Discovering Horror in Prague

Behind St. Vitrus

I just returned from a wild European adventure. After visits in London and Vienna, my family took the train to Prague. I had no idea what to expect. To say it was breathtakingly beautiful would be an understatement, but I also found contrasting elements of horror that would make you shiver on a sunny day.

St. Vitrus in Prague

St. Vitrus Cathedral has been protected for centuries by Prague Castle. Shrouded in fog, the Gothic structure would be a perfect location for a frightful night. Luckily we visited in the morning.

Inside St. Vitrus in Prague

On the other side of the castle grounds, we found the Golden Lane. Shops and museum displays alternated in a haphazard row.

Golden Lane in Prague Castle Grounds

Inside one of the buildings, I found a most horrific chair. It looked used! I wonder who the last victim was and when it took place. Poor soul.

Chair of Nails in Prague Castle

Then I found a most disturbing medieval collection. How many torture chamber items do you see?

Torture Chamber in Prague

Suit of Armor in Prague Castle

From Prague Castle, we walked to the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Inside the Holocaust Memorial, 77,297 names of victims covered the walls with their date of birth and the date they were taken by train to the extermination camps from 1942-1944.

Names in Holocaust Memorial Prague

To make life somewhat tolerable in the ghetto concentration camp at Terezin, elders taught children classes similar to school. Although all of the children died in the camps, their art has been memorialized.

Art by children in extermination camps

Artwork by children held during Holocaust

It was an intensely emotional experience. Here is the database to check for your loved ones.

On a lighter note!

Oldest Jewish Cemetery in Europe

The cemetery was cram-packed with gravestones toppling over each other. Nothing like a creepy graveyard to get me in the Halloween spirit.

Over 100,000 bodies are buried in this small space, stacked up to twelve deep.

Lots of gravestones in Jewish cemetery

I’ve walked through many cemeteries, but this one topped them all. The grass even seemed possessed.

Prague Jewish Cemetery

How classic to find a black cat in a cemetery! It seemed to pose for me.

Black cat in a cemetery

While wending our way back, I discovered a creepy hooded character. It wasn’t a Halloween decoration but an advertisement for a ghost museum. Yep. It was a hard pass for me. LOL!

A Phantom in Prague

After two world wars, Europeans probably don’t need Halloween to bring horror to mind. Reminders of death surround them.

Have you been to Prague? Do you think there’s some truth to Halloween and why Americans embrace it more than Europeans?

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Discovering Horror in Prague

44 thoughts on “Discovering Horror in Prague

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  1. These are vivid photos of some of the reprehensible acts of human against fellow human. On one of my many trips to Europe I visited a former German concentration camp where we were shown a room where prisoners were hung on meat hooks by their chins to die a slow, agonizing death.

    For anyone thinking that socialism is good, where government has all the power and the individual none, I recommend a tour of these places.

    On the lighter side, I’m glad your trip was exciting and enjoyable overall. I’ve never made it to Prague but hear it is a beautiful place. Have a great day, Susie!

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    1. Gruesome is the only way to describe the horror. I was going to keep this post light, but WWII is so fresh in Europe, especially in Prague and Berlin.

      Prague was gorgeous! I would go back in a heartbeat. I have a few blog posts to write which will be a lot more uplifting. And the food! I would have gained a lot of weight, but we walked about six miles a day. 🙂 Thanks, Al!

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  2. I agree for most of us the holocaust experience is too much of an emotional experience. It is hard to imagine the horrors of the past. I always question why other countries were too late to react to the rise of the Nazis? It could have prevented the lives of millions.

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    1. I know. I hope we learn from the past. I found myself thinking what I would have done to help if I had lived in Prague at that time… War seems so antiquated given travel and communication is so incredibly easy. It should be preventable.

      Thanks for stopping by, Arv. Always great to see you!

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    1. I remember seeing “the rack” in horror movies and thought it was dreamed up. Not anymore… It was pretty horrific and made me cringe.
      Thanks for stopping by, Saddles to shorelines! Believe me, this is a bit out of my happy-go-lucky brand. I have a fun Stanley Hotel post coming up on Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sick. It made me sick. This trip made it especially real for me. I had planned on going to a historical underground tour in Berlin, but couldn’t face the depression. The music underground tour I planned on, wasn’t underground at all, so I passed on that too! I could have spent weeks in each place. Next time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I must be missing something…why is that suit of armor associated with the torture chamber pictures? Are there spikes in there that we can’t see?

    The wall of names is sad, but I won’t go any further than that, as it will devolve into politics and I don’t want to start a flame war on your blog. (I already see one comment over which I had to all but sit on my fingers!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were many suits of armor displayed. I liked the spookiness of that shot. I’m sure we are in a lot more agreement than disagreement. War sucks and torture is real and horrific. Eradication of an entire race is beyond fathoming. I had planned a light post but had to address the elephant standing with both feet firmly planted in Prague.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, John!
      Prague has really kept its heritage and historic buildings in tact despite being bombed by the US Air Force in 1945, mostly hitting civilian housing. I would return to Prague for another visit in a heartbeat! I’ll blog photos of this beautiful city in another post.

      Just wait until you see Berlin which is a little northwest of Prague! It was such an amazing trip. Lots of blog posts to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Prague is wonderfully gothic, but I feel like you found true horror in the Holocaust memorials. I was knocked flat by my visit to Dachau years ago. The reality of what happened is so grim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to completely understand how they packed up a race of people and sent them to gas chambers without being stopped sooner. I would guess that it took some time to leak out the horror. And many probably didn’t want to believe it.
      I will blog the beautiful side of Prague soon!
      Thanks, Kit!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this blog Susie, but I must say it has truly taken me to re- examine, re – explore of my past. As a Bi- Nocturnal sort of soul, in choosing to studying my studies at night, it is this soul poised like the Black Cat Sebastian upon Emilee Scorvadori’s long forgotten grave stone. But I plead my last in insisting that my heart lantern still holds this ghostly light from a home lone off but not forgot.

    Susie, this has to be your best of many best blogs you’re created in spirit, talents great and of your witted wittz. I love each wrote and written piece, I’m delighted I must cunfess, and frightened I whisper carefully in the night. And it was the room of Torture implements which disturbed my mind the very most in your post. You see ever since the young but very life experienced / Vested age of 13. When my father a Free Mason brought me to a Masonic Temple and I was introduced and taken through the first secret ritual of many others to come, where I and others robed in period costumes of circa 1314. Where we would ritually reenacted (in craft) the taking and trials of the 23rd Grand Master Knights Templar Jacques DeMolay.

    In jest of it all here it was when my mind explored in being pondering the very steps and demise of the 23rd Grand Master and his Knights Templar brothers whom were indeed grossly and inhumanely tortured. (Not that there is a non – gross and humane means of Torturing one or many until bones are broken beyond nature gestures and poises there upon the snapping Rack, but when the Grand Master was roasted alive.

    I had to ponder of just what that hideous slow and agonizing death of being slow roasted meant exactly, and I spare here exactly what that process involves for the poor soul put before a skin slitting and eye popping roaring infernal), I mind also had to do the same pondering upon what stresses and agonies Christ underwent upon that wooden cross. So for me, to gaze upon such a room, it fascinated my curiosity with painful grotesque. It really takes a strong and study nerve to ponder upon the tortures’ of those who dared to be different or those who suffered from Turrets syndrome, from Epilepsy, from Schizophrenia,

    ‘or merely choosing to sleep with one sock on and ‘one sock off.’

    For I, cannot even imagine the vibes and the voices and screams heard upon entering such a place of torturous exhibits. Susie – tis’ Halloween indeed. The DeMolay rituals and experiences where the freakiest indeed. That’s for sharing, and I cannot fathom what sheer fright and what bravery of soul to explore such haunting places. As one who has seen and heard ‘The Others’. …and far more than I care mindfully to peer pack up of my past, and we must ask of what is ‘Time and of what is Past’?’. Happy Halloween Susie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Brock!
      I planed to write a European slant on Halloween, but only found remnants of the truly terrifying. I can only imagine how scary that must have been as a thirteen-year-old! The people who made them suffer must have attained an incredible level of hatred in order to perform such acts. Or fear like with the Salem Witch Trials. I am allergic to bees and have been known to capture and release them outside. I’m beyond empathetic! There were more Holocaust museums to experience on this trip, but it was too depressing.

      A fun Halloween post is coming!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right??? Maybe in their next life. It was sickening. I remember seeing these torture devices in movies, but actually seeing them made it so real. I kept moving while taking pictures and couldn’t get away fast enough.
      Thanks for stopping by, Colonist!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beauty and horror – so appropriate for the season.
    Old Fairy Tales seem more like real life when seen in context of their native lands?
    Had a professor once who said Halloween was necessary: humans have a dark side and one night of scary costumes and masks gave an opportunity to let that out so people could behave civil the rest of the time.
    Unsettling to see artifacts and evidence of what people can do to others.
    Thanks for taking us along – I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place with such history (that needs to be remembered)
    There was something to be said about the very old fashioned/Victorian idea that “one is never fully educated until one travels”

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    1. Your professor is right. It’s a night for alter-egos and hiding behind masks of all kinds. It’s so cold and snowy here, I’m not sure we’ll dress up. I can’t imagine not wearing my Morticia getup but I won’t miss the wig. I need to wear it with a headband! LOL!
      I love “one is never fully educated until one travels” and totally agree! I’ve been to Europe several times, but this trip made me think differently about a lot of things. Lots more to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Susie, brought a tear to my eye. I’ve never been to Prague, but I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place. It beggars belief how cruel some humans can be to fellow humans. From the Medieval torture, to the horrors of the wars and it carries on today! Thank goodness there are more good people in the world! Some great photos there.

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  8. I have since documented the events in great details, and I have posted it elsewhere, as both events happened within months of each other and occurred / appeared within 50 feet from each others. However Susie I cannot post of it in short, as this is the way my mind explains things, and I provided measurements, and a lot of detailed facts. The first event (Shadow person descends the stairs
    My first event – ‘it’ was descending our stairs. February of 2019

    My two separate encounters with a shadow figure but I do not see a Shadowy formed hat. I do not see the full silhouette form, no head, I have seen shadow form ‘legs and upper tarsal – at waist down to shins, waist to shin – two legs descending stairs separating light, one leg and then another. Then obstructed view and end of incident, other than a weird feeling of heightened awareness of an intruding presence’. Like something is way wrong and out of normal. ‘Was I not meant to notice it there’ descending the stairs viewed as a shadow person legs descending each step, seeing this through the many holes of the peg board’ ? ) in total it consists of 952 words and 49 lines in all. / The second encounter (The second Event, ‘it’ rushed behind and past me in a rush. – May of 2019
    happened while I was alone in the kitchen, the kitchen window blinds were up and the kitchen a lit from the mid afternoon daylight shining in, it was filtered sunlight not direct sunbeams coming through the window before me, the kitchen window is 35 x 37 inches with filtered sunlight providing plenty of filtered daylight. At no time during this encounter event was artificial over head electric light sources needed and they the lights were turned off. I took these measurement to provide as much environmental data as possible to better help you understanding the lighting and kitchen layout. There was no breeze moving leaves up in the cherry tree right outside in the back yard, a calm day it was. There was not air blowing through in the kitchen, far to my left in the dining room the overhead circulating blade fan was turning at a very slow speed and it was nothing of which I could feel in breeze from my present position at the sink. I just finished washing my milk glass and setting it into the counter top drying rack to my right, sink right in front of me. I started to turn on a pivot right to turn around when a rush of very noticeable darkness of a shadowy form of a space occupied mass of about 5.5 feet tall., thick and wide like a hefty man, but with no limbs or head just a huge thick wide mass in motion it rushed fast right past me, as it did not want to be seen, if I had not turned around I never would have taken any notice of its passing presence, there was no breeze of motion, it had no noticeable face or head silhouette just a form like a voided out person a dark shadow mass. I was turned around enough to see all this happening shadowy form in my direct sight of field of vision upon a quarter turn to my right. ) consists of 807 words and 39 lines total. And so here is a brief insert of my encounters.

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    1. Whoa! I haven’t seen any ghosts during the daylight hours but other strange occurrences have happened. I don’t know what I would do if I experienced something like that. At night, I would wake up to a sound and sit up to see what was making the racket and see a ghost. They would freak me out, but I usually wouldn’t be frightened. Seeing them during the day would be a different story. You must be super sensitive!

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  9. Brilliant post Susie, love your creepy photos. Prague is such a wonderful city cram-packed full of history much of which is on the dark-side. The cemeteries are certainly unbelievably crowded and not comfortable to visit at all. Great city though with lovely friendly people.

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    1. Thanks, Jonno!
      And the food! I can’t believe I didn’t gain weight on this trip. 🙂 I didn’t realize its historical importance and how far it dates back; to the Roman Empire, no less. It’s one of those amazingly photogenic cities.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was a cool one and had a great creepy vibe. After seeing the memorial, it was nice to see older graves of those who could rest in peace.
      Prague is AMAZING! I’m participating in NaNoWriMo and have been on a Wild Tear. I had planned to post photos of Prague this week, but found myself in the writing vortex. LOL!
      Thanks, Darlene!

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