Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The 1933 Appearance of the Ghost of an Orthodox Priest Dressed in White in Thessaloniki


In the summer of 1933, the Depot district of Thessaloniki was in turmoil. After more than 35 years of rest and invisibility, the ghost of a Saint appeared, as some said, or a priest, as others claimed.

This strange story took place in the Depot district and specifically on Thermopylae Street, where a small hill was located. At the beginning of June, on Friday, at the time when the bells were ringing for Vespers, a ten-year-old boy, Takis Anagnostopoulos, was reading his lessons in front of the window of his house, which was directly opposite the hill, less than fifty meters away.

Suddenly, the boy's gaze fell on the hill, at the edge of which stood three or four large stones. And then, on these stones, he saw a priest, dressed in white clothes, sitting restlessly and reading. His beard was very long, like that of Saint Nicholas. He was so startled that he shouted to his mother:

"Mom, mom, run! A Saint is sitting on the stones! Run!”

His mother ran to him, but the priest was no longer there.

The next day and at the same time, the news spread in the neighborhood and the children left their toys and sat on the stones, where the priest appeared with the white cassock, to see him up close. But, no one was seen.

Another little boy, Yiannakis Titilias, also happened to see the apparition. That same night he had gone out into the yard to wash his feet. However, as soon as he looked at the stones of the opposite hill, he saw a priest dressed in white. He was standing and looking like he was praying. Yiannakis was trying to get a better look, however, he could not see his face, although he observed his body carefully. He shouted in fear for his father, who was able to spot him just in time as well. The priest was going back and forth on the stones, as if looking for something. Then, father and son suddenly lost sight of him in front of them, as if the wind had taken him, as if it were a bubble that dissolved.

Another neighbor, the carpenter Karagounidis, whose house was only ten steps away from the view of the ghost, told the following:

    "I have lived in this house for eleven years. I had heard that in the old days, during the Turkish occupation, the ghost of a Saint appeared. I did not believe these things and I would make fun of them. But I always waited, because if what they said was true, this Saint had to appear one day.

    But, after what the boys saw on Friday, I thought something would happen tonight. And with this idea, after I ate with my wife and the teacher N. Metzeliotis, I went out in the garden at 23:30 and I was just waiting.

    After a little while, I dare say around midnight, I saw a white ghost, up to one meter high, on the stones of the hill, while in the middle of the strange shadow a black dot dominated. I immediately called my wife and the teacher and asked them if they saw anything on the stones.

    They also while gasping described to me the all-white ghost, as I saw it. In a little while, one dot became two on the sides of the vanished form, which was almost transparent. And immediately after, at the place where he was standing, it seemed as if a cloud of smoke was coming out and the ghost began to grow and finally took the clear shape of a man with his hands up, as if praying.

    At this point, the white-cassocked priest stood for several minutes. But when the electric light shut off ten minutes after midnight, it lost a little of its whiteness.

    While he was standing so reverently, he disappeared from our sight completely abrupt, without any of us understanding how and from where. His disappearance occurred when a rooster crowed."

This is the story of the miracle that disturbed the whole Depot district of Thessaloniki, around Agios Eleftherios. In fact, all those days crowds flocked from everywhere. Others because they wanted to hear from eyewitnesses exactly how they saw the Saint and others, the most religious, because they wanted to reverently light a candle, with the inward hope that the Saint would take care of their health and well-being.

However, there were many who asked to dig the surrounding area, to see what was under those large stones of the hill, on which always stood the ghost of the priest with the white cassock. Few, more practical ones, wondered if some valuable treasure was hidden, from which they would benefit.

The older inhabitants, however, said that they knew from their ancestors that once there was an old monastery there.

The ghost of the priest with the white cassock, in the Depot district of Thessaloniki, had struck the curiosity of the inhabitants, who stood reverently in front of the miracle of his appearance, wondering what he could be looking for.

The news of this event was published in the newspaper "ACROPOLIS", on 06/14/1933.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.