Canterville" (based upon 'The Canterville Ghost' by Oscar Wilde)
I also watched a mystery movie "Medium" (1985) which was about a murder committed 50 years earlier and reenacted by some other people who were controlled by the spirits of the persons involved in the actual crime.

We had also a tv series in the 60's "Wakacje z duchami" (Holidays with ghosts), but it was for kids/teens and all those spooky things turned out to be something else, not supernatural, so I guess I can't clssify this series as a ghost movie.

that's what I can remember atm, I guess there must be more, but generally Polish cinema has always been more obsessed about the contemporary problems, first because of the communism regime, later because of the painful transition from a dictatorship and state owned economy to the democracy and free market with all funny/scary phenomena that accompany this process.

As far as talking with friends about spooky things, we did it (especially at night during holidays camps in the forest) when I was a teen. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves etc. aren't alien to Polish culture, but not prominent either.
sledz 23 | 2,250
16 Aug 2007 #5
Hey if you like ghosts check out this link: albinoblacksheep.com/flash/legends3

BOOOOO!
Daisy 3 | 1,227
16 Aug 2007 #6
You can't have an albino black sheep ?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
16 Aug 2007 #7
When my Dad was real small, way back in the fifties, he would often hang around the bombed and ruined areas of his home town. One evening it was really getting late and darkish, and he was alone. Suddenly he spotted a large pigeon sitting very peacefully on some rubble, so he crept up to it, and covered it with his cap. He was very excited to have caught a bird so easily. However, when he slid his hand under the cap, he found nothing. Eerie.
OP Qacer 38 | 125
17 Aug 2007 #8
Interesting info, indeed.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
9 Sep 2010 #9
Thread attached on merging:
POLISH GHOST STORIES....do you have any....?

Something Seanus said has prompted me to start this thread...So...does anyone have any Polish ghost stories to tell...?

I have my own ghost story relating to Poland...one i witnessed myself..but i will let others scare you first...

Have you seen a ghost in Poland , or do you know anyone who has..? given Polands violent history there has to be a few restless spirits here...!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Sep 2010 #10
Sorry, wildrover. I was swept off to Radom and I don't know why. I was talking about my friend's ghost story where he was alone in his flat with his K2 meter, gauging the presence through bleeps. He paid quite a bit for his equipment and he wanted to test it out. The problem with ghost stories is that people are often looking for them. It's the same as medicine. If you are told that it should have a certain effect, you prepare your mind for that effect. However, go in blind without any knowledge and you will be objective.

Have you any stories of chance and disbelief?
trener zolwia 1 | 940
9 Sep 2010 #11
True. The power of implanted suggestion is quite spooky...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Sep 2010 #12
Conditioned responses and pre-empting are not the way forward. Does Poland have any place like the Edinburgh Vaults? Americans are fascinated with that place.
mafketis 21 | 7,367
9 Sep 2010 #13
Not a ghost story per se, but ...weird.

After moving into a teachers dorm on the outskirts of town I started having recurrent dreams of being a soldier in hiding next to a snowy field, not unlike a big deserted field next to the dorm (which someone else independently told me gave him the creeps). They stopped after a few weeks but it was very odd. I also tried putting up posters on one wall and they kept falling down within a day or so (no matter how much tape/glue/bluetac I used. I finally put up a map of Poland (which stayed up) and the dreams stopped.

Not ghosts, but it did feel weird at the time.

My altogether weirder ghost story doesn't involve Poland.
Marek11111 9 | 816
9 Sep 2010 #14
yes I have seen a ghost it was after my uncle fatal accident I went back to Poland for funeral and I was about a week after his burial sleeping in his bed I woke up and seen someone standing above me looking at me then it moved to kitchen with loud foot steps, i close my eyes and tried to go back to sleep, it freak me out but it was not first time I experience the paranormal activity in this house.
zetigrek
9 Sep 2010 #15
In £ódź were I live, there is pretty lots of urban legends about ghost. For example there is a forest in the outskirts of city (not famous £agiewniki in the north, but the forest in the south). It's name is Ruda (or colloqially Ruda-Popioły as there is a "street" cutting through the forest named Popioły). Ruda forest is vert thick and dark. In this forest there are placed old summer houses of XIX century textile tycoons. The whole neighberhoud is bit scary especially at evenings. There are many ghost legend connected with that place probably because its dull, dismal and obscure atmosphere really turns on imaginarion. So there is:

- a ghost of raped girl
- a ghost of a biker who has lost path in the forest (it's not difficult to get lost there), who rings at 2 am every night)

- whinings of the slave workers killed by Nazi from the last house on Popioły street
- there is said that in the 80s whole trip of school kids have lost there and never return
...and many others nice stories.

We have also a "skyscraper" (blok mieszkalny) of suiciders (the administrator of the building had to put a steel net in every window in staircase, so people can't open the windows)

Edinburgh Vaults

we have misteriouse tunels under the Książ Castle. It's said that the Nazis build it, what for? no one knows. Tey aren't even reveild fully, so who knows what is in those tunnels.

I think that there are many hauneted places in Poland. There are some famous legends about the Castle in £ęczyca, the Castle in £ańcut (and many others but I don't rememeber)

One of the most intresting stories about ghost connected in Poland is about ghost of Ignacy Paderewski (famous polish painist and prime minister). Last years of his life he spead in the USA and he haunts the rooms of Polish Museum in Chicago playing his piano at nights! (there are some onlookers)

After moving into a teachers dorm on the outskirts of town I started having recurrent dreams

If we are talking about dreams once I have REAL prophetic dream. It was hiper realistic: I dreamt of the Lotto game results (I've seen 4 numbers vividly and 2 last were blured). When I woke up I was remembering those 4 numbers! So I thought to myself that would be funny to play in Lotto (I hadn't used to play Lotto before... only once few years earlier) and... I won!
THE HITMAN - | 236
9 Sep 2010 #16
On a late arrival to Poland on all souls day, I was surprised to see the church open just on the stroke of midnight. Great, I thought, this will earn me a few brownie points with my old aunties. So I attended a pleasant mass in latin, which I last experienced when I was a kid.

The next morning at breakfast I explained my late arrival and the fact that I attended the midnight mass. My relatives looked in horror as I described the priest, whom they seemed to recall as one who had passed over in the early 1900,s and also that there was no such masses scheduled at that time.

Has anyone heard this saying in Poland ...... " The day is for the living, the night is for the dead "

This was a mass for the dead.

Don,t have nightmares now ..........
pgtx 29 | 3,159
9 Sep 2010 #17
Has anyone heard this saying in Poland ...... " The day is for the living, the night is for the dead "

This was a mass for the dead.

and... I won!

after his burial sleeping in his bed I woke up and seen someone standing above me looking at me then it moved to kitchen with loud foot steps

spooky....
trener zolwia 1 | 940
9 Sep 2010 #18
all souls day

Is that like Halloween?
Does Poland even have Halloween?...
pgtx 29 | 3,159
9 Sep 2010 #19
Does Poland even have Halloween?...

no, that's yet another American "let's spend lots of money" holiday...

in Poland we have Dzien Wszystkich Swietych... November 1st...
THE HITMAN - | 236
9 Sep 2010 #20
Is that like Halloween?
Does Poland even have Halloween?...

I suppose its the equivilent, but they dont dress up and do that trick or treat thing.
zetigrek
9 Sep 2010 #21
Is that like Halloween?
Does Poland even have Halloween?...

No its a christian equivalent of that pogan custom ;P
You have just gave me an idea for a riddle in the riddle thread, thx ;)

in Poland we have Dzien Wszystkich Swietych... November 1st...

which used to be in times of Mickiewicz the period of "Dziady" holliday

I suppose its the equivilent, but they dont dress up and do that trick or treat thing.

so the story was that: In old times ppl were practicizing pogan hollidays. One of the pan-european holliday was the day where soouls of dead ppl and demons were visiting Earth (in celtic countries it was Halloween, in Poland we were calling it Dziady) so there were some rituals to make yourself save from all the bad demons. Catholic Church was trying to fight those pogan believes so tey implemented a Christian holliday - "dzień zaduszny" (the day of all souls). In modern times this day is a day when ppl visit graves of their family memebers and light candle, put flowers. Its a day of thinking about those who passed away, so partying (halloween) at night before is considered as something wrong.
shewolf 5 | 1,077
10 Sep 2010 #22
I have a friend who was stationed over there in the military years ago, I forgot exactly where. They were asleep in the forest in the middle of the night and they were awakened by horses galloping toward them. They got up terrified and the sound vanished. In the morning, they checked and there were no marks in the dirt.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
10 Sep 2010 #23
they were awakened by horses galloping toward them.

Ah this will be the forest near Drawsko pomorskie . now a huge Nato training ground , but for many years the place where the legion of the dead ride ride into battle with the enemies of Polska...

ooh i am scared now...hold my hand Shewolf....
shewolf 5 | 1,077
10 Sep 2010 #24
ooh i am scared now...hold my hand Shewolf....

:)

Ah this will be the forest near Drawsko pomorskie . now a huge Nato training ground , but for many years the place where the legion of the dead ride ride into battle with the enemies of Polska...

That's amazing. I'll have to tell my friend. I don't think they knew this.
nott 3 | 594
10 Sep 2010 #25
Catholic Church was trying to fight those pogan believes so tey implemented a Christian holliday - "dzień zaduszny" (the day of all souls).

Um it's not quite like that. All Saints Day is a Christian holiday, November 1st, with masses etc. Zaduszki is the next day.

In a way, quite a sinister holiday. That's when people visit family graves, often far from where they live, and plenty 'Sunday drivers' hit the roads. Combined with the short day and typically bad November weather, the holiday results in about 50 fatalities every year, far above average.

Hitman's story is the top one... I never had anything like direct encounter with ghosts, only heard some. Quite a lot of them in Poland, I'd say.
Matt32 4 | 83
10 Sep 2010 #26
I know a story associated with an old mid-nineteen century building. In the upstairs bedroom, a man once lined up whiskey bottles, shot them and then with the same gun shot himself.

However it wasn't the end, from that room during the night shattering noises can be heard.
The spirit seems to be contend with only one bedroom, and never acts in a threatening way towards people saying in the house, except one time when I attempted to spend a night in HIS bedroom !

:)

I have got another one for you - to teach you about foolishness of drinking ardent spirits !
Long time go, there was a man, rich and lonely. He owned a land in P. and began constructions on the house. He build fine and grand house, his mansion was regarded as one of the finest in the area and reflected tastes of the owner - you can imagine, the front porch, four white and tall columns!

Despite the great house and all the riches, owner Mr C had no family and his favourite part of the house was the wine cellar. He was a man who loved to drink and he collected fine wines from all over the world and shared them with his friends on a regular basis.

He even moved rocking chair into the cellar and placed it in front of the wooden wine casks, he would sit there and rock constantly, sipping wine.

When he died, his lawyer read his last will, his instructions were that he wanted to be laid to rest by his friends.Those friends were to place his coffin into the wine cellar and then their were to consume every last drop of wine in the cellar before their they buried him.

His friend carried his wishes out, they assembled in the cellar, placed his coffins there and started to drink.:)
Next two days they vanished into obviolishion and when the men started to sober up, to their dismay they realized that could not remember where they had buried Mr C body.

It was a several days before they give up!
Its said that soon after that sound of a rocking chair can be heard slowly swaying back and forth in the wine cellar or so they say.
zetigrek
10 Sep 2010 #27
Um it's not quite like that. All Saints Day is a Christian holiday, November 1st, with masses etc. Zaduszki is the next day.

Yes you are right but the in the Day of All Saints ppl also visit graves and the both turn in one big hollyday when those who passed away are commmemorate. Halloween would be nice new custom but some see it wrong to party all night and in the very next 2 days visit graves...

I must admit I constantly mix which day is called which way... but there is still plenty time to November ;)
Marek11111 9 | 816
11 Sep 2010 #28
nott:

Um it's not quite like that. All Saints Day is a Christian holiday, November 1st, with masses etc. Zaduszki is the next day.

I do not think so, it's pagan celebration made to be christian as christianity spread like a plague
Matt32 4 | 83
26 Sep 2010 #29
as christianity spread like a plague

I you're a funny dude!
nunczka 8 | 458
26 Sep 2010 #30
Does Pan Twardowski count??


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