Photo. Visited former graveyards in upper town area in Zagreb, Croatia. © Travel Explorations.
If you’re looking for a spooky thrill, Zagreb has a creep ghost area. The timing for our ghost hunting and witch hunting was just perfect: it was Friday 13th. On this special day we expected strange things to happened in the darkness. In the picturesque Upper town of Zagreb we were guided around by a witch guide in the most sensitive area. Before we dived into the darkness, we calmed down our nerves by drinking beer and Whiskey. Then all our fear vanished - almost. Before we started our tour we asked our guide: have anyone vanished on your guiding tours in the dark area? Not so far, she said, with a big smile.
Zagreb must be one of the prettiest cities I ever have seen, boasting a historic district packed with amazing architecture, open air galleries, green park, courtyards, stone gates and bustling markets. I also become very impressed by the friendly and service minded inhabitants in the city, but if look beneath the surface you’ll find a darker side to the city. We walked away from the lively part of Zagreb where we partyed, and into a part of the Upper town which is both quiet and dark. Mixed with strong curiosity and little bit of fear, we where ready to explore some of Zagreb`s spookiest places.
We started our tour at 9 O`Clock PM by a very famous centrally located sight called Stone Gate (Kamenita vrata) in the medial Upper Town area. It looked like a little open-air chapel inside a tunnel. Seemed a little bit spooky, but our Whiskey drinking has wiped away our fear for a while. A lady waited for us on the upper side of the Stone Gate dressed in a black cape with a candle in her hand. The medieval Upper Town centres on Kaptol Square, where most of the buildings date from the 17th century. The Stone Gate, the eastern gate to medieval Gradec Town, is now a shrine. According to legend, a fire in 1731 destroyed all of the gate except for the painting of the Virgin and Child.
The tour was organised by Secret Zagreb walking tours. The tour guide started its guiding tours inspired by curious local history, legends, and fun personalities from the city's past. Secret Zagreb is a project run by a Zagreb-based company called Kazivačica, which means storyteller in Croatian. Iva Silla, who guided us around, is the founder of Secret Zagreb.
Zagreb is shrouded in mysteries. See more photos on Facebook page Travel Explorations:
Spooky witch hunt in Zagreb, Croatia. This activity took place in Zagreb’s dark part of the medieval Upper Town on Friday 13th October 2017. With the American psychological horror film Blair Witch Project in my mind, I expected strange things to happen ....
What is hiding in the dark? I imagined that spirits become especially active at haunted locations when darkness set. Dark shadows around us made the atmosphere spooky already from the first step. I am not afraid of the dark, I just have a fear of what is in the dark. Perhaps something would try to get me? After a while our shadows were absorbed up by the dark. Between the talking it was totally silence and it was then we heard our hearts was beating.
It was with mixed feelings for my friend and me: in one way we wanted to experience something spooky on our late evening walk, but at the same time we found it scary. Invoking spirits in the darkness was just one part of it, but what should we do when they occurred? Confronting them, chasing them or just try to stay calm? Anyway we had to watch our back.
On this evening we where guided through narrow passageways and into unknown corners to discover some of the city’s most mysterious places. Here we got shocked about hearing stories about snakes and dragons, rumours about the mysterious underground, dark Croatian writers, notorious witch hunts and trials and a dragon society. Zagreb has an intense history of witch trials and witch hunts. Read Iva Silla`s article about the Zagreb witches.
One of the most amazing stories we heard on our tour was about the Crna kraljica, also called The Black Queen. There are several legends that pass between the generations in Croatia about the Black Queen, but no-one quite knows what the truth is about this mysterious figure. Another amazing story was about the “The Witch from Grič”. The character was based on a real woman baker in Zagreb, the widow Barica Cindek. She was so appealing as a woman and so successful as a merchant that she attracted the envy of her neighbours and the venom of the men who failed to conquer her.
After 2 hours nonstop spooky action the tour was completed. Fortunately no one was missing afterwards in the darkness. Did we see or felt the presence of any spirit? It`s hard to say, but some parts of the tour putted chill down our spine and made our hair raise with all its creepy places and scary stories. The most exciting on our tour was the witch hunt. Finally we succeeded to caught one, and it was great to celebrate this afterwards (see photos on Travel Explorations` Facebook page). Experiencing Zagreb in a different, mystical way was really something. Long live the spiritual world in Zagreb!
Stein Morten Lund, 20th October 2017
Information and booking of guiding tours into Zagreb`s dark past and other exciting tours: Secret Zagreb guiding tours.
Ghosts and dragons tour organised by Secret Zagreb: storytelling walking tour takes you off the beaten path to discover the dark side of the old town.
Exploration of the abandoned hospital called Brestovac. How to get there to Brestovac.
Ruinous villa Rebar with some dark tunnels from WWII.
Blog secret Zagreb.
Information about Zagreb:
It`s the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122m above sea level. In the last official census of 2011 the population of the City of Zagreb was 792,875. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area includes the City of Zagreb and the separate Zagreb County bringing the total metropolitan area population up to 1,237,887. It is the biggest metropolitan area in Croatia, and the only one with a population of over one million.