Story told by Evtim Evtimov – famous Bulgarian poet from Petrich
I don’t remember which was my first meeting with Baba Vanga. I heard a lot about her when I was a kid. I met her on the streets of Petrich (my home town) many times. At one point in time, we were even living very close to each other.
After the world war 2 – I was about 10-12 year old, Baba Vanga started to become more and more popular. One of the front lines was fairly close to Petrich – about 20 km west in the direction of Strumitza – Baba Vanga’s home town. I heard that many men and women went to visit Baba Vanga so she can tell them whether their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers are alive, wounded, killed…Some of my friends told me that if someone was dead, Baba Vanga was usually not telling that directly, but she would get pale and sick, or even faint – that way people knew that their relative is not alive.
I remember back in the 50-ties, a high-ranked colonel from France came to meet Baba Vanga. His daughter disappeared for 20 days, and the whole French police cannot find it. Then he heard about Baba Vanga, most likely through our embassy or through journalists…back at this time a lot has been written about Baba Vanga both in Bulgarian and abroad.
They called a friend of mine from school to be the interpreter. He didn’t even come inside Baba Vanga’s room, and she welcomed him with the words: “Oh you came to ask about your daughter – where she is? Well your daughter is at home – go and give her a call to see for yourself that she is absolutely fine.”
At first the colonel was astonished – he couldn’t believe to what he just heard. At this time he started to think about the worse, that he will never see his daughter again. He went to the local post office of Petrich to make the call. I was working there at the time, and was present when the colonel came. Only 20 seconds later, I hear a very loud voice and laughter of happiness and joy…the colonel came out so excited – he barely stood on his feet, and almost fainted. I asked my friend what had happened. She told me that his daughter had a boyfriend, and they went to his vacation villa for 20 days…and forgot about the world.
The colonel then went back to express his deep gratitude to Baba Vanga, and directly took a flight back home.
In 1953 I was a conscript, and was released from duty for a week. I took the train to Petrich, and I had an elderly man in my compartment with whom I had a nice conversation. He turned out to be an active member of the communist party – he had been imprisoned many times, he had been even sentenced to death one time. He told me a very fascinating story about his one and only meeting with Baba Vanga.
In the same year of 1953, there was a disastrous flooding in the town of Sandanski. Bistritza river went out if its bed, and took away many trees, houses, and unfortunately people. This elderly man had lost his grandson. Close to a month they couldn’t find him anywhere – no news, no nothing. This man who happened to be an avid atheist, a disbeliever who even had punished people because they were going to church, was forced to go and ask Baba Vanga if she can tell him where to look for his grandson. When he visited Baba Vanga, she told him straight away with an angry voice: “You are coming to see me, but you will not believe a word that I will tell you – why are you coming then?
“Yes I don’t believe in future tellers or prophets, but I am desperate in finding my son who had disappeared when there was a flooding”. Then Baba Vanga explained: “When you go back to Sandanski, you will go along Bistritza river, until it meets with Struma river. On this corner you will see a shepherd holding a crook. You will greet the shepherd and will walk exactly 10 steps in the direction of the top end of his crook. This is where you will find your grandson.”
The old man didn’t believe those words, but out of desperation he followed strictly the guidance given by Baba Vanga. Indeed at the crossings of the two rivers, there was an old shepherd who was carrying a crook. He made 10 steps in the direction of where his crook pointed, and 2 meters away from the shore, in the sand he saw a child’s hand. He quickly dug out the sand, and found the dead body of his grandson.
This is why this old man was travelling with me to Petrich, to go and personally thank Baba Vanga for her help. He told me that from now on he completely have changed his view of life, and that from a total disbeliever he now transformed into a different man.
Towards the end of 1965 I was a Government secretary at the community center of Petrich. One of my colleagues at the centre was Veneta – Baba Vanga’s daughter. One day she told me that Baba Vanga said that I will become a “big” man (ie famous). I told Veneta that I am thankful to what her mother told her, but I didn’t see what bigger can I achieve than my current status. After all I was 32 at the time – a poet who worked as a Government secretary. Poetry has always been my true and only love…I was telling myself: “My poetry is going well, my books get published, I am a member of the writers’ association of Bulgaria…what bigger than that I could have become?” I was really puzzled.
About two weeks after my conversation with Veneta, I went on a tour with our ensemble at the community centre. On our third day I received a telegram that said: “Come to Sofia at the Central Committee of the Comsomol (Young Communist League). You are hired at the publishing department.”
I was really perplexed. I didn’t have such pretentions – Petrich was good enough for me already. Right at this moment I recalled the words of Baba Vanga. If I really wanted such promotion I could have asked for help from some of the greatest writers of my time – most of them had deep respect for me. But how Baba Vanga knew that? I didn’t say anything on this subject before…
I came back to Petrich, and right on the next day I took the train to Sofia. I was accepted by George Atanasov – he was the chief secretary of the Comsomol. He opened up the conversation saying: “ Evtim, you are a very talented man, and we decided to hire you for 6 months at the publishing department. You will be subbing for Slav Karaslavov for poetry.
“I haven’t done such a work before” – I said. “We invite you not only to do this job, but also to get to know your literary friends, and to be exposed to a more professional climate.”
I told Slav that I will respond in two-three days.
When I went back to Petrich, Veneta was quite happy and said: “what did I tell you – did you see that my mother told you the truth!? She was categorical that you will become a successful man.”
On January 16th, 1966 I went to Sofia. Baba Vanga did see my life’s path, my future. Eventually I did understand what she meant by saying that I will become a “big” man.
I personally never visited her in person so she can read on me. She was close with my mother. In 1969 my sister died of a very absurd accident, and since then my mother went to visit her a couple of times. I didn’t find out what they talked about, but only remember that Baba Vanga told her: “she could have lived for many more years. Something happened, that nobody thought about, not even she…”
One year, one of the famous Russian poets – Ramsul Gamzatov came to Petrich. He asked me to take him to Baba Vanga. He entered her house first, and then they called his wife to join him. When he got out, he was holding his head, having a pale skin, and inadequate behaviour. I asked him what had happened – why he is so excited. He told me that he still can’t come to his senses, and that he needs some time to do that. In this moment, one of Baba Vanga’s guards showed up and told me that she wants to see me as well. I didn’t hesitate much and entered to meet her. First thing I said was: “My friend Ramsul was quite puzzled when he went out – what happened?” Baba Vanga laughed and said: “Well he had forgotten to place his mother’s cane inside the coffin. He organized a great ceremony, but forgot the cane – what if she needs it in the other world? He forgot it behind the door of her room.”
Ramsul was trying to find a logical explanation how come she knew about this great detail…
Another Russian poet – Leonid Leonov was asking about Baba Vanga quite often. He deeply respected her and was sending her gifts every once and a while. During the first time when he visited her she told him: “I see that you write thick and very big books. You have one play that you wrote a long time ago, but you tuck it away somewhere in your folders. The play was about a carriage. This very piece can bring you much more success than all of your books combined together.”
The “Golden Carriage” was the name of the play. When Leonov went back to Moscow, he had found and rewritten the play, and later he published it. Indeed he became quite popular with it.
During those literature meetings that took place in Bulgaria, Baba Vanga was visited by many famous writers including John Cheever, William Saroyan, Eugeni Evtushenko, Andrey Woznesenski, Bulat Okudzhava among others.
In 1965 I still lived and worked in Petrich, and one day I met with my fellow-writers – Venko Markovski and Ivan Arzhentinski. They told me that they had visited Baba Vanga. On their way out, Baba Vanga told them in a very serious voice: “Go to the the nearest auto-repair shop, as this car of yours won’t take you far.” Venko and Ivan didn’t take her words seriously, but their respect and faith in Baba Vanga, made them follow her advice. It turned out that the car brakes were just about to stop working. While they were still alive, they both recalled this story and always mentioned Baba Vanga with good.
Many people were visiting Baba Vanga including those that had forbidden her to read on people.
One year, I took Stefan Getsov (famous Bulgarian actor) to meet with Baba Vanga. Initially we went to buy two marble tables, as they produced those in Petrich. This happened during those times when she was not allowed to accept people. I arranged the meeting through the mayor at the time – Stoil Bozhikov. Baba Vanga, her daughter Veneta and her husband accepted us very cordially. They made us coffee and we started chatting. In 10 minutes or so Baba Vanga said: “Evtim, this friend of yours that sits beside you – I see him at a very big stage!”
Baba Vanga had correctly recognized that Stefan was an artist. No one said nothing about him during our conversation, we didn’t even introduce him to her. I just confirmed that she was right, and she went on talking to Stefan: “It is good that you sent your mother to live in another place, otherwise she would have divorced you with your second wife as well…but you and your parents made a mistake years before..”
Stefan at first didn’t realize what she meant by that, and at this moment Baba Vanga carried on: “Why didn’t you agree to become a doctor, when they sent you in France?” You would’ve become the greatest butcher.”
Once Stefan heard all those words, he turned very pale. He didn’t even say a word, he just remained silent.
When we got out of Baba Vanga’s room, Stefan stopped me and said: “I will tell you something that only three people know about – my mother, myself, and another man. In the 50-ties, a colonel from National Security offered me to work for them. They wanted to send me to France to study medicine. That is why Baba Vanga told me that I would’ve become a great butcher, surgeon. But no one knew about that!”
At one of the rare times when I took people to Baba Vanga, I had a very embarrassing situation. Generally I avoided to take such a responsibility for taking people to the prophetess, but this time I made a compromise. It was 1964 and I still worked at the community center in Petrich. We were visited by a famous folklore ensemble. One of the singers and the leader of the ensemble asked me to take them to Baba Vanga.
We went to her house at 2 am – there were already people waiting. By 5am the whole yard was completely full. At around 5:30am Baba Vanga went out. There was a fence between her house and line-ups of people, so she started talking to them over the fence giving some random people quick readings, or even chasing some people away (Baba Vanga had very strict attitude towards women who cheated on their men, among others). Then when she reached us, she turned towards the singer and told her: “ Why did you come to see me – you came over about a month ago? Are coming again to ask me about your husband?”
“Yes, I come for him again, so you can tell me if he will leave me?” – said the singer. Baba Vanga with an angry voice said loudly: “ How dare you, you just got out of the bed of your ensemble leader that stands beside you, you still smell of sheets, and you come here to ask me if your husband is cheating on you and if he will leave you? I don’t read on people like you – go away and don’t ever come back.”
I really felt very embarrassed infront of Baba Vanga. The leader of the ensemble was literary stoned – he didn’t say a single word.
Since this very awkward moment, I never took any engagements to take other people to Baba Vanga. I remember once she told me a story that relate to the subject of committing adultery. I young woman comes to see her, to ask her for advice. She got pregnant from her lover, and is wondering should she keep the child and lie to her husband that it is from him. Baba Vanga had told her that since she didn’t protect herself, she will give birth and look after her child – what you reap is what you sow. The woman told her that she already had a child from her husband, so that had additionally complicated the situation. She wanted to have both men. Then Baba Vanga couldn’t restrain herself for telling the woman that she does not deserve either men and she was punished by God. The woman’s husband had entered next, asking Baba Vanga why his wife had being very nervous in the last couple of months. At this moment Baba Vanga couldn’t tell him the truth, and she had simply changed the subject.
Baba Vanga was strongly condemning women that were cheating on their men. In our part of the country (Petrich region) the old people say: “The woman is the house.” Why they don’t say the man is the house? Because the woman takes care of the house, children, her man, and establishes the moral values and principles in one family.
At the same time, where there was a lot of pain and sorrow, Baba Vanga was always deeply compassionate. She was always comforting people, either with good words, or directly with advice, such as the cases where she had sent thousands of people to specific doctors, or had given them a unique home remedy, that had miraculously cured their disease. She was an extraordinary human being – I will only remember her with good!
Baba Vanga Books
On this link you can see the most popular Bulgarian books written on Baba Vanga – http://books.balkanatolia.com
Under “search” simply copy and paste “Баба Ванга” – Baba Vanga in Cyrilic alphabet.
The excerpt for this article was taken from Baba Vanga Predictions – Luxurious Edition (In Bulgarian) by Zheni Kostadinova
About The Author
Zheni Kostadinova graduated Philosophy at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She has worked as an editor at the student TV show “Ku-Ku”, and as a reporter at the National Radio “Horizon”. For over 15 years she is a columnist at “Weekly Trud” newspaper writing about esoteric and psychology. In the same newspaper she is maintaining a page on literature. Zheni Kostadinova is the author of some of the most popular books written on Baba Vanga including “Baba Vanga The Prophetess”, “Baba Vanga Predictions”, “The Secret of Baba Vanga”. Her first book was translated into Russian, Polish, Latvian, Serbian, and Albanian. Zheni is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Writers. She had published three books of poetry: “Fire Sticks (2002), “17 love colors” (2007), and “Fig Jam” (2008). In 2012 Zheni has founded the art-house “Kuklite”. It is a doll gallery and a mini-museum located in the old downtown of Sofia. The gallery exhibits different dolls placed in specific categories. Besides the exhibitions, the art-house “Kuklite” also have the priority to work with children from the local schools, so they learn more about the traditions and customs of the different nations. The main idea is to transform the art-house “Kuklite” into a centre for cultural exchange, creative collaboration between representatives of different fields of art, science and philosophy. The art-house will hold meetings with interesting personalities, and will be a place of exhibitions, seminars, workshops, premieres of books and documentary movies, puppetry, and many other great events. The art-house “Kuklite” will also be a place where collectors can display their favourite artefacts and can share the history associated with them.
Zheni Kostadinova Blog – http://www.jenykostadinova.com/
Art-house “Kuklite” website – http://www.arthouse-kuklite.com/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/arthouse.kuklite