Laura – The Headless Ghost in Prague

I blinked as a few droplets of rain got in my eye. Behind me a night tram trundled away into the city leaving me in the scenic Malá Strana (Lesser Town) in Prague. It was midnight and I was here ghost hunting.

Malá Strana is the charming neighbourhood that nestles under the castle watching over the city. During the day it is full of Czech parliamentarians dodging tourists who meander between sights. At night, the well-lit Baroque and Renaissance facades watch as the crowds thin. I was still on the tram stop when I realised this was the first time I had seen the central square empty.

A photo of the castle from Malostranské Náměstí - Prague, Czechia

The view of the castle from Malostranské Náměstí – Prague, Czechia

According to legend, in the Middle Ages a talented and beautiful actress by the name of Laura lived in Malá Strana. She had an admirer who was a rich count, and a jealous husband who was suspicious of her acting career. The count seduced Laura and the two had an affair. [1]

Returning home one night from the count’s place, she found her husband still awake, waiting for her. The two argued; she insisted she was rehearsing at the theatre but her husband was not convinced. Seeing red, he killed her and cut her head off. [1]

He sent the decapitated head to the count’s house. The legend does not say what the count did with the head but a headless Laura wanders Malá Strana at the witching hour, midnight. [2] She is unable to rest without her head and searches for it in vain. [1]

A photo of Nerudova street from Malostranské Náměstí - Prague, Czechia

Nerudova street as seen from Malostranské Náměstí – Prague, Czechia

I walked around the church of St Nicholas which is in the middle of the square. A live jazz band in a nearby establishment was just about audible. A couple, hand in hand, scurried away as the rain increased. As I stopped to admire the city that was going to sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder what the place would look like by candlelight. More shadows? Flickering lights? It wouldn’t take much imagination to start seeing things.

There was no headless ghost on this Spring night so I set off home, disappointed.

Have you been ghost hunting in your city? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

References

[1] Female First, Prague: Ghosts and Legends, 2012
[2] Wikipedia, Witching Hour, 2017

About Antoine

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5 Comments

  1. So far, we haven’t seen any ghosts in Brussels. But we did see some in other places 🙂

  2. Wow. Creepy story. Beautiful setting.

    More headless happenings: we were hunting for the ghosts of Hampton Court today 😊 https://youtu.be/3PUlimd-VKY

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