In the folklore of many peoples, creepy stories about people immured alive appear. Why did they suffer such a terrible death? It was believed that some were punished for crimes, explicit or fictional. And others had to remain forever the watchmen and keepers of the place where they found their death. And everything could be considered just folk tales, if builders and archaeologists in the course of work sometimes would not stumble upon such terrible finds.
But let’s start in order, from the very beginning. The peoples of antiquity (and some practice to this day) believed that gods and spirits should be properly propitiated if you want to get something from them.
Everything is logical: people also prefer not to work for nothing. Also, perfume, if you want to get something meaningful and valuable, you have to pay accordingly. And what do spirits and gods prefer? And this depends on the “specialization” and the nature of the invisible entity.
Good spirits and gods will accept flowers, oil, incense, wine as a sacrifice, and more serious ones want serious gifts, often in the form of bloody sacrifices. Such serious invisible helpers have always been considered stronger. Therefore, in order to appease them, they sacrificed live ones: animals, and in the most serious cases, people.
Human life in ancient times was not considered particularly valuable, and not only among some wild tribes, but also among the civilized peoples of Europe themselves. Fairy tales and legends reflect long-gone harsh realities. Do you remember the fairy tale about Tom Thumb? In a hungry year, the family simply left the children in the forest, there is nothing to feed them.
A Belarusian legend infirm old people were supposed to be taken to the forest to die. Jack London has a story on the same topic: the Indians went to more favorable places, abandoning the old people.
The time was such, they got rid of extra mouths without regret. Therefore, in order to ask for a harvest, prosperity, or deliverance from danger for the tribe/people, people were sacrificed. A lot has been written about the Aztecs, who massively slaughtered captives to please their Sun god.
But not only the Indians were different. And not only then. One of the tribes of India lost in the jungle practiced a similar custom in the 20th century. They took a child, someone else’s, stole or bought – it doesn’t matter. The child was raised for several years without denying anything. And then, on the right day, they were sacrificed in the fields, and in the most brutal way.
It was believed that the more the victim suffers, the better the harvest and the more favorable the spirits will be. So, as we can see, the custom of sacrifice was everywhere and even quite recently. Over time, morals still softened, and people began to be replaced by animals. Especially valuable.
In the right cases, human victims were often replaced by a horse or cow. These were very valuable animals in ancient times, there were few of them, they were taken care of.
And they were sacrificed only as a last resort, for example, at the funeral of princes or during the construction of particularly important buildings. In Europe, by the way, they find skeletons of horses…. under the old churches! Amulets made of horse bones were generally valuable.
Horse skulls were hungover Slavic dwellings. It is unlikely that the horses were specially killed for this, rather, they were already “ready”. But they also killed, at the most crucial moments. Pigs and roosters were used as victims during the construction of buildings, bridges, etc.
Sometimes they were cut, and sometimes they were buried alive. Apparently, it was believed that this way they would better guard the building entrusted to them. And the local spirits will be happy and will not harm. Apparently, the logic of the ancient builders was like this.
And so we finally got to the victims of capital construction. Judging by the legends, human sacrifices were more often brought not “just in case”, although this could happen, but when the construction did not go well. If the construction is not going on, then the spirits are angry, people reasoned. And they need to be appeased with a suitable victim.
A similar legend exists about an ancient castle in Golshany, Belarus. One day the owner of the castle ordered to build a tower. But, no matter how hard the workers tried, the walls were constantly crumbling. The prince hurried the construction and began to get angry, and the anger of the prince in those days, you know, is not a joke.
Then they decided to make a sacrifice, they decided that it would be the first one who would come to the construction site in the morning. The young wife of one of the workers came running first. I wanted to bring breakfast to my beloved husband as soon as possible… the tower was completed and stood until our time. The castle has been badly damaged over the past centuries, many parts were still intact.
In the 90s, the famous paranormal researcher V. Chernobrov visited Golshany, which he wrote about in his book. And he learned that shortly before his arrival, restorers found human bones in the wall of the tower. They were solemnly buried at the local cemetery, and the wall of the tower began to collapse…