With Halloween soon to be upon us, we wanted to showcase some of the more haunted places in St Petersburg for your enjoyment:
On August 20th, 1918 a young Jewish poet named Leonid Kannegisser had a sudden urge to kill Moisei Uritsky, the chairman of the Petersburg Emergency Committee. His act was not planne and was simply spur of the moment as he was riding along Palace Square on his bicycle. Leonid said his motive for the shooting was in retribution for his friend, officer Pereltsveiga, who was shot. The killing was described as a revolutionary romantic and shortly thereafter was executed.
Soon after this shooting the Bolshevik Revolution started in Russia and the Bolsheviks tried to connect this murder to the assassination attempt on Lenin which happened on the same exact day.
Church of the Spilt Blood
There is a reason this church got this grisly name and that comes from the murder of Alexander II in 1881. The tsar was called the “giver of freedom” and was neither insane, weak, or a tyrant, He even abolished serfdom in Russia during his reign.
However, assassins tried several times to kill the tsar including shooting and bombing him both on a train and in the palace where he lived. On his way back to Winter Palace (the Hermitage) a bomb hit his horse drawn carriage. Still alive and stepping out to confront the assassins, another bomb was thrown which ended the tsar’s life.
The railing and stones where the bombing took place have been preserved inside the cathedral and the two neighboring streets were named after two conspirators of the assassination Andrei Zhelyabov and Sofia Perovskaya. The streets are now named Malaya and Bolshaya Konyushennaya.
Sofia was hanged for her involvement in the plot on March 3rd, 1881, but many local residents have said that near this time of year she can be seen wandering near the cathedral with rope marks around her neck and a pale blue face.
Kunstkamera is the oldest museum in Russia and was started by Peter the Great in 1727 to dispel the idea of monsters. This museum in itself is a haunting experience with a collection of 2,000,000 curiosities and oddities.
One of the oddities in the museum is the giant named Guyduk who was brought from France to live with Peter the Great in his court and was showcased for his case of gigantism.
During the 19th century his skull was mysteriously stolen and soon after his ghost was reported to be moving throughout the halls searching for the culprits. After some time another skull was placed on the body and the ghost has not been seen since.
Even without the story of Guyduk the Giant, Kunstkamera is worth a visit during Halloween to experience all the strange oddities which certainly could have some roots with Halloween culture.