Special and magical are words that could describe people with paranormal abilities. Some of us believe in them while others do not, but it is a fact few of them truly made history. Due to their supernatural gifts or sheer power of conviction and charisma, they made masses into believers and left an unalterable mark in culture.
Certainly the most well known Slavic clairvoyant and mystic, Baba Vanga and her prophecies are known all around the world. One of the most admired seers of our time, she foresaw many events that actually came true, such as 9/11 attack and war between West and ISIS. However, Vanga, born Vangelia Pandeva, didn’t make a large number of claims that were attached to her name after her death. Her semi literacy and lack of written sources made it easy to manipulate her words, and thus many false prophecies she never made were attributed to her. Born in Strumica to Bulgarian parents, Vangelia supposedly gained her abilities at the age of 12, when she was found unconscious and blinded in a pile of sand near her family home.
After spending 3 years in a school for blind people in Zemun, Serbia, Vanga spent following years of her life taking care of her younger siblings. After her popularity started to rise during World War II, many world leaders came to Vanga in pursue for advice. Among those who came to visit Vanga were Bulgarian Tzar Boris III and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Although she made many claims during her life, some which stand out as surprisingly accurate are the dissolution of Soviet Union, date of Stalin’s and her own death, 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Chernobyl disaster. Some prophecies she made that have yet to come true are the return of Communism, founding of underwater civilizations and disappearance of European continent. However, she did accurately predict her own date of death, as she died of breast cancer on August 11th in Sofia, just as she said she would.
A mystic whose abilities brought him to the top of Russian nobility, Grigori Rasputin was one of the most fascinating individuals in 20th century Russia. A Siberian peasant, alleged satanist and occultist who somehow managed to heal the Tzarevich and create a large circle of devoted aristocratic followers, Rasputin was truly an unusual person. Largely known for his healing and mystic abilities, he could allegedly help his followers find their spiritual way. However, he was frequently accused for using unorthodox methods, including sexual acts and even orgies to do so. Besides a large influence he had on the Romanov family, these rumors also brought great notoriety to him among the Russian aristocracy and common people. Hailing from a village of Pokrovskoye, Grigori’s religious awakening happened on a pilgrimage he took. Known as one of the wanderers, his spiritual existence largely consisted of walking great distances through rough Russian landscape.
Yet, his ascendance to power came after he managed to heal the young Tzarevich. This act enabled him to create and maintain close ties to the royal family, and even as some say, seduce Tzar’s wife Alexandra. However, as Romanov family started to lose their supporters due to war losses, so did Rasputin, due to his close connections to them. Eventually, Grigori’s death was also related to power, as he was murdered by a group of young noblemen who believed his influence over the royal family was too large and dangerous. His assassination didn’t go as smoothly as one would expect, since it took many failed attempts to finally kill him. The alleged inability of a group of men to kill him with poison and multiple gunshots further provoked doubts of his supernatural nature, with some going as far as calling him the Antichrist. Rasputin died in 1916, and while much information about his life cannot be proved, many historians doubt the accuracy of certain claims regarding him.
Unlike Vanga and Rasputin, Chumak was a modern era psychic and healer with a flair for public life and entertainment. Extremely popular daytime TV personality, Chumak was one of the most watched people on Russian television during the early 90s. His sessions were rather unusual, as he wouldn’t say a word, but would use various objects that he would charge with energy. His practices attracted large crowds of fans, and he had an incredibly successful run up until a restriction order was placed on unconventional methods of healing, and he had to leave television. Born Muscovite, Allan had a successful career in journalism prior to discovery of his psychic abilities.
Although he didn’t say much about the mechanism of his healing process, Chumak did share with the public that his abilities were taught by the voice inside of his head. Author of several self help and self healing books, Chumak shoot his shot at a political career in 2000, but wasn’t particularly successful as he only managed to get 3% of the vote for a seat in State Duma. Criticized for being a fraud, Allan’s abilities were often questioned by psychologists and other human sciences professionals. Father of two children, Chumak passed away aged 82 in late 2017.