August-1968

Haunted Places in Romania (according to Wikipedia)

Argeș County

Trivale Forest in Pitești - There is a legend about a maiden, daughter of a rich landowner, who loved a poor servant of her father. Her father found an old rich man for her to marry, but during the wedding day, she ran with the servant in the forest. Her father found them and killed her lover and then decapitated her. It is generally accepted that the two scary things about the forest are: the decapitated ghost of the bride and the people going into the forest to do satanic rituals.

Bacău County

Zarifopol Mansion in Filipești – Called by locals “the House of Evil”, the mansion is the site of several reports of paranormal activities: indistinct voices, bizarre sounds, steps, cold currents that “walk” through walls.

Bucharest

Bazilescu Park – Also known as Nicolae Bălcescu Park, Bazilescu Park is located in Bucureștii Noi neighborhood. Within the park is the Summer Theatre, built in 1953. During the night, in the area can be heard strident sounds and the cough of a man (whereof it is said that belongs to Bazilescu), coming from beyond the columns of the derelict theatre.

Central Girls School – Inside this historical building and its courtyard have been reports of strange sounds, cold breeze and fetid odors, but were also seen levitating objects, doors and windows that open and close without any human intervention.

Chiajna Monastery – This ruined monastery has its root somewhere in the 18th century, during the rule of Alexandru Ipsilanti. It was a big monastery, with thick walls, reason for that the Turks “confused” it and assaulted it. Moreover, some historical sources show that between its walls died of plague the Metropolitan of Wallachia, Cozma. The land and the building have never got to be sanctified. For these reasons it was abandoned, and the monastery’s bell was thrown in the Dâmbovița River, people blaming it cursed and leaving it in ruins.According to locals, the bell can still be heard ringing on full moon nights, many audio records proving this fact. Moreover, it is said that on one of the walls near the entrance can be glimpsed the face of a beautiful lady, which is said to be Ancuța, the daughter of Mrs. Chiajna, who would have been killed on the orders of her mother after she ran with her beloved without her mother’s approval. On top of that, in the area would have been several murders and numerous mysterious disappearances.

Cișmigiu Hotel – The building was closed in 1970 and reopened in 1990, when it was converted into hostel for students of the Faculty of Theatre and Film. Legend says that in a weekend, when all the students were away on vacation, a young woman from Moldova was raped and then thrown into the elevator shaft. She died there, after three hours she desperately cried for help, with no one to hear her. Many say that her screams can still be heard.

Hospital of the Posts – Previously housed in the building behind the Stavropoleos Church, Hospital of the Posts was a site of organ trafficking. It is said that, especially in long winter nights, can be heard on adjacent streets groans and cries of those who died in hospital beds.

“House of the Devil” on General Praporgescu Street – The house, which now looks degraded, is distinguished by the ivy that covers it entirely. It is the site of two tragic events: in the interwar period, a man would have killed here two women, and within a few years, a young woman would have committed suicide.Some say that on full moon nights on one of the walls of the house can be seen the number 666, symbol of the devil, and here would live a demonic entity full of hate and anger, that can be felt from afar.

Orphanage on the French Street – Legend says the house, located at number 13, is haunted by no less than 203 children’s spirits. In this orphanage were brought homeless children, even by its owner – Stavrache Hagi-Orman. He kept the kids in unimaginable conditions, without water and without food. After dozens of children died of starvation, the orphanage was closed. Locals reported voices of children crying “Water, we want water!”.

Vernescu House on the Victory Avenue – It is named by locals “Cellar of the Devil” (Romanian: Hruba lui Scaraoțchi). Here still operate a casino. It is said that in the past century, several players committed suicide inside the house after they lost the entire fortunes at roulette. Reports indicate three ghosts that haunt the house. They shake the furniture, cause air currents and sometimes even appear on the hallways of the building. Passers also reported strong odor of sulfur in the building’s yard.

Witches’ Pond – According to the legend, the pond located in Boldu-Crețeasca Forest, having a diameter of only 5 m, is the place where Vlad the Impaler was beheaded. It is said that after the 1977 earthquake many trucks unloaded debris in the pond, with the aim of stoppering it. Within weeks, the debris disappeared in its waters, although the pond has a depth of only one meter and a half. Locals say that many times when pregnant women didn’t want the child went to the pond, bathed and ridded the pregnancy. Even the animals would be scared of this place: there would be no frog or any being that lives in the pond, and the animals don’t drink water from there. The pond is famous for the gipsy witches that gather each year to Sânziene, St. George and St. Andrew to practice their magic rituals. Near this eye of water have been observed over time strange phenomena, like globular lightnings or storms started suddenly. The pond never change, doesn’t dry, doesn’t expand, whether it rains or is drought. In a video from mid-90s is shown a strange phenomenon: in midsummer, on an area of some square meters it snowed, immediately after a woman from the stunt team was terribly amused while trying to put a helmet on the head of a mannequin that portrayed Vlad the Impaler.

Călărași County

Călugăreasca Forest – It is a forest of mulberry trees, where it is said that the wind never blows. Here, people say that existed a monastery of monks, but they were killed by the Turks, and the place was made one with the earth by the pagans. The last monk killed by the Turkish army threw a curse upon them. So that, after death, the spirits of those who have defiled hands with the blood of the monks returned in thickets of Călugăreasca, from where they never found the way out.At the edge of the forest are also a lot of crosses, which legend says that stand sentry as the pagans’ spirits can not escape. People are reluctant to seek the thickets of Călugăreasca due to the curses, and the only safe place in the woods was the large white cross that reminds about the monastery and that protects those who pray next to it when the night catches them in the grove.

Cluj County

Bánffy Castle in Bonțida – Dubbed “the Versailles of Transylvania”, the castle is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young servant who paid with his life because he revealed that his mistress deceived her husband. Another variant is that the place is haunted by the ghosts of those who died in Bánffy during the Second World War, when the castle was converted by Germans into a military hospital. Legend says that there were often seen sinister shadows that seemed to be of some soldiers, while through walls were heard strange noises, groans, sounds of footsteps or indistinct voices.

Hoia Forest – The forest near Cluj-Napoca has long been known for the mysterious events that take place here and was even cataloged as a gateway to another dimension. Dubbed “the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania”, the forest is one of the most active areas of the world in terms of paranormal phenomena. Legends would have occurred, it seems, after a shepherd disappeared into the forest along with his 200 sheep and no one managed to find neither he nor any part of the flock. It was only the first mysterious disappearance that took place in the forest. People who accidentally pass right through active areas report skin burns, redness, irritations, headaches, amplified sensation of thirst, anxiety, sensation of fainting. Hoia Forest became famous in the world after on 18 August 1968, military technician Emil Barnea photographed in the Round Glade (Romanian: Poiana Rotundă) an UFO, the photos being among the few of this kind genuine, according to experts. Numerous accounts of villagers reported unexplained physical sensations, observations of various shapes and colors lights, strange shadows, voices and human faces. The local vegetation is often bizarre. The trees have strange shapes, even human faces can be depicted from their trunks. In 2000, Alexandru Pătruț, President of the Romanian Society of Parapsychology, caught a strange phenomenon in the forest, around the Easter: a kind of sap flowed profusely from the top of the trees. Next day, everything was dry. He also reported strange sounds of ambulance sirens, tire exploding and even cuckoo clock. The forest was included in top 15 most haunted places in the world by the American magazine Travel+Leisure.

Constanța County

Tomis Nord neighbourhood from Constanța Supposedly, the neighbourhood is haunted by a woman who was decapitated by her husband who believed that he was cheated on.

Dâmbovița County

Bride’s Trinity on DN7 – On national road DN7, near the town of Găești, there is a monument called Bride’s Trinity or Margareta’s Trinity. Here it is said that on 24 September 1936, Margareta Ștefănescu died in a car accident, even on her wedding day, and since then the place has become cursed.  In the area have occurred a lot of fatal crashes, even if the road is straight and with maximum visibility. The road was “baptized” by locals “the Road of Crosses”. In the road tragedies are involved especially men. For example, only in 2008–09 in that place 12 young men died, mostly unmarried. Likewise, there were several reports of a silhouette of a woman dressed in white near the trinity.

Dolj County

Radovan Forest – Dozens of people, especially men, have drowned over time in Lake Fântânele of Radovan. Locals put numerous tragedies on account of the curse of a bride, who legend says that in the 1940s hanged herself in the forest surrounding the lake. Her story has two versions: one, according to that a young Moldovan woman arrived in Oltenia with her family, would have committed suicide after her husband was beaten to death on the night of the wedding; the second version says that she has committed suicide after, even before the wedding, would have been raped by a kulak that employed her. Locals say the bride haunts the road near the forest, and the passers are advised to move quickly and try to simply overlook any sound or appearance, otherwise the bride will lead them in the heart of the forest, from where they won’t ever return.

Bulzești commune Villagers talk about the “creatures by the hill”. A long time ago, the village was moved because of the strigoi. According to a villager:“The evil spirits haunt us at both day and night. Nobody dares to go up the hill because of the vampires. A neighbour has paralyzed many years ago when he bumped into one of the evil spirits. He couldn’t find his peace and does bad things to all those around him” The Romanian poet Marin Sorescu, born in the commune, mentioned the legend in his poem “Dumneata”: One night, here, by the fountains,| Where homes are rare, due to the ghosts |Who they say have showed around |And the people were strained to put houses there, for the ghosts to have their place.(…)

Iași County

House of Gavril Buzatu on Manta Roșie – In this house from Iași lived Gavril Buzatu, “the last executioner of Moldova”. The house was the site of several killings and atrocities. It is reportedly haunted by strigoi about people think would be the thieves beheaded by Gavril Buzatu. During the night can be heard howls of beast or human, followed by roars of laughter. Here can be seen strange lights that “run” through the mansion, especially during the winter. A former tenant reported a black creature running through the nearby forest. Likewise, were seen flames lighting up suddenly in the abandoned salons.

Lungani Hill – It is said that the hill that separates the villages of Goești and Brăești is haunted by thousands of ghosts of soldiers from the World War I. Locals reported white lights, silhouettes of soldiers descending from the cemetery into the valley, at night, late after 12 o'clock. On the other side of the hill, in the commune of Lungani, peasants saw headless people who went on the road or even the devil in the body of child or cat.

Maramureș County

E58 near Cicârlău – The area is known by drivers as one where many accidents happen. The accidents are attributed to a ghost which is said that comes out from the crops and scares the drivers. In the 1930s, a young woman named Pălăguța, envied by women for her beauty, was accused of witchcraft and beaten to death. Old people speak about a kind of animal with very long legs which haunted the village in Tuesday nights. It is said that appeared after midnight and went to houses where women violated the church rule. Women would have been hit in the temple and died or remained paralyzed.

Prahova County

Iulia Hasdeu Castle in Câmpina – Bizarre by its architecture, Iulia Hasdeu Castle was built by writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in the memory of Iulia Hasdeu, his daughter, who died at age 19. It is said that the castle was built in accordance with the indications received during some seances, from his dead daughter. Locals say that during the night, Iulia Hasdeu can be heard playing the piano, in father’s applause.

“In August, 1968, the country was still reeling from the assassination of Martin Luther King four months earlier, and the race riots that followed on its heels. Nightly news showed burning cities, white flight, radicals and reactionaries snarling at each other across the cultural divide.

“A brand new children’s show out of Pittsburgh, which had gone national the previous year, took a different approach. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood introduced Officer Clemmons, a black police officer who was a kindly, responsible authority figure, kept his neighborhood safe, and was Mr. Roger’s equal, colleague and neighbor.

“Around the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to join him in soaking their tired feet in a plastic wading pool. And there they were, brown feet and pasty white feet, side by side in the water. Silently, contemplatively, without comment.

“25 years later, when the actor playing Officer Clemmons retired, his last scene on the show revisited that same wading pool, this time reminiscing. Officer Clemmons asked Mr. Rogers what he’d been thinking during their silent interlude a quarter century before. Fred Rogers’ answer was that he’d been thinking of the many ways people say “I love you.”

- Carl Aveni

Ever since Harriet Beecher Stowe helped found the magazine in the spring of 1857, women have been integral to The Atlantic.

During the Cold War, a concerned Eleanor Roosevelt watched Russian influence spread to the world’s “uncommitted nations” and called for a re-dedication to the ‘American Dream’ in the April 1961 issue. In our August 1932 issue, Hellen Keller wrote a piece titled “Put Your Husband in the Kitchen,” in the form of humorous Depression-era business advice-giving. 

The covers featured here include one from August 1968 with songwriter and activist Joan Baez, in which she shares excerpts from her journal; Wendy Kaminer on “Feminism’s Identity Crisis” leading the October 1993 issue; and the July/August 2013’s cover story by Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” arguing that true equality entails sweeping policy changes. Do you have a favorite female Atlantic writer or artist? Comment below.

The speech by Premier Zhou Enlai was focused primarily on the situation in Czechoslovakia. He said that the Soviet Union committed ‘a violent crime against the Czechoslovak people,’ that this type of behavior is 'the most shameless, typical example of behavior by a fascist power,’ and that the Chinese government and Chinese people 'condemn this crime of aggression’ and are behind the Czechoslovak people. Comparing what was happening in Czechoslovakia with what Hitler did in that country, and what the US did in Vietnam, Premier Zhou Enlai stressed that 'Soviet revisionism degenerated into Social[ist]- Imperialism and Social[ist]-Fascism,’ and that the US and the Soviet Union are trying to divide the world [among themselves].
— 

Excerpt from A series of three telegrams reporting on a reception held at the Romanian Embassy in Beijing on August 23, 1968. Premier Zhou Enlai attended the event and gave a speech condemning the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Text available via the Wilson Center Archives.

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I got a request to cover some of the “Cold War” era as it happened in Asia (outside the U.S.) Americans are often taught the Cold War through a rather binary lens, in a strictly East-West/Soviet-U.S./Communist-Capitalist divide.

Of course, things are more nuanced than that. This is a snippet of a telegram report from 1968 which sheds light on the ups and downs of international diplomacy.

Here, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai criticizes the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia which had happened three days earlier on August 20, 1968. The Soviet Union had led Warsaw Pact troops into Prague, with the intent to crack down on reformist trends. These troops had been gathered from the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Bulgaria under the guise of Warsaw Pact military exercises. Instead of exercises, however, the Warsaw Pact troops overtook Prague.

Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia was quick, and Soviet leaders justified the action under the “Brezhnev Doctrine” - claiming the Moscow could invoke the right to intervene wherever a country’s Communist government had been threatened. These actions furthered what is known at the Sino-Soviet split, a conflict developed over diverging USSR and PRC (China) interests and interpretations of communism.

The introduction of the Brezhnev doctrine in this way sparked concerns in Beijing that with time, the USSR would use it as a way to justify either interfering in Chinese communist affairs or invading China.