According to some residents of St. Petersburg, the true face of the "northern capital" is revealed only under cover of night. Only in the dark can one see the creeping dark shadows, hear the whispers behind closed doors or the piercing cries of the souls of suicides on the stairwells of old houses.
One of the most creepy Petersburg ghosts is Sofia Perovskaya - her shadow can be seen on one of the bridges of the Griboyedov Canal, where every year a ghostly silhouette of a woman with a bluish face appears, on whose neck traces of a rope are visible.
In her hands she holds a white handkerchief, which she used to signal the People's Will to assassinate Alexander II.
This happened on March 1, 1881 at about three o'clock in the afternoon on the embankment of the Catherine Canal (this is what it was called until 1923). When the emperor's motorcade, returning to the Winter Palace, drove out onto the embankment, a fragile girl who stood near the fence of the Mikhailovsky Garden waved a white handkerchief.
It was a sign to the militants from "Narodnaya Volya" - Nikolai Rysakov, Ignatiy Grinevitsky and Ivan Yemelyanov to take places along the canal so as to throw bombs at the tsar's carriage in turn. If the first explosion did not lead to the death of the tsar, the second bomber had to join the case, if he was not lucky, a third attempt was also supposed.
The first on the route of the crew of Alexander II was Rysakov, who threw the bomb. However, Alexander II did not suffer: the emperor's carriage was armored for some time due to frequent assassination attempts. In addition, Rysakov did not throw the bomb accurately enough, and it exploded away from the carriage, and not under it. As a result of the explosion, several townspeople standing on the side of the road were killed, including a child.
Nevertheless, the carriage was severely damaged and could not continue to move. Immediately, the scene of the attack was surrounded by a crowd of onlookers and several police officers, and his personal guard gathered around the emperor.
Nikolai Rysakov tried to hide, but was captured and brought to the emperor. When the sovereign asked who he was, Rysakov introduced himself as a bourgeois Glazov - in the capital he lived under forged documents under this name.
After that, Alexander II began to inspect the site of the explosion, although the accompanying people urged him to go on a sleigh to the Winter Palace as soon as possible. Step by step, the emperor approached the parapet of the Catherine Canal, near which Ignatius Grinevitsky stood. After waiting for the tsar to come close enough to him, the Narodnoye member threw a bomb - approximately in the middle between himself and Alexander II.
Savior on Blood or Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on Blood. Built on the site where in 1881 terrorist Ignatius Grinevitsky, with the help of Sophia Perovskaya, blew up Alexander II.
The explosion killed several people from the crowd and inflicted severe injuries on both the Tsar and Grinevitsky, actually severing their legs. From the received wounds, an hour after the assassination attempt, Alexander II died. In the evening of the same day, Grinevitsky also died in the prison hospital. He never gave his real name - his identity was only established a month later.
All participants in the terrorist act, including Sophia Perovskaya, were found and arrested almost immediately. On March 10 of the same year, a trial was held over them, at which all the accused were sentenced to death. The verdict was executed a few days later: the regicides were hanged on the parade ground of the Semenovsky regiment.
And on the place where the blood of the royal person was shed, a church was erected, which was named so: the Church of the Savior on Blood. He safely survived the revolution and the blockade, and in May 2004, the first divine service after seventy years was held here.
In the western part of the temple, under a special canopy, you can still see a preserved fragment of the old embankment: a part of the grate, sidewalk slabs and cobblestones on which the king fell bleeding.
Popular rumor claims that until now, if you approach this memorial site, you can catch the presence of the ghost of the innocently murdered sovereign and hear his groans. Whether this is true or not, it is difficult to say - perhaps some of the visitors to the temple really managed to see (or hear) the shadow of the past here.
As for the nearby Catherine Canal Bridge, it has been notorious among Petersburgers since the end of the 19th century. As the urban legend says, when in early March a damp, foggy night falls on the city, and the wind and sleet dazzle the eyes, woe to that late passer-by who meets on the bridge a blurred maiden figure in a long dress!
A ghostly girl will wave a lace handkerchief, and the unfortunate man will fall into the water, sink to the bottom like a stone. And a few days later, another drowned man will be found in the canal …
It is difficult to say whether the dead terrorist takes the lives of belated travelers or is it just one of the city's "horror stories". But few people risk checking the truth of this statement on themselves.
Nevertheless, the appearance of Perovskaya on the bridge of the former Catherine Canal is a fact long known and confirmed by many eyewitnesses.