Black Volga: The True Story

Black Volga was an urban legend that was widespread in Poland, Hungary, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, and Mongolia in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The legend tells of dangerous men who would drive around in these black limousines who were stalking kidnapping people in the streets, preferring to take little children. According to different versions of the story, the vehicles were driven by members of a secret priesthood, communist secret police, Russian mafia, a cult of Satanists, and even vampires. Many stories told that all the taken children were brought into a dark facility were their blood was drained to be sold on a black market to the rich elite. Another similar idea was that people were taken for the purposes of organ trade or that the children would themselves be sold into slavery.

The cars were usually model GAZ 21 (Gorky Automobile Plant), the first car in the Volga series, or GAZ 24, which was one of the fastest cars in Eastern Europe at that time. For economic reasons, almost all of these cars were sold painted black, which emphasized the ominous image of the car. The cars were sometimes described as having white wheel rims, white curtains or other white elements. In the later times some even claimed to have seen the black Volgas with the horns instead of wing mirrors, adding to the demonic characterization of the vehicle. Occasionally the car was said to be painted red instead of black, which would have been very unusual and would have drawn even more attention.

In older versions of the story, the vehicle would simply appear out of nowhere, pull up beside children, drag them inside and drive away. These children would never be seen again. Newer incarnations of the tale have the driver ask passers-by for the time. As soon as the man or a woman came closer to give the answer, the door opened and the person was quickly dragged inside. In some versions, anyone who was brave enough to challenge the Volga would be dead within 24 hours. What is interesting about this Eastern European legend, is that it had a very real origin.

The Volga was the most expensive, luxurious vehicle available in the area at that time. Typical owners were Soviet political officials and high-ranking members of the Communist Party. Many people at this time during the Cold War lived in fear of being prosecuted for their ideas and opinions. There were accounts of frequent arrests as the Soviet government would take any person who seemed suspicious to them and bring them in for questioning. Then, after those questionings, not all were safely returned home to their families.

While not all people mysteriously disappeared after approaching a black Volga, there were instances where people had been taken by the officials in this exact car. Even the distinct sound of the Volga’s engine made people uneasy, even invoked panic and fear. As the legend began to grow, more myths may have been deliberately spread or intensified by Polish secret police in order to make claims involving actual kidnappings by the government seem invalid or ridiculous. Even after the time of cruel prosecutions was over, the legend of the Black Volga persisted and had been passed from one generation to another.