Thursday, September 03, 2009

Prague's Ghosts

Whenever I'm in a new and exciting city, I like to know a bit about the stuff I'm looking at, otherwise it's just a bunch of pretty buildings, and you could be looking at pretty buildings anywhere. However most tours are full of lame-o's. I refuse to follow someone around whilst they hold up an umbrella and give the tour in 4 different languages and tell you simple facts I read about in a brochure at the airport.

I need blood. I need gore. I need to know all about the dirty history. I need a ghost tour.

The Ghost Tour I went on covered a lot of dark history about Prague, some interesting things of note. Prague was mainly untouched during WWII so many of its original buildings are still standing to this day, and thus carry their dark secrets within their walls, thus Prague is one of the most haunted cities in Europe.

The guy who designed the amazing 'Astronomical Clock' which the likes of had never before been seen before, and thus drew thousands of merchants and civilians to the area for trade, had his eyes gouged out so he could never design another clock for a different city so they could keep all the trade business in Prague. Rough.

Apparently there are hundreds of catacombs and tunnels under Prague's Old Town, that were sealed off around WWII. Many people would die in the tunnels from getting lost and trampled to death by running away from enemies, which makes Old Town, Orb City.

The Ghost Tour encourages you to take flash photography so you can pick up Orbs, Orbs being a ball of light thought to contain a spirit that is normally not able to be seen with the naked eye. I picked up many orbs.. and they aren't just dust/water/drops on the lens.. It's ghostly.

As you can see over the doorway on a building opposite St James Cathedral - 4 Orbs. The story about St James Cathedral is that many bodies are buried inside it's Crypts. One story in particular being about the guy who founded the first University in Prague, who was buried alive in his own Crypt, and grave attendants found his skeleton slumped up against the door when they opened to it to bury another family member many years later.. Sucks, that is my worst nightmare.

It's hard to see the Orb which is in the lower corner near the drain on the floor of Kinksky Palace, but its there. Now.. Kinksky Palace you will notice when you enter Old Town Square of Prague, is that it is the only building that juts out from the square of buildings around it. Apparently the Count who ordered the Palace to be built wanted to stand out, so he hired some builders to break ground into the town square, however they would find when they returned to the foundations in the morning that they had been destroyed. Legend says that some creepy old man (the devil in disguise) told them that they would never be able to break the borders of the town square unless they had the devil on their side, and to do so would require an act of supreme evil... so these builders went to a village outside of Prague, brought a young child from an orphanage, and killed her and laid the foundations over her body. The building was thus completed and no damage was ever made to the building again. However when the Count moved into his amazing new Palace he felt decidedly creeped out and could hear a child screaming coming from the depths of the Palace Floors, and he moved out 1 month occupancy. The building is now part of the National Museum, and workers say they still hear the sounds of a child screaming coming from the drain at night.
In Prague Square, you probably wouldn't notice these crosses that are paved into the ground, and would walk over them without a second glance. However the Czech people know to avoid stepping on these stones because of the significance they hold and the sad history that lies behind them. Thousands of years ago there was a Protestant revolt. A revolution. And if there is one thing the Catholic Church hates, is a revolution. So they rounded up the 27 Protestant's who were mainly responsible for this and hung them in the town square. These gravestones are there to commemorate their lives. And you can see an orb hanging over the crosses in the middle.

Now after the tour I was pretty spooked. I love ghost stories, but there were fricken ghosts and Orbs everywhere, and I just wanted to go home to bed and away from all the demons lurking in the street.

This is Hotel Hastal Prague. A really great hotel where I stayed for my trip... with a huge freaking Orb outside.. not only outside, but right near my window!!!!!!!!!! aghhhhh
Unfortunately Hotel Hastal wasn't on the tour so I have no idea what this Orb is, but if I had to guess i'd say its the spirit of one of the Hotels previous owners keeping a watch over the place, as the Hotel has been in the same family for many generations.... still, as benevolent as that Orb may be, I still slept with the light on and one eye open.

If you are ever in Prague go on McGee's Ghost Tours, it is the most entertaining and education tour you could do whilst in the area.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Should I be concerned that I get orby things just like that whenever I take photos of my bedroom?!

Loving the Europe updates btw!