Behind every stone and under every roof of historical monuments, lies a piece of the history. These historical monuments are surrounded by myths and legends, passed on from generations to generations. Sometimes, they are even more popular than the actual history of a place. So, let’s go back to the days where witches, ghosts, and monsters were part of everyday life. In this article, we’ll dive into the mysterious heritage made of some of the legends of historical monuments.
1. The myth of the Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire, England
The Whitby Abbey rightfully belongs to the legends of historical monuments. Actually, it has a close relationship with the one and only Count Dracula. Because of his crimes in Transilvania, he risked the wooden stake. So, he fled as a dog on a ship to the Whitby village. He drank the blood all the crew of the ship. Before the sun rose, the dog ran to the closest and darkest place he could find the Whitby Abbey. The bodies were discovered by villagers. A few weeks after, they found Dracula, pinned him down on top of a tombstone, and lunged a wooden stake in his heart.
Two graves stand apart from the others up the 199 stairs into the graveyard: on their sides, you’ll see a skull and crossed bones. According to the myth, Dracula was buried in one of those graves.
2. The legend of the Loch Ness Lake, Scotland
It is probably one of the most famous Scottish myths worldwide, all thanks to Nessie. What a cute name for an enormous animal looking like a dragon! In fact, the couple who saw it in December 1933 described it as a prehistoric monster! This mythological sea serpent has made the news more than once since then and attracted numerous hunters and tourists. Many clues have been explained scientifically but the legend is still very much alive. Some hunters allegedly saw its head out at dusk in cold cloudy nights.
3. The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland
It may not be March 17th, but there is no wrong time for a little legend related to the man who defeated the devil himself: St.Patrick. According to the local myth, the Rock of Cashel, originally the royal seat of the Eoghanachta clan, originated in the mountains near Cashel. It happened right after St.Patrick succeeded in banishing Satan from a cave in the mountains. This mountain is known as the Devil’s Bit because of another myth in which Satan took a bite out of the mountain which gave birth to the Rock of Cashel. As a result of the banishment, some rocks would have landed in the town of Cashel. St.Patrick appears to have been for certain a very powerful man.
4. Uluru, the legend of the Desert of Australia
Uluru (or Ayers Rock) is one of the most famous historical monuments of Australia. The aboriginal legend behind it brings us back to the time of the creation of the world. According to the Anangu tribe of Uluru, the world, at first, was unshaped. It was some creators with the appearance of humans, plants and animals who shaped the landscapes that we know today. The spirits of those creators, called Tjukuritja or Waparitja, still live in the Uluru. For that reason, it is very disrespectful to climb it and since 2019 it’s been forbidden by law to do so.
When it comes to how the Uluru was made itself, a popular legend says that a python woman exiled from her native land. She discovered her nephew had been killed by a venomous snake man called Liru. It made her so angry that she decided to avenge her nephew’s death she hit Liru twice so hard that it created the cracks on Uluru. Then, she buried her nephew close to the water in the valley and both of them became part of the rainbow snakes that now live there.
For a more detailed story go over here
5. The mythological Pania of the reef, Napier, New Zealand
Pania was a beautiful maiden of the sea. She was often compared to the little mermaid of Copenhagen for the similarities of the myth, but with legs instead of a fishtail, as represented on her statue. During the day, she had to be underwater with the other sea creatures. But after sunset, she could go to the bay, where she met her future secret husband Karitoki, the handsome son of a Maori chief. Yet, frustrated he wasn’t able to show his wife he was bragging about during the day, Karitoki consulted a wise elder, a Kaumatua. The same night he tried to force some cooked food into his wife’s mouth so she would not be allowed to return to the sea. The wife was awoken by an owl, Ruru the morepork and fled to the sea, where her people took her deep down into the sea as she had been hurt by her husband’s dangerous behaviour. Karitoki never saw her again. However, according to the legend, Pania could be seen deep down into the water over the reef with arms outstretched whether imploring her husband to explain his treachery, or expressing her continuing love.
Have you ever wondered if dragons existed? Apparently, Welsh people believe so and so much that it is part of the symbols on their kingdom flag. Vortigern Castle has entered our article about the legends of historical monuments since its existence was threatened by dragons. Indeed, the fort that Celtic King Vortigern tried to build on the mountain in the 5th century could just not stay standing. He was advised then to sacrifice a special child that happened to be Merlin the Magician. Of course, the young man did not want to die yet, so he told the king about the sleeping dragons under a lake hidden in a mountain that were destroying the foundation of his fortress. Merlin was right. A white dragon and a red one were found. Once the lake was drained, they fought against each other until the white dragon fled and the red one returned quietly to his lair. The castle was then built and the red dragon has been celebrated ever since. And this story was part of the legends of historical monuments.
With more than 100 years of age, The New Amsterdam Theater can be considered as a historical monument of Broadway. The Theater has hosted some of the most extravagant productions alongside a Broadway ghost, starring a beautiful chorus girl named Olive Thomas. In order to improve hers and her husband’s tumultuous relationship, they decided to go on a trip to Paris. However, this trip did not go as expected. It resulted in the tragic overdose of Olive after a heated argument. A few days after her death, the first reports of her ghost in the Theater started: she was seen walking down the halls of the New Amsterdam in a beaded dress and holding a bottle that looks like the one she drank to death in Paris. Her presence has been reported until today but mainly by men.
The world is filled with myths and legends that are yet to be passed down to the next generation. Over the years, historical monuments, landmarks, and places have attracted thousands of curious souls not only for their beauty and historical heritage but also for the mysterious stories behind them. So, next time you are going on a little trip around the world don’t forget to ask the locals about the little legends that are spread around there. However, sensitive hearts must be aware that most of those myths are quite spooky.