Baba Vanga

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Baba Wanga, Baba Vanga, Vanga, Ванга, Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova, Гуштерова, Vangelija Dimitrova Gušterova, Вангелия Димитрова
Bulgaria, Гробищен парк (bg)

Baba Vanga (Bulgarian: баба Ванга) (31 January 1911 – 11 August 1996), born Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova (Вангелия Пандева Димитрова) after marriage Vangelia Gushterova (Вангелия Гущерова) was a blind Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant and herbalist who spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains, Bulgaria. Her followers were convinced that she possessed paranormal abilities.


Vanga was born in Strumica, then in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Republic of Macedonia). During the second Bulgarian annexation of the region (1941–1944) she moved to Petrich, Bulgaria. She was a premature baby who suffered from health complications. In accordance with local tradition, the baby was not given a name until it was deemed likely to survive. When the baby first cried out, a midwife went into the street and asked a stranger for a name. The stranger proposed Andromaha (Andromache), but this was rejected as "too Greek", so the second stranger's proposal, Vangelia (Vangelis, Greek: Βαγγελία, short for Ευαγγελία, "herald of the good news", from the components ευ- meaning "true" and άγγελος which means "messenger"), was accepted–also a Greek name, but popular with the Bulgarians in the region.

In her childhood, Vangelia was an ordinary girl. Her father was conscripted into the Bulgarian Army during World War I, and her mother died when Vanga was quite young, which meant the girl depended on the neighbors for a long time. Vanga was intelligent, with blue eyes and blond hair. Her inclinations started to show up when she herself thought out games and loved playing "healing"–she prescribed some herbs to her friends, who pretended to be ill. Her father, being a widower, eventually married a good woman, thus providing a stepmother to his daughter.

A turning point in her life was a tornado which lifted Vanga up and threw her in the field (this claim has not been verified with meteorological records or other accounts from that time). She was found after a long search–very frightened, and her eyes were covered with sand and dust, so she couldn't open them because of the pain. No healing gave results. There was money only for a partial operation, so her eyesight was failing.

In 1925 Vanga was brought to a school for the blind in the city of Zemun (Kingdom SHS), where she spent three years, and was taught to read Braille, play the piano, as well as do knitting, cooking, and cleaning. After the death of her stepmother she had to go back home to take care of her younger siblings. Her family was very poor, and she had to work all day.

In 1939 Vanga caught pleurisy, although she had been quite healthy in the previous years. The doctor's opinion was that she would soon die, but according to her current age, between the time that certain doctor assumed to her and up-till now, it is appropriate to have a verbilization that the doctor had a false opinion regarding her at dying a very young age, and had healed at a really quick, acceptable degree..


The house of Vanga in Petrich


During World War II Vanga attracted more believers–a number of people visited her, hoping to get a hint about whether their relatives were alive, or seeking for the place where they died. On 8 April 1942 the Bulgarian tzar Boris III visited her.

On 10 May 1942 Vanga married Dimitar Gushterov, a man from a village near Petrich, who had come asking for the killers of his brother, but had to promise her not to seek revenge. Shortly before marriage, Dimitar and Vanga moved to Petrich, where she soon became well-known. Dimitar was later conscripted in the Bulgarian Army and had to spend some time in then Bulgaria annexed Northern Greece. He got another illness in 1947, fell into alcoholism, and eventually died on 1 April 1962.

Vanga died on 11 August 1996 from breast cancer. Her funeral attracted large crowds, including many dignitaries.

Fulfilling Vanga's last will and testament, her Petrich house was turned into a museum, which opened its doors on 5 May 2008.


Vanga was illiterate or semi-literate. She did not write any books herself. What she said or allegedly said had been captured by staff members. Later numerous esoteric books on Vanga's life and predictions were written.

Vanga claimed that her extraordinary abilities had something to do with the presence of invisible creatures, but she couldn't clearly explain their origin. She said that those creatures gave her information about people, which she could not transmit to them, because distance and time didn't matter. According to Vanga, the life of everyone standing in front of her, was like a film to her, from birth till death. But changing "what was written on the generation" was beyond her power.

Sources such as "Wiesler Field Guide to the Paranormal" claim that she foretold the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl disaster, the date of Stalin's death, the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk, the September 11 attacks and Topalov's victory in the world chess tournament. However, the people who were close to her claim that she never made prophecies about Kursk and other circulating the internet, and that many of the myths around Vanga are simply not true, which ultimately hurts and crudely misrepresents her and her work.

Vanga incorrectly predicted that the 1994 World Cup soccer final would be played between "two teams beginning with B". One finalist was Brazil, but Bulgaria was eliminated by Italy in the semifinals.Vanga predicted that a World War III will start in November 2010 and last until October 2014. However, according to close friends, Vanga was not the type to voice predictions she saw if they were catastrophic because she knew that chaos that would ensue around those she told. Witnesses and close friends also claim that she never made such prophecies, and in fact when asked claimed that there will be no World War III. Nevertheless, after North Korea — a nuclear nation — attacked South Korea on 23 November 2010, there was a spike in internet interest about Vanga concerning this alleged prophecy.

Vanga attempted to prophesy about newborn or unborn children. She said that she was "seeing" and "talking" to people, who had died hundreds of years ago. Vanga talked about the future, although she did not like to. In her words, in 200 years man will make contact with brothers in mind from other worlds. She said that many aliens have been living on the earth for years. They came from the planet, which in their language is called Vamfim, and is the third planet from the Earth.

Followers of Vanga believe that she predicted the precise date of her own death, dreaming that she would die on 11 August, and be buried on 13 August. Shortly before that she had said that a ten-year-old blind girl living in France was to inherit her gift, and that people would soon hear about her.


Apart from prophesying, Vanga was believed to be a healer, but only through herbal medicines. According to her, people had to heal themselves only with herbs from the country they live in. She prescribed washing with an infusion of herbs and spices, claiming some beneficial effect on the skin. Vanga did not oppose mainstream medicine, although she thought that taking too much medicines is bad, because "they close the doors, through which nature restores the balance in the body with herbs."


Accounts on the predictions of Vanga are often controversial and distorted by the media. One recent attempt to systematically summarize the existing knowledge about Vanga was made in the documentary "Vanga. The visible and invisible world". The movie includes interviews with some of the people who met Vanga in person, including Sergey Medvedev (press secretary to President of Russia Boris Yeltsin in 1995-1996; Sergey Medvedev visited Vanga as Yeltsin's envoy following Vanga's request to meet her), Neshka Robeva (Bulgarian rhythmic gymnast and coach), Sergey Mikhalkov (Soviet and Russian writer, author of the Soviet Union anthem), Nevena Tosheva (director of the first documentary about Vanga), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (Kalmyk multi-millionaire businessman and politician). According to the documentary, Baba Vanga predicted Boris Yeltsin's second electoral victory in 1995, and warned him about his heart condition.

Several researchers have studied the phenomenon of Vanga in the attempt to establish whether she has any extraordinary capabilities. One of the first studies was initiated by Bulgarian government and is described in the 1977 movie Fenomen directed by Nevena Tosheva. Prominent Bulgarian psychiatrists Nicola Shipkovensky and Georgi Lozanov also studied the capabilities of Vanga. Reportedly, some of the studies concluded that about 80% of predictions of Vanga turned out to be accurate.


Vanga was widely known to be close to the government of Todor Zhivkov and, on several occasions, she appeared on public TV with him and other high officials of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The daughter of Todor Zhivkov befriended Baba Vanga in the late 60s-early 70s and she was protected by the communist state ever since, which apparently used the situation to its own advantage, with or without knowledge of Baba Vanga. It has been alleged that Vanga used data gathered by the secret services to win the trust of her visitors, who came to her by state orchestrated appointments made well in advance. Baba Vanga was very popular and Bulgarian state decided to organize her services and charge them, giving Baba Vanga a state sallary which was a tiny fraction of the earnings. Lists of people who were coming to see Vanga were formed by appointment, organized by the state, since the early 70s; as her fame rose, many foreign and domestic politicians were also visiting Vanga, and her house in which she worked was reportedly bugged. Members of secret service worked in her environment, and she may have been manipulated to give suggestions to visiting politicians.

Vanga in Russian Popular Culture

Vanga is well known in the Russian-speaking world, as indicated by the large number of Google hits on the Russian Internet and a number of mass-market books on her declarations. Some Russian nationalists consider her a true prophet of God and use her alleged prophecies of an upcoming nuclear war and Russian victory to argue for more robust defense policy and, more generally, for a more optimistic view of Russia's future. On the other hand, many Christians reject her as a spiritist and a false prophet who acted on behalf of the Devil. Thus there is a widely propagated story of Vanga becoming enraged at a visiting cleric (Nathanael, metropolitan of Nevrokop) carrying a holy relic, saying that this presence prevented her from prophesying.


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