Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum has an important and interesting collection. It inhabits the beautiful old Kuyumdzhioglu residence, one in a cluster of "house museums" in old town Plovdiv. The house adds to the haunted feeling that traditional "ethnographic" museums can evoke.
Sometimes just knowing that the cultural lifestyle represented is dead and gone can be saddening.
Spooky lighting, reflective plex, and billowing curtains can make it worse. A stiff formal display and language style add to the somber tone. In Plovdiv the unintentional, or accidental mood is more one of mourning than celebration.
Ghosts of departed Bulgarians are still lingering in the artifacts. Heavy elaborate clothing and big jewelry, musical instruments and bulky tools. This is part of the fascination.
But these bodyless displays seem to float awkwardly in their vitrines. They're suspiciously disheveled and uncomfortable. Do they roam around at night and return to their vitrines at dawn?
Full body manicans can also be creepy.
Musty air, creaking stairways, heavy drapery, old furniture...
This house museum is also haunted by the living Bulgarians on staff. The scowling ticket attendants, and the strict stares of the lurking guards add to the oppressive atmosphere. As if they personally feel haunted by troubled Bulgarian history.