Chapayevsk's Urban Legend
Urban legends1 thrive on people’s deepest fears – that our safe world can crack2 at any moment and a madman3 will change our lives forever. That alone is enough to give anyone some second thoughts4 about our everyday routine5.
Legends and folklore tales range from the maniacal serial killer to the completely unexplained. Everyone loves scary ghost6 stories, when the days get shorter, the nights get longer – and imaginations run wild.
Chances are you’ll find many versions of these stories as they get passed on from person to person. Children have a tendency to twist the plots7 and make them fit their particular circumstances8. The Halloween season seems to bring out the best of local urban legends, both old and new.
Many spooky9 stories are old classics from years past. They may not be the version you’ve heard, but that’s what makes it fun. The following legend may not suitable for young children or the faint of heart10. If you’ve got nerves of steel, proceed with caution11...
So get comfortable, dim12 the lights and read this account of a True Ghost Story and then decide for yourself. Did it really happen, or was it just a figment of someone’s imagination13?
Now as I have visited Chapayevsk14 before, I knew that there some horror stories to this city, as it is a city that is on the brink of15 ecological disaster16. It has even been said that the mayor17 of Chapayevsk has considered18 relocating19 everyone to a new city and have Chapayevsk declared a quarantine zone. But the disasters did not happen in recent years, as this story will unfold20.
The following is an account that was told to me by a good friend in Samara, who was told this story by her mother, who has witnessed21 the strange happenings in Chapayevsk. The story involves the only daughter of a farmer in Chapayevsk, who fell in love with a local factory worker during WW222.
It was known that Chapayevsk operated23 a chemical weapons plant during the Great Patriotic War, and during the War, it was known that many people had fatal24 accidents or died in that factory, either due to toxic poisoning25, chemical fires or other unexplained circumstances.
Elena was a beautiful young woman in her twenties and was betrothed26 to Alexey Basanov, who worked at the chemical plant. Tragedy fell this young couple though, as reports attest that there was a chemical fire at the plant, and Alexey was one of the many victims that died, just some days before they were to be married.
Unable to cope27 with the loss of her only love, Elena threw herself in front of a train, wearing the long, white gown that was made for her wedding28 day by her grandmother.
Elena was buried in the Municipal Cemetery29. Witnesses claim that Elena did not pass into the other world because they have seen her ghost roaming30 the cemetery, and walking along the train tracks, where she died, on numerous occasions.
The first claims31 of her sightings32 began back in January 1952, ten years after her death. Since the first sightings, it is said that her ghost appears searching for her lost love.
Whether she finds Alexey in this life or the next is a mystery33, but nonetheless it seems that Elena does not want to be forgotten.
When I heard this story I went to Chapayevsk to see if these rumors were indeed true. Needless34 to say, my own visit to the Municipal Cemetery is something I will not forget in a long time. Although I did not physically see the ghost of Elena, I can attest that I did feel an eerie35 presence in that cemetery. Whether it was her spirit or not, that is for you to decide.
Now it’s is up to you, the reader to decide for yourself.
C.A. Milson (Australia).
1 urban legend – городская легенда (страшная история, выдаваемая за реальную, городской фольклор)
2 to crack – (зд.) разрушаться
3 madman – безумец
4 second thought – переосмысление
5 routine – обычный порядок
6 ghost – привидение
7 to twist a plot – закручивать сюжет
8 circumstance – обстоятельство
9 spooky – жуткий
10 faint of heart – слабонервные
11 caution – осмотрительность
12 to dim – затемнять
13 figment of imagination – плод воображения
14 Chapayevsk - Чапаевск (город в Самарской области)
15 on the brink of – на краю
16 disaster – катастрофа
17 mayor – мэр
18 to consider – рассматривать
19 relocating – переселение
20 to unfold – развертываться
21 to witness – быть свидетелем
22 WW2 – / World War 2/ Вторая мировая война
23 to operate – (зд.) обслуживать
24 fatal – со смертельным исходом
25 poisoning – отравление
26 betrothed – обручённый
27 to cope – совладать
28 wedding – свадьба
29 Municipal Cemetery – городское кладбище
30 to roam – бродить, скитаться
31 claim – утверждение
32 sighting – наблюдение
33 mystery – тайна
34 needless – излишний
35 eerie – жуткий, зловещий
Читать еще в этой рубрике:
Читать еще в этом номере: