(The Suicide Canal)
Status: Municipal Canal
This canal was originally begun in 1769 and finished at some point in the 1780’s. The first canal went from the Yekaterinhofka River to the Ligovsky Canal which provided water to the Summer Gardens.
In 1804 construction was began on the eastern part of the canal which would continue off and on until the 1830’s at enormous cost to the city. By 1834 the canal would become 10 km (6.2 miles) long and form the southern border of the city. The canal now provided a waterway from the Sea port to the Neva River.
In the 1840’s the part of the canal near the train tracks was widened so ships could load and unload directly from trains. By the latter half of the 19th century the factories fueling the Industrial Revolution began to spring up on both sides of the canal and began pouring their raw waste into it.
In the 21st century the canal has become very shallow – due to the amount of waste and sediment poured into it – and is only navigable by small craft.
It remains the longest canal in the city.
In the 13th century Swedish knights massacred all the female members of an indigenous tribe and were cursed by a Shaman who was then also murdered. It is said the mass burial spot after the massacre was right where the canal was dug.
This is thought to be the reason behind the canal being cursed and has always been said to be a bad place.
While the canal was first being built the workers complained of crippling headaches. There were also episodes where the workers suddenly became violent and attacked each other. These incidents resulted in many worker deaths.
In the 1920’s the Soviet Government started building the road beside the canal. A number of granite plates were found buried beside the canal. No one was allowed to study the plates – as it would slow down the road construction – but most people believe they were the grave markers from the bodies from the massacre. The granite plates were destroyed the Soviet Government.
Since 1923 there have been a rash of suicides in the canal – particularly near the Brovosky Bridge – in numbers high enough that people took notice. Many of these people are successful at ending their lives; but those who were saved claim they had no idea why the jumped. Other survivors tell of being pushed by an unseen force.
People have even tossed their babies and small children into the canal.
Many witnesses have said they see a woman in a white dress floating face up just beneath the surface of the water. She disappears without a trace.
The canal is also said to have a hypnotizing effect that calls to people; wanting them to jump into the water.
Many places have the so-called 'Call of the Void'. I have experienced this personally in both the Niagara Falls in Canada and the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.