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This section contains descriptions of unexplained facts provided by eyewitnesses or published in the media, as well as the results of their analysis by the group.

Anomalous zone. Russia

ID #1626943834
Added Thu, 22/07/2021
Author July N.

Initial data

Initial information from sources or from an eyewitness
Incident date: 
башня Пеля
Leningradskaya oblast

A native of Odessa, Vitaly Vinogradov, who lived and studied in Leningrad, at the Academy of Arts named after him. Ilya Repin left interesting memories in the form of a conversation with his friend Sergei Sukonkin about a mystical place known as the Pharmacy of Dr. Pel and his famous artifact The Griffin Tower located in the courtyard of the house.

This conversation, which is more like an interview, tells about very interesting things, things that are quite important for the history of informal St. Petersburg. Firstly, at that time, namely in the late 80s of the 20th century, there was simply no such thing as a Griffin Tower, there was a tower, there were no griffins. Secondly, in this house built in a place of power, there really was a constant devilry and this mysterious place really changes the destinies of people and fulfills desires. Well, and, thirdly, the numbering of bricks was not invented by Alexey Kostroma, he simply stole this idea, a strange numbering of bricks already existed at that time in the basement of the pharmacy. Perhaps it was invented by the artist Alexander Retz, who lived there. According to Vinogradov, he actively experimented with digital installation long before the appearance of Kostroma in the city. And, yes! - of course, the case of meeting with the ghost of Pel in the basement is impressive… Now Vitaly, who, like many of the inhabitants of this house, has become a rich and well-off person, lives in London. But let's talk about everything in order.

In 1989, in the autumn, when we settled the attics of the "Pelya pharmacy", we did not notice any devilry… The country was burning with sacrificial fire. Rallies were held, ditches were dug, people habitually drank vodka. The area was academic, near the tram, the river, the market, even a small square with old trees.

We had good relations with our neighbors, no one paid them anything, but we were warned, the house is not simple. Who warned you?

We didn't remember, and we didn't understand what it was about. The house is inhabited by famous people, academic and university families. We have not heard bad rumors about the house, but mysticism, from the past, and what is it? We, young optimists, were not afraid of anything, we thought about art, we talked about reasonable things, we were going to live forever.

Vital, do you remember the warning? The old lady, in the courtyard, said, " live quietly and, most importantly, do not be surprised by anything.

— No, you checked in with Olga earlier and told me about it, but for me it was an empty sound. I remember your dog Mishka was chasing poodles who live in the next attic. The working class was chasing the aristocrats, it was funny and graphic.

We were warned about the strangeness of Pelya's house by an old woman on the stairs.

— Yes, I remember: I asked how many artists are going to live? On what floors, what attics, what rooms do they have? We didn't know that the attics had numbers at all.

Most of the newcomers were former students of the Academy of Arts. Everyone who studied at the academy remembers the lessons for visual memory. From the fragments, we could recall the location of the portals of the cathedral in the city of Bamberg, which no one has ever visited. But we could not remember the faces of the elderly women, of whom there were many in the house. The artists could not remember their faces, there was something mystical about it.

Why did you go through Retz?

— I was afraid to use the back door and went only through his workshop. The back door was often locked from the inside, or I met strange old women on the stairs, although I knew that no one uses the door. I told you, but in my opinion, only Mishka believed me and, raising his tail, together with Dashka, ran to check.

We then decided to put a grate on the landing, they said from the homeless. It turned out that strange noises prevent everyone from sleeping at night. We decided to refer to the"spirits of a new place". Everyone liked the joke.

The doors to the courtyard were always open and from the street you could go to my wing and climb to the attic without disturbing anyone.

One night, late at night, returning from Pushkinskaya, I went up to the Rec, the doors were open. I went to my workshop. Lights were on everywhere, there was a sharp smell of ammonia, carbolic acid and pharmacy medicines. It was hard to breathe. I jumped out on the landing, it didn't get any easier. My eyes were watering. I decided to go down to the street. Floor by floor, closer to the exit, suddenly I find myself in the basement of the house. Walking along the wall, I found myself in a room where an elderly pharmacist was mixing something, leaning over a table. The walls of the basement were covered with numbers. He was carried away and didn't notice me. The absurdity of what was happening shocked me so much that I could not speak. I don't remember how I ended up in the courtyard between the chimney and the wing. I breathed in fresh air and fell asleep. By the morning, my legs and back were numb, changing my position, I suddenly realized that the pipe was warm! I woke up, felt the pipe, it was very warm. I fell asleep again.

I asked you three times what happened to you. You were pale, your eyes were bad, you were trying to tell something.

— I remember, then you told me that there was some kind of devilry going on. No one believed it, laughter, dogs are barking, music is playing, tea is drunk by the river, they are constantly talking, no one listens to anyone. The steering wheels are hanging on the wall, a bunch of garlic.

We believed you as soon as we saw you. You just didn't see yourself from the outside! And you told me that you slept on the street.

— I do not know where I slept, but I woke up on the street near the pipe. I told him what had happened to me, and we went down to the basement. The door was closed. The pipe was cold as usual. Then everyone was drinking and did not attach much importance.

Olya told me that something had happened to Vital, he began to come to us for tea less often. He became irritable and uncommunicative. You remember, we went to your studio, and you hid the drawings, saying that it was not interesting and looked like P. Filonov. You claimed that you had solved his analytical code and could easily repeat it.

— I have always liked the drawings of P. Filonov, I liked to look at them. After some event, I began to draw similar drawings, I began to analyze. I don't remember what I meant. The drawings remained in my workshop, which was later occupied by A. Kostroma. I probably threw them away.

Igor Zhagorov and I went to see Sasha Retsu. He was as sullen and silent as ever. A huge attic of the Retz, from floor to ceiling in boxes, each of them a storage for several items: in one a rope and an old shoe, in the other a flashlight and a brick. Each box is numbered with a special code, and the list of numbers is in the notebook.

— Here you will help me — and points to a mountain of boxes, taking out the cherished notebook.

We were scared, there were more and more boxes. The meaning of their movement was not clear to us, the boxes formed shapes, other numbers were added from the rooms, objects were removed, examined, and put back. Everything was done very carefully. We liked the dance of boxes and objects and respected Retsa.

Yes, he did not like Mishka and Dashka, and they did not particularly like him. But on the street in the queue for Mishka, someone always gave a piece of meat and he shared it with Dashka. Strange animals, what do you think about them Vital?

— I liked Mishka, Dasha didn't like me, or maybe on the contrary: Mishka liked me, and I liked Dasha? There were a lot of people in the attic, the kitchen worked in a constant working mode, like a field one. There is always a hot samovar on the table, cups, something for tea and someone ready to talk about art.

After spending the night at the tower, you were interested in the old ladies, asked who came to visit us? I told you that the neighbor from below invited us to visit her, showed a huge petrified walrus penis hanging between the doors. I assumed that they were using it as a protective talisman. — I remember, it's stupid, no one uses a walrus penis for protection. This is their family heirloom, a nice family. — You said that these are not the same old ladies!

- Yes? I do not remember.

The house was huge, in addition to living quarters and attics, it had an outbuilding in the courtyard, a thick unusual pipe, basements, a pharmacy and attics. Thanks to the caring services of the housing and communal services, huge barn locks hung on the doors of basements and attics. Sergei and I were never able to get into the attic.

The right part of the attic was occupied by Slava with his mother and two poodles. The rest of the house belonged entirely to us. It included the front and internal attics, side and far, located in the wing.

I lived in a distant attic, later sharing it with A. Kostroma. From the attic there was a wonderful view of the V. O., the attic of my friends and a strange pipe-tower in the courtyard.

The side attic was occupied by A. Retz with his mobile box theater. The front attic was the largest and most structured. It was divided into a large number of small cozy rooms, which attracted artists.

And why did Yu. Gurov and V. Konevin immediately leave after opening the attic? Maybe they found out something about the attic?

— I don't think they were offered at Pushkinskaya 10, there was more space there, but you know the principle: you can only transfer the workshop to friends in the workshop. I asked Valera Konevin about the attic, he said that he had met with a woman and an artist from the right side, says nice people.

"That's it?" And why did they leave, if the neighbors are nice people?

— I don't know, but there is no mysticism here, they were not bad at Pushkinskaya 10.

And didn't it seem to you that there is something strange in this ritual of the transition of the workshop from one hand to another? As if we didn't choose the attic, but the attics chose us?

— There was a lot of non-residential stock in St. Petersburg, and there were not enough workshops, we believed that they were transferred to creative people. Believing in the principles of respect for a fellow worker, we were happy to receive and give. It concerned everything: the material for sculpture, for painting. Such was the time.

Have you not thought about the fact that by inviting A. Kostroma on the street and not leaving the attic after that, you broke the course of things? After all, Alexey met you on the street, asked about a free workshop, which you did not have? You invited him, thereby defining yourself in exile. Do you agree with this?

— I didn't think so then. The attic is huge, there is a lot of space, we shared it. Alexey took half and I took half. In addition, he did not live in the attic, but only worked. I lived there, I was uncomfortable in an empty room.

Vital? And before that, were you tormented by fears, the fear of being left one in an empty room?

— Before what event?

Before you spent the night near the warm tower.

— It began to seem to me that obscure phenomena are happening to each of us. I could wake up and suddenly see Retz at the door, asking me-What if I had acid in my hands? — or some other nonsense.

I didn't connect anything with the pipe, but the internal tension was growing. I remember when Oleg Yanushevsky appeared in the attic, I saw him and called loudly, and he looked at me and closed the window.

Oleg says that he heard a voice, but did not see anything. We then checked everything together.

- Yes, I remember. Then I started having dreams, I remember coming to you in the morning and wanted to tell you, but I immediately forgot.

You told me that you were afraid of the tower and you were sick of everything and wanted to leave. And why didn't I move to Pushkinskaya 10, you could find a place there, they were developing.

— I can't explain it. It seemed to me that it did not matter where I would move to St. Petersburg, it was important what I would do. I went to London and went into business, but I never gave up art classes, and then I gave up business and returned to art.

Vital, there are rumors that everyone with whom you were a business partner became millionaires or billionaires?

- It looks like it, but maybe not because of me, but in spite of it? In business, it is better to be a supporter of the rational than the mystical.

So the tower doesn't matter in your life?

— I didn't say that, she is a witness to many stories. I don't know what matters in my life and what doesn't. Why did Lyosha put numbers on it? Why did Sasha Retz paint his boxes with numbers? Seryoga, why did you become a painter, and I took up digital art, because we are both sculptors, and something turned us 180.

After your departure, A. Kostroma occupied the entire far attic, and Igor Zhagorov, Sasha Liburkin, Olga Zemlyanichnaya and many wonderful artists lived with us. I keep in touch with many people, and you?

— And I'm in touch.

In 1994, Sergey decided to move to London, Olga remained in the attic, Rec. Kostroma.

In 1997, Olga moved to London, handing over the attic to Oleg Yanushevsky.

During the years of his stay in the attic, many artists visited and worked in the workshops of Oleg.

And in February 2005 there was a fire. on the 14th.

The entire floor burned down, the attic burned down, both ours and the neighbor's. During the fire, Pelya's pharmacy was flooded, large losses. One woman, our neighbor, the owner of black poodles, died.

The history of the attic for 15 years.


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