I had always been fascinated by the legends and fairy tales that surrounded magic. But I had always been very suspicious of its supernatural nature.
I had even tried a spell in college with a bit of a ‘wow’ factor but it didn’t quite work. When the spell ended, I did a lot of research before I started experimenting with spells and magic.
You spent nearly two years in Russia and Poland exploring ancient ruins. What was the most interesting thing that you found? What was the most challenging part?
The places in the Russian and Polish areas that still have traces of Christianity are what stand out for me. We got there with a few of the locals, though. The local people were kind enough to help us and lend assistance with our expedition. We even stayed on their property without paying them a cent, but the locals were very polite and hospitable. Also we weren’t really allowed to wander into the cities. We stayed at the local inns and spent most of our time by our cellars.
Why are there so many ghost stories in Europe?
Some people believe that ghosts were brought over there by the Vikings, others believe that they are native to the area. The only thing that we found that was both native and present-day is the legend of Vyborg, where you get haunted ships, ancient forests and other unexplained things, which isn’t entirely uncommon. People are always telling ghost stories, but some are much more bizarre than others. I think it is due to the fact that this is Europe and people aren’t used to such things happening. I mean, we are constantly bombarded with movies about ghosts, and in the movies they just have this terrible effect of making everyone in the room think that they are not in the right place at the right time. And that’s what we are exposed to quite often: a horror movie with nothing, no action.
How involved was the filmmakers and what did they offer to the story?
We were not allowed to film anywhere. At first the film makers were not really involved in anything. But in the end we decided not to leave any stone unturned. We found out through discussions with the local people that the local people were very enthusiastic about filming because even these people are afraid of the supernatural. So for the film we had to go to a monastery and ask for permission and then find out how long they could stay.
One of the more unique things about the film is the use of real ghosts.
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