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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Macabre Krakow - Vampires, Serial Killers and Ghosts

My dearest friends,

As I was telling you a few days back, this beginning of November I had the pleasure fo hosting a dear friend for a week. It is true that during the week, after work, you can barely drag me out of the house to do anything but in the weekend I can be hyper as a cricket! So Saturday she went with my guidance to the first #FreeWalkingTourKrakow - the foods of Krakow. Now I will not speak about that tour heere, as I never did it myself, but all my Romanian friends who tried it loved it ;) So I told her to go ahead :) The tour takes around 2 hours and a half and brings you to multiple places in the old town and the jewish district, where you try traditional & local products ;) after that I took her to a few places myself and in the evening we agreed that both of us should go to the #MacabreKrakow tour that starts each Monday/Thursday/Saturday at 6 pm :) Of course one needs to check their site and/or their Facebook page to see if any changes are made in the schedule - in the summertime they have different hours ;)
Our tour started at 6 PM when darkness was already upon us, but hey! that is one of the points of the tour... getting you into the dark and twisted mood, and they do succeed on that! The regular meeting point for almost all of #FreeWalkingTourKrakow is at the Saint Mary's church, in the Main Market Square. Usually there are no big groups (bigger than 20 people) with these tours, except the #oldtown where usually there are 2 guides and they split the group in 2 parts, but hey! we had fun with this one... we started around 28 people and along the way the group more than doubled its size! The tour guide, named Jacek or Jack - for the native English speakers, was brilliant and dark mooded and it suited well to the whole athmosphere. He looked genuinely happy to do his job, loved when people asked questions and always had an answer ready on his sleeve. To tell you the truth, it was drizzling that night and I did not take the camera out to take a lot of pictures but I truly enjoyed all the dark tales about Krakow's own vampires and serial killers.
You may have not know this but even Krakow had its dark stories. Take for example Karol Kot (18 December 1946 – 16 May 1968). He was a serial killer. Kot terrorized Kraków, the city he was born and raised in, with monstrous crimes for two years before he was finally captured on July 12, 1966. Due to the seemingly random choices of victims, which included children and elderly people, Kot was remembered as the Kraków's vampire and a monster. Kot had passed the school-leaving examinations in high school and planned to become a student at an Officer Candidate School. After the trial, in which he pleaded guilty of the crimes he was charged with, the killer was sentenced to death, which was announced on 14 July 1967. The death penalty was carried out on 16 May 1968 and Kot was executed at the age of 21. Just small FYI: kot = cat, in Polish language :) 
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Władysław Mazurkiewicz (January 31, 1911 - January 31, 1957) was also a serial killer who lived in the city of Kraków, Poland and also had property in Warsaw. His economic standing and polite manners earned him the nickname "The Gentleman Killer". Mazurkiewicz was initially indicted with the murders of 30 people. He confessed to everything, saying "Yes, that's true", but was charged with only six: four men and two women. He was convicted for the six murders in August 30, 1956 and executed by hanging six months later.
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Of course we also heard stories about ghost and real vampires... methods of torture, bodies under the Main Market Square with their hands and legs tied, stories of impailing living people... dark and twisted and perfect for a rainy Saturday evening :)  At the end we also were presented with the 3 types of hanging and a demonstration of beheading ;)  Also, if you wish, at the end you can take a picture with the executioner himself/herself... you cannot tell... he/she wears a mask ;) 
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The company is a free organization that does not ask for a fee from you upon participating in the tour, but at the end it is nice to give money out for them to be able to pay the brochures/leaflets/maps/main location-office where they run their job. I always do and I am proud to say that #FreeWalkingTourKrakow never let me down. They have brilliant stories, told with passion by all-knowing guides, and they are always great fun no matter the weather. They will always be there to welcome you with open arms :) 

** This post was made out of love for Walking Tours. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! **

Yours truly,
A LadyBug In Love With The Tours Offered By #FreeWalkingTourKrakow