ghosts in Turkey

My friend in the United States of America sent me a link about a ghost town in Turkey that she wanted me to check out because she thought it looked awesome. I agreed.

So I decided to go to this ghost town, Kayaköy, during the Halloween season, the most haunting time of year. I wanted to find out if this town was legit. Everyone knows that I see ghosts in real life, so obviously if there were truly ghosts in this village then I would be the one to see them.

Truth be told, I haven't seen one single ghost since I have lived in Turkey, so my expectations were exceedingly low. But I went anyway because I believe in giving everyone a chance, even ghosts.

Here is my story.

It was a dark and stormy night. Literally, it was raining and lightning and thundering the ENTIRE way for my 6 hour bus ride. I liked it.

Anyway, it was a dark and stormy night. I was feeling bedraggled when I asked in broken Turkish for my bus driver to pull over on a deserted street to let me and my ghost-busting partner, Oscar, out. We scouted around the deserted beach town until we found a meager light at an Inn, a place in which we could rest our weary heads for the night. 

Side note: I feel like I accidentally just morphed into telling a story resembling that of the night Jesus Christ was born. It wasn't quite that dramatic. Back to the ghosts.

The next morning, after a good night's rest and our bellies full of kahvaltı (breakfast), we caught the next bus to the village of spirits. When we told the dolmuş driver our specific destination, he looked at us quizzically and then shrugged. After twisting his vehicle skillfully through the mountains, we were once again dropped off in the middle of nowhere to fend for ourselves.

We started down this desolate, muddy road hoping to quickly find our accommodations that we had booked online the week before. I had to watch my step as we were walking due to all of the frog carcasses that littered the ground. It was weird.

Dead frogs after a great storm -- isn't that biblical too?
Fortunately, we found a sign for our lodging! Unfortunately, the sign was terrifying.

This designer should be fired.
In the meantime, I noticed that the dirt path that we were on was lined with barbed wire. I wondered: Was this feature put in place to protect the pedestrians from danger? Or to keep us boxed in so that the murders could happen more smoothly?

The excessive fencing seems unnecessary, but what do I know about country road regulations in rural Turkey?
Then I noticed the sprawling graveyard surrounding the creepy pathway on which we were lost. This made me nervous. Who were in all these graves? People dropped off by the previous dolmuş's? I didn't like what I saw one bit. Negative self talk began. It went like this: "I'm probably going to die. No one will know what happened." I repeated this over and over again.

Here is a view of the graves, just beyond the barbed wire.
Also, there was a sign asking us to pay attention when Satan's horses were passing by.

Does Satan travel this way often? Apparently often enough to elicit the need for a sign.
Additionally, I met several animals along the way that were obviously mocking me for continuing to venture down Bad-Choice Lane.
I know what this sheep was thinking. "This dumb bitch is about to die. And so is her foreign friend. The foreign guy always dies first. Well, maybe second if there is a blonde in the plot line."

After about fifteen minutes of wandering in quiet fear, Oscar suggested that he approach the haunted house on our left to ask for directions. I look at him incredulously and asked, "Have you learned nothing from horror films? You are seriously about to die." He thought about that for a second and then decided that I was correct. He said something along the lines of, "You're right. We should definitely not split up. That's exactly what the director of our film would want us to do and we are not that stupid."

So we continued on until we found our pension. We had a spooky feeling that we were in the right place when we found a dead baby in a tree.

Ok, it was a doll, not a real child. But dolls remind me of dead babies. I don't like them.
Once we checked in the owner of the pension led us to our room. It was not the room we had paid for online so we asked to check out some of the other rooms. After being led to a shed out back with a single mattress on the floor as option number two, we decided to accept the initial room offer. In all honesty, it was quite comfy.

This was our room key. Yes, it was attached to a mutilated teddy bear.

This was a photograph on the wall in our hotel room. It's weird. Am I right?
So after we got settled in, we took off for the ghostly village. The people who worked at our pension were very sweet and helpful -- they pointed us in the right direction and wished us good luck. By the time we got there it had turned into a beautiful day. Oscar and I climbed in, around and through the ruins, as one can only do in Turkey where there are absolutely no enforced regulations.

Sometimes there are signs that try to try -- but as you can see in the background, a large human size hole has been made in the wall protecting the church from intruders. Once you crawl through that hole, you will find a nicely stacked pile of rocks which you can climb upon to jump over another fence where you will land neatly into the church courtyard. Just sayin'.
Nothing terribly exciting happened in the village. I saw one ghost dog -- brown with black spots -- that was cool. But who knows when that dog died -- it could have been last year. And it didn't scare me. I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping for something more thrilling. All I saw were beautiful vistas and dreamy crumbling architecture. Sigh.

Perhaps the ghosts are tired of people (like me) using their yester-homes as backdrops for high-school-senior-like photos.

After a few hours of investigating, Oscar and I had gözleme and çay (deLIGHTful gözleme and çay I might add) at a little cafe and headed back to the Inn. On the trek back is where I got my most frightening, hair-raising scare.

Ostriches are my second greatest fear.

I was trying to overcome my overwhelming fear of ostriches by getting marginally close to this random one that was in a fenced in yard in the middle of nowhere. I thought to myself, "Perhaps I can take some awesome pics -- maybe this gi-normous atrocity can be tastefully artistic." But this guy was aggressively stalking around it's dinosaur sized eggs with it's head lowered and it's beady fist-sized bird eye sizing me up. After fearfully running back to the hotel and researching ostrich behavior I learned that a) I should have been more scared than I was and b) it's a good thing that ostriches can't jump because if they could then this one would have eviscerated me. So there's that.

The only other thing that happened was that I saw ghost hovering in the corner of my bedroom near the ceiling before I turned out the lights to go to sleep.

Overall rating of my Ghost Village experience: 9.5 out of 10 stars

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