A stunning vintage car with an elegant design, the black Volga, is one of the symbols of the soviet epoch. It is familiar to every person who now lives on the territories of the former USSR. At the time of it’s active production it was considered a luxurious vehicle. Many people couldn’t afford a car at all and certainly only few could afford this particular one. But for the people of the Eastern Europe it is more than just a pretty retro car, it is often associated with one of the most famous urban legends of the late soviet times.
The story about The Black Volga is familiar to many people in Russia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, and Mongolia. It was very popular mostly in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In a way this particular urban legend is similar to stories about a Bogeyman, who mercilessly kidnaps children. What is interesting about this Eastern European legend, is that it may have actually had a very real prototype.
This dark story and it’s origins were closely connected to the disappearance of people. The Black Volga, a beautiful dark vehicle, was seen circling the streets and abducting unsuspecting passersby. Some say that a car would sometimes stop and ask a passing person what time it was. As soon as the man or a woman came closer to give the answer, the door opened and the person was quickly dragged inside. Sometimes it was claimed to simply appear seemingly out of nowhere, sweep off kids and drive off.
Although the brand of the car was always the same, some details of it’s appearance were described differently in different times and regions. Often it was said to have some white elements in it’s exterior, such as white curtains or white wheel rims. In the later times some even claimed to have seen the black Volgas with the horns instead of wing mirrors, adding to the demonic image of the vehicle. Occasionally the car was said to be painted red instead of black.
There are also various ideas about who, in fact, was driving the car of death. The most popular version is that it were KGB agents. Other options seem way more odd. For example some believe that it were nuns and priests, jews, or even vampires! As the story evolved, some people named the Satan himself as the driver. As you can see, the story got crazier and crazier over the years.
There are also several theories on why the people were being kidnapped. Many told that all the taken children were brought into a facility were their blood was drained in order to be later sold on a black market to rich arabs or westerners and, in some versions of the story, to USSR’s elite. They believed that young blood has a capacity to treat one from leukemia. Another similar idea was that people were taken for the purposes of organ trade.
Even if it is just a scary story that parents told their children to make sure they don’t wander around the streets in the dark, such black Volgas were indeed driving around soviet towns. During that time, this particular brand of cars was used by communist officials. Many people lived in fear of being prosecuted for their ideas and opinions because of the stories of frequent arrests. Soviet government would take any person who seemed suspicious to them and bring them in for questioning. And after those questionings not all were safely returned home to their families. So even if not all people mysteriously disappeared after approaching a black Volga, when someone was taken for good, they were taken by the officials in this exact car. This was the reason why the distinct sound of the Volga’s engine made people uneasy, even invoked panic and fear.
Even after the time of cruel prosecutions was over, the legend stayed and was passed from one generation to another.