Haunted Chernobyl: A Historic Tragedy and Paranormal Hotbed
Few accidents have been as tragic as Chernobyl in the history of man. Unfortunately, when man thinks he can control nature, sometimes trauma and loss is the ultimate consequence. Here we take a look at what happened in Chernobyl in 1986, the loss of lives, and what’s happening in Chernobyl today. And we’ll see just how a tragedy so large can leave an imprint on the land and people nearby. Sometimes even causing paranormal activity…this is haunted Chernobyl.
What Happened at Chernobyl in 1986?
Chernobyl was a nuclear power plant located near Pripyat in the Ukrainian USSR. You’ll find more in-depth accounts of the Chernobyl accident on many websites online, but we’d like to keep it simple for you. So here’s a brief summary we’ve borrowed from the Brittanica online:
“On the night of April 25th, 1986, unexperienced technicians at the power plant attempted to follow through with a poorly designed experiment. Unfortunately, the experiment was a failure which caused a chain reaction in the core the technicians weren’t able to control. This chain reaction blew the lid off the reactor, allowing for radioactive fumes and material to infiltrate the atmosphere. The core also partially melted down.”
Lives Lost and the Lasting Effects of Chernobyl
A total of forty-nine people died as a direct result of the Chernobyl accident. However, over two thousand more died after the fact due to radiation poisoning. According to the AS World News, the radiation contaminated over 150,000 kilometers in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Although the UN states only 49 people died in direct result of the accident, there were over 800,000 liquidators sent into the ruins following the event. Sadly, it seems they’ve all suffered varied illness, both physical and psychological, in the years since.
Pripyat, The Ghost City
Pripyat was a small town located near Chernobyl, housing a community of families whose loved ones worked at the nuclear power plant. At the time of the accident, nearly 50,000 people lived in Pripyat. They had to be evacuated, but sadly it wasn’t quick enough as it took nearly 2 days following the event to empty the town. The problem is – at that point, the damage had been done to the citizens of Pripyat. Many had lost their friends and family members, and all had lost their homes. And they had no idea what kind of illness or death lay ahead of them.
Pripyat was condemned and became a ghost city. Officials say no one can inhabit haunted Chernobyl for the next 24,000 years because of dangerous levels of radiation still present. The wildlife showed signs of mutation and radiation poisoning directly after the event. Interestingly, there are currently dozens of dogs living in Pripyat and in the exclusion zones around Chernobyl. You can see pictures of them here. They don’t look like mutants, and the guards at Chernobyl actually feed and care for them. We believe these dogs may be the descendants of the pets left behind after Chernobyl.
The Ominous Black Bird of Haunted Chernobyl
In the days leading up to the Chernobyl tragedy, workers at the plant and nearby claim to have received ominous signs. Namely one called the black bird of Chernobyl. When I first learned of this creature, I immediately thought of the Mothman of Point Pleasant. In fact, I questioned whether the writer had simply pulled the myth from the West Virginian paranormal phenomenon to make Chernobyl seem more fantastical. But eerily, I was wrong. As I researched further, I learned MANY news sources have reported on this supernatural sighting.
What is the Black Bird, Exactly?
So what is the black bird of haunted Chernobyl? Is it the same thing as the Mothman of Point Pleasant? The workers claimed to have seen a large, blackbird-human type creature flying in the sky and tormenting them in their dreams. Just like the Mothman, the Black Bird had glowing red eyes and brought feelings of impending doom. Some even said they received strange, indescribable calls up until the radioactive event. There are reports the workers relayed their experiences to plant supervisors, but were brushed off. And, ultimately, the event happened anyway.
Is It An Elemental or Genius Loci?
Our theory at Otherworldly Oracle is these creatures aren’t harmful. They are elemental or guardian spirits trying to warn people before disaster and potential death. It could also be the Black Bird is a spirit of the land on which Chernobyl sits. Perhaps the genius loci wanted to scare the workers from returning to work. And inevitably prevent the nuclear event from ever happening. Because, let’s face it, the accident didn’t just affect the human beings in the area. It also harmed the land, water, air, and wildlife there. Therefore damaging the genius loci. Conclusively, we believe the black bird is either elemental or genius loci.
It’s also interesting to note that black birds in general have been omens of death for thousands of years in various cultures. We see ancient gods of war and death whose sacred animal is a black bird. The Morrigan, Celtic goddess of war, appears as a crow on the battlefield. Part of her job is to clean up the death and decay. To collect the dead. In addition, Odin who presides over a hall of the fallen in the afterlife, is typically accompanied by two ravens.
Disembodied Screams and Lights at Reactor 4
Over a decade following the radioactive tragedy, a physicist from New York traveled to Chernobyl to conduct tests. He claims he was close to the door of reactor 4 when he heard someone screaming from inside. It sounded like the person was screaming about a fire or that they were trapped inside of a fire. The physicist ceased his testing to listen further but realized reactor 4 was completely sealed off. No one could get into that area without granted access. And he had been the only one in the building that day, as far as he was told.
Later that evening, the physicist was eating outside by the river with a colleague. As he was recounting the strange story from earlier that day, they noticed a flood light turn on inside the building. They knew no one was in the building. And as soon as they stated it must be faulty wiring or a surge, the light turned back off. To say the scientist was a little freaked out is an understatement. ~ This story was featured in a blog post at Ranker.
Haunted Chernobyl’s Creepy Dolls
While Chernobyl is off limits to the public, there are still people who sneak in to satisfy their dark tourism obsessions. Guided tours could be taken into Pripyat, but ultimately the entire exclusion zone is shut down for human inhabitation. I find it interesting that while the public isn’t allowed in to protect them from radiation poisoning, they require guards to work within the exclusion zone to see to it this law is upheld. Doesn’t that put the guards at risk?
Who Put the Haunted Dolls There?
Starting some decades ago, the creepy dolls of haunted Chernobyl emerged. We’ve included a photo of the creepy Chernobyl dolls at the beginning of this article. Plus a video above. My daughter, who has a real phobia of dolls, was particularly freaked out by the photos. Never mind the many horror films of possessed, homicidal dolls like Chuckie or Annabelle. The dolls of Pripyat demonstrate something much scarier: the tragedy of children sickened, losing their homes, and potentially their lives due to the Chernobyl incident.
Most people believe the dolls were put there by tourists, perhaps starting as a random act. But over the years, more and more dolls appear…or the dolls that were already there are dressed in bone-chilling gear. Haunted dolls with gas masks, burnt faces, and shredded dresses fill the homes and schools in the exclusion zone. Some are even positioned to stare at approaching people from the windowsills, children’s beds, laying in garden beds and discarded in concrete ruins. Are these dolls actually haunted? Or are we simply haunted by the Chernobyl aftermath? Haunted with the idea that we caused this destruction?
Chernobyl’s land is most definitely haunted. Whether by actual ghosts, elementals, or simply by residual energy is yet to be determined. Creepy things continue to happen in the exclusion zone. But, strangely, life seems to be returning to the nuclear wasteland. As of 2023, plants and wildlife seem to be thriving in Chernobyl. According to AllThat’sInteresting, a photographer’s images captured a “tranquil, peaceful world, a positively paradise-like, apparently pre-industrial idyll.” It seems to me the land is doing just fine without humans there. And probably would have without us. We are obviously the problem.
Unfortunately, more tragedy and loss haunts the entire area and country in which Chernobyl resides. On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The invasion escalated the Rusiso-Ukrainian War that technically started back in 2014 and has led to millions of people evacuating the country. There have been tens of thousands of deaths since the invasion, including Ukrainian civilians, soldiers, and Russian soldiers.
There was some serious worry that Russia would attack Chernobyl, causing a second nuclear disaster. Pictures surfaced days after the invasion that reportedly showed Russian armed vehicles driving along the roads in the exclusion zone. It came out later the Russian soldiers had taken control of the site, with approximately 300 on-site workers trapped for twelve days. Luckily, no one else lost their life during this ordeal, but we can only imagine the fear and anxiety that build up at the site like radioactive isotopes.