Misery of the Mõis
We were racing with the sun and the day was near of its end. A set of coordinates was inserted into a navigator in which we had a blind trust for. GPS-coordinates had helped us already with the previous three manors or “Mõis”, which we had found earlier that day. Estonia is a land of many manors, ones that are in use and ones that are abandoned. The latter don’t seem to raise any particular interest within the locals, because one can see the shapes of manors often when driving across the country. Prosperity of the Estonians is rising rapidly and some of the manors are now under the hammer to be renovated for their former glory but tens or even hundreds of manors are decaying in the countryside. We almost skipped the fourth manor in our schedule because we had many miles ahead of us before we could get to our hotel. Maybe the ending day made the atmosphere, which one could easily describe as ‘spooky’.
The coordinates led us into a quiet hill where in the top sat a faded red stony manor. The sun painted more red to the surface of the flaky stone. The windows were covered with strong wooden boards so that the rays of the sun wouldn’t disturb the darkness inside the two-floored building. The only way to get in (or out), was through the front door. We squeezed inside through a hole in the board. Inside was complete darkness. Our flashlights revealed beautiful architecture of the walls and the ceiling. Someone had tried to ruin the walls with tacky graffiti. I took my first steps on the sandy floor and after the first corner, I saw a sight of something that will not easily leave my mind.
I was staring at a pile of dusty gas masks. The glassy lenses were staring back at me and I felt like I was a character in a horror movie. Green filters and moldy flexible hoses were lying on the floor and I kept thinking that if once in my life, something unnatural would be present, this would be the moment. The ‘something’ would be staring at me from the darkness. I don’t believe that stuff but the sensation was quite strong. Maybe we had just found a real ghost house?
After Tanja had photographed the pile of gas masks, we continued our visit. The dark rooms were full of old boxes and suspicious hatches on the floor. Eventually we ended up in a room with dusty stairs leading to the upper floor. Steps were missing but I managed to climb to the second floor. The floor was filled with holes and I had to plan my steps carefully. The main corridor pierced the whole building end to end. From the looks of it, there had been a fire while back. The old architecture was still visible though. The feeling that I was not alone followed me everywhere.
I came back to the first floor and followed the dim light to meet up with Tanja. We decided to head back to the exit. The darkness was beginning to cover the manor from the outside as well. I helped Tanja out through the small hole and stood back against the darkness inside. I couldn’t take a look behind me. My imagination was picturing shapes behind my back with the gas masks on their faces. Our departure was viewed behind the glassy lenses.
Sometimes you’ll encounter places where the atmosphere is especially spooky. This manor was one those places. When the headlights of our car were focused on the road again, the eerie sensation switched into a feeling of gratitude. When exploring the abandoned world, one can encounter excitement and see places that would inspire the screenwriters of horror movies, that is truly something.