In the former Soviet blocked nations of the southern Baltic States you will find Lithuania. It is a little known gem that is known as the land of wood and water. It’s shores grace crescents of white sand known as Curonian Spit and lush beautiful forests that enhance the beauty of the country and it’s wildlife.
The capital, Vilnius, makes it a worthy visit with it’s stunning antiquity courtyards, cobblestone streets and garish baroque churches along with a community that boasts a vibrant culture. My great Grandparents spoke very little English and I myself do understand some of this language as it was spoken within my home along with some Polish. If my Great Grandparents who married upon arrival on Ellis Island were a showcase of the people who live in this country I would say they are honest, hardworking and a kind culture with many traditions.
According to “True Lithuania” and “Wikipedia” the religions practiced in this small country is as follows. “As per the 2011 census, the predominant religion in Lithuania is Christianity, with the largest confession being Roman Catholicism. Lithuania was the last pagan country in Europe, with the Roman Catholic Church becoming widely accepted only as late as the 17th century”.
The topography of this Baltic state is a lowland terrain with small lakes and rich fertile soil. There are some highlands that lie to the east and south, with a some hills to the west.
When researching the paranormal in one of my ancestry homelands I could not help but be immediately drawn to the Hill of Crosses. The Hill of Crosses, also known in native tongue as Kryzių Kalnas, is located 12 kilometers north of the small industrial city of Siauliai and is a Lithuanian national pilgrimage center. The city of Siauliai was founded in 1236 and was occupied by Teutonic Knights during the 14th century. The tradition of placing crosses dates from this period. The placing of crosses were memorials to the dead with no bodies to bury, so instead left crosses on this hill to commemorate their fallen soldiers which seem to escalate as a Ritual after an uprising against the Russian Tsar in 1831. When Russia occupied the country they bulldozed this site twice only for it to be resurrected. Today there are an estimated 200,000 crosses, carvings and shrines at the site made out of many different materials.In 1991, when Lithuania re-won its independence, the hill became a dual symbol of its Catholic faith and national identity.
Paranormal activity – though I could not find much in the way of spectral visitations this site is considered one of the most creepy and mysterious sites in this nation. Much has been broadcast both on TV as well as newspapers across the world. It is a site to behold both the traditions and faiths which in itself in my opinion is paranormal of the people of Lithuania.
Not to be deterred in the paranormal experiences of this country I decided to see what the UFO scene was. Much to my surprise Lithuania actually has much activity in this area of the fringe sciences. While scanning the pages of ufo-hunters.com I found that there are quite a few reports up until the moments I submitted this article. Perhaps the largest sighting was that of a disc shaped craft in the skies over the capitol of Vilnius in 2012.
I also decided to take a look into the phenomena of cryptids to see if there were any sightings of creatures unknown to us in the United States. All I could locate was a strange animal in a pond which to me has no cryptozoology facts to back up this sighting.
I will leave you with a bit Lithuanian folklore, The Baubas, which many believe that folklores were created by a real story somewhere along the way!
The Baubas, an evil spirit with long skinny arms and wrinkled fingers with blood red eyes. Harassing people he tears at their hair. To the children of this country, he is the equivalent of the boogeyman. A misbehaving
child will be told: “Behave, or Baubas will come get you”. It could also be described as a black and dark creature living under the carpets or in some dark spot of the house. A good reason to clean your room!