I have lived in the Öreghegy (meaning Old Mountain) quarter of my hometown for more than eightteen years so writting about it comes natural. But even I was surprised by the legends I found while collecting data for this article. So let’s see an exaple that even the most peaceful rural city can hold deep secrets, like ghost living in the city lake.
The old mine
The wild, romantic lake is the heart of the quarter. It has so different atmosphere that the surrounding suburbs yet somehow it fits there. The lake was originally a mine but one adit was too close to an underground reservoir; and one evening a miner cnocked down the wall between the pit and the water, and the mine was filled immediately. The lake was created within one night burying the trams, the picks and even the workers in a watery grave.
Bathing in the lake is forbidden since to it’s unusually cold water may cause sudden cardiac arrest. AT least accordind to the official standpoint. The elders say that the restless souls of the miners are waiting for heedless bathers to join them in their unquiet grave.
The name of the lake is also interesting. Although officially it’s called Mine lake, locals colloquially refer to it as Lake of Suicides, since numberless desperate hearts were inspired by the fifteem-metre-tall sharp cliffs and the mirror of the lake smooth as glass…
It may sound like the name of an area from an RPG, believe it or not it’s an actual name of an actual street in my hometown. Long time ago this was the city border, and the bedinning of the vineyards, with several vinecellars. But when the pague striked in the XVIIIth century this area was designated as the mass grave for the victims. So thousands of bodies were piled up in the vinecellars and sealed forever.
The town slowly forgot the past, and fancy quarter emerged on top of the mass graves. Now most citizens have no knowledge of what they live upon; most of them suspect morbid humour as the origin of the name.
This one is exceptional – it’s more of a romantic story than spinechilling folk tale.
Bory Jeno was a master scuptor who decided to build a whole castle for the love of his life to make her and their love immortal. He started it in 1923 and continued on building it for forty years, alwasd adding a building, a tower, an extra room, a casemate, a hall or a cellar whenever he collected enough money. He didn’t only engineered it, sometimes even the physical work was done by him.
The building has quite modern solutions for it’s age, this was the firs building in Hungary made of ferro-concrete – however it looks like a romantic fairytale castle out of a dream. No wonder most couples in the area (including my parents) has their wedding here.
Now descendants of Bory Jeno lives in the north wing of the castle, the other pars serve as a museum for his sculptures.