I just issued a new book on Kindle and shortly to be a paperback too. It is called The Czech Republic – The Most Haunted Country in the World?
It’s definitely a good choice for a Halloween read…
Here are a few abridged stories from it….
The Devil’s Bible
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to see this strange document first hand, as it was on display outside of Brno. In fact, what I saw was a copy of the original. Nonetheless, the effect was chilling. The Devil’s Bible or Codex Gigas is 36inches tall by 20 inches wide and about 9 inches thick. It contains a set of Christian texts including the Bible. It is bound in leather with metal trim and weighs over 165 pounds. It is known for the amazing color illustration in its pages of the Devil and that is how it gained its name.
imagesHistorians believe the text was created in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in the Czech Republic in the early 13th century. Now, as if the scale of the Bible wasn’t enough, the Bible’s creation legend is even more bizarre. A monk in the middle Ages, who, after breaking his monastic vows, was sentenced to the horribly cruel death of being walled up alive, is said to have written it. Desperate to avoid his fate, the monk promised to write – in just a single night – a book that both glorified his church and also contained all human knowledge. His plan was accepted but by midnight, he was nowhere near completing the book. He decided he needed help but instead of praying to God, he prayed to Lucifer offering his soul in return for the finished book. The Devil responded to the monk’s prayer accepting the offer. Within seconds, the huge book was completed while the monk added the portrait of his mentor and savior in gratitude. Although, some say Lucifer himself painted the picture.
Experts agree that one person wrote the entire book and estimate it would take more than 5-years to complete – at least without supernatural help anyway.
A Czech Vampire
In Ždár nad Sázavou, a Czech vampire once roamed. Alois Ulrich was an unkindly man and the administrator of the local castle estate. He treated his fellow humans with the same contempt that he had for animals. In his early 60’s, he contracted a strange disease and died. No one was particularly sad to see him pass away. He was buried in the lower churchyard.
But Alois continued to terrorize his neighbors even in death as he was seen by many villagers both in the cemetery and standing on a local bridge. There was even a murder attributed to the dead Alois. The increasingly concerned and scared inhabitants called on a local landowner to investigate. They decided first to make sure that he was actually dead and buried and so they exhumed him. On opening Alois’ coffin, they found that the body showed no signs of decay and on calling him by name Alois opened his eyes and slowly sat up. The local Priest tried to talk to him but Alois only snarled back. The solution was to sever his head with a spade and to fill his mouth with poppy seeds as an anti-vampire measure. He was then cemented into his grave. That solved the problem.
Kutna Hora Ossuary
In a town named Kutna Hora, here in the Czech Republic, there is a very famous ossuary that is said to contain the bones of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. The site, which is beneath the cemetery of the Church of All Saints just outside of Kutna Hora, is a very creepy visit. Four huge bell-shaped mounds of bones in each corner of the Chapel are accentuated by delightful human skeletal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. There is even a coat of arms – all made from human skeletal remains, on the wall.
The story behind how this came to be is fascinating. Back in 1278, a monk returned from the Holy Land with soil from Golgotha. This was spread in the cemetery making it a much wanted final destination of many people in the region. The results of a 14th Century Black Death outbreak and 15th Century wars in the region also ensure that there were many thousands buried there during that period as well. The ossuary was created when rebuilding work meant digging up many of the bodies in the 1400’s and this practice continued to make room for new tenants in the cemetery for several hundred years. The macabre decorations in the place were the brainchild of a woodcarver given responsibility for the place in 1870.
The place has a very strange atmosphere. It is probably just the imagination as you are surrounded by skeletons – but who knows? With some 50,000 remains there surely there must be one or two spirits haunting the place?
Do take a look at the book – I’m sure you will find it interesting…