Ghosts and Wonders of the Siberian Bogunay River


Today, the small river of Bogunay, located in the Krasnoyarsk region is very popular amongst tourists. In this inflow of the Yenisei River, admirers of the exotic taiga spend their vacations sleeping in tents.

But not everyone knows that Bogunay is a mystical place. Many legends born here tell of wondrous events that happened in the past.

The Shaman Stone

At one point the Zyrians – the local citizens of those lands – believed that the Bogunay River is haunted by benevolent spirits, and that’s why wildlife and fish were abundant.

The bizarre legend suggests that once upon a time, a mysterious red stone fell from the sky and brought with itself othertworldly powers. From then on, the Zyrian shamans began calling the Bogunay River, a place where the earthly and heavenly worlds come together, and they used to go there to get drunk on the energy of the red stone and gain visions of the future of their people.


In the days of the winter and summer solstice, the stone radiated an odd energy and glowed with a mystical pink light. In such days, the Shamans prayed to the benevolent spirits and made rich offerings to them. In time, the mysterious rock was named the Shaman Stone as it gifted its power only to the devoted. A random person, who would find himself near the stone, could have been struck down with a fatal disease.

The elders would tell stories that the Shaman Stone lies to this day at the bottom of the shallow river, but it is very difficult to find. It is believed that it appears only before people who are in need of its help. Those, searching for it only out of curiosity, risk getting running into trouble.

The Forest Charmer

One notable feature of the Bogunay forests is their mysterious inhabitant, called by the locals The Charmer. In every neighboring village, stories are told of the enormous-sized man, whose body was covered in thick fur, and his eyes burned with fire. Besides that, he had the power of mind control and was able to transmit his thoughts to others.


Thanks to that, he was able to make someone do a task for him, but not once did he use his powers for evil. Exactly the opposite, the forest man, despite his enormous physical strength, was pretty harmless even though at times he enjoyed making jokes with others.

For example, he would sneak behind a mushroom gatherer or a hunter and unexpectedly appear before the frightened person, scaring him with a loud scream.

The Ghosts of the Old Mine

One of the most frightening places near Boguntay is an old gold mine. It is known that Bogunay is a gold-yielding river and the mining for the precious metal began way back in the 19 century. But the gold rush was during the 30’s and the 40’s, and in the early 50’s the mine was closed unexpectedly.


The official story is that all the resources were used up, but according to locals that was not the case. Rumors flew that the mine was closed due to construction of a secret rocket base, but evidence to support this theory was never found.

Years passed, then the mine itself and the village built next to it turned into a real forest ghost town, in which even the bravest soul wouldn’t dare stay the night.

Tourists, who would visit the place out of curiosity, would later tell stories that when visiting the half destroyed buildings they would feel someone watching them intently and that would scare them to their very core.

More so, locals say that in clear days, a ringing sound of instruments and voices of invisible workers could be heard from the abandoned tunnels.

There are also stories that if you would stay the night in the mine, at dawn you would be able to see a procession of ghosts passing by. Next to the half destroyed homes, rows of loaded wagons would appear as if from the air, led by tortured horses and accompanied by gloomy people.

The procession would go through the whole city and disappear at the other end. This “caravan of ghosts” looked realistic because it was accompanied by real noises – the screeching of wheels, the swishing of footsteps and neighing of horses.

The Miracle of the Holy Cloister

But there is a place in Bogunay which is remembered in reverence. This is a monk cloister, which has been destroyed a long time ago and has been covered with grass and trees.

The cloister had been built in the sleepy taiga quite recently – in the early years of the Civil War. It was built by monks, who had fled to Siberia from the central regions of Russia because of the Bolshevik terror.

The cloister consisted of a couple of cottages, next to which a slender wooden church was erected by the monk brothers. The hermits had spent whole days working and praying, and their glory was soon spread throughout the neighboring villages. People from all over gathered for advice and blessings and brought supplies to the monks, which were very valuable in those harsh times.

The elders remember the Admiral Kolchak himself had visited the cloister of Bogunay. He spoke for a long time with the deacon of the cloister, after which he disbanded his army and hid the entrusted gold in a safe place, and then surrendered voluntarily to the Bolsheviks.

They say that the abbot of the Bogunay cloister pointed out the place where the gold where the admiral was supposed to hide it from the empire and then “sealed” the treasure with a prayer. This treasure is to be revealed to worthy people when the time is right…

It was said that the holy elders created true wonders and their glory spread throughout the whole region. It was believed that they could heal those who were terminally ill.

And so a military unit was sent to deal with the “antirevolutionary nest.” But when the executioners arrived, all they found were the empty cloister cells.

For some time the unit wandered around, searching the nearby taiga, because the elders couldn’t have gone far, but it was pointless. The secret of the disappearance of the monks was never solved.