Who Was Baba Vanga, The Blind Bulgarian Mystic?

Baba Vanga, or Vangeliya Pandeva Surcheva, was a blind Bulgarian girl with a gift of foresight. During her childhood years and adulthood, Vanga faced many difficulties. However, she came out strong from each one and developed a unique determination to be of service to others.

Everyone who knocked on her door received assistance from her. Vanga never turned away anyone who came looking for her foresight or healing powers.

The eminent clairvoyant is renowned for several of her historical prophecies that came to pass. Continue reading to learn more about the history of the blind mystic.

Vanghelia Gusterova with her husband, 1936.


Birth And Early Life Of Vangeliya Pandeva Surcheva

A daughter was born to Paraskeva Surcheva and Pando Surchev on October 3rd, 1911, in Strumica. 

The girl was born prematurely with many health complications, and she was not given a name. 

This was in line with the folk custom according to which a baby was not named if it was likely to perish.

When the baby was two months old, growing stronger, and had a better chance of survival, a stranger on the street named her Vangeliya.

This was yet another naming custom that involved the grandmother of the child going out into the street on the infant’s naming day and asking the first stranger she saw for a name.

However, the first stranger gave her the name Andromache, but the grandmother did not like it as she considered it “too Greek.” 

She decided to try a second time and turned to the next stranger she encountered. This person named her Vangeliya. The future mystic Vangeliya Pandeva Surcheva was given this name as a result. 

Vangeliya had a challenging childhood. Her mother passed when she was just three. Her father, an Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization activist, was forcefully enlisted in the Bulgarian army during the First World War. 

Due to this, Vanga was left alone, depending on the charity and care of neighbors and relatives for most of her youth. 

When Vangeliya was seven, her father returned from the war. However, Strumica was now ceded to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes). 

Vangeliya’s father, considered a pro-Bulgarian activist, was stripped of all of his wealth and property. This left the father-daughter duo in poverty for many years.

Vangeliya was a brilliant little girl, considered smarter than kids her own age. She was known to invent games; even back then, her favorite was “The healer and the afflicted.” 

She loved to play the healer, collecting herbs and making concoctions for her “sick” friends. 

Her widowed father eventually remarried, completing their family, and normalcy returned to their lives. 

However, it did not last for long. Their financial status had not improved, and as it was only worsening, her father decided to move back to their hometown Macedonia where they lived in a new town called Novo Selo. 

In Novo Selo, in 1923, a fateful incident forever changed Vangaliya’s life.

The Accident That Took Away Vanga’s Eyesight

There are many stories about what happened on that gloomy day. Some narrations say that Vangeliya was playing in the fields with her cousins when a storm hit. 

Others state that the girl had gone to the outskirts of the village with a group of friends. 

Whatever the case, after the storm had calmed down, all the other children were found except Vangeliya. 

A thorough search ensued in the morning right after Vangeliya went missing. It ended in the evening when the party found the distressed girl under a pile of sand and garbage. 

Her eyes were terribly injured and filled with sand, so she could not even open them.

When questioned about what had happened, the girl’s answer made many think it was a fabricated tale. Vanga described a whirlwind that had knocked out everyone except herself. 

According to her, it picked her up, carried her several hundred meters, and threw her into a field. In this life-changing incident, Vanga claimed that when the whirlwind picked her up, she felt someone touch her before she lost consciousness. 

People who found Vanga that day bore witness that the girl was very frightened and that her eyes were affected the most. Vanga was in immense pain. Her wounds were severe and needed immediate medical attention.

Expensive procedures and special medication was required to treat and cure her eyes. However, considering the financial difficulty that the family was facing, Vanga could only receive a partial operation that healed her injuries but left her without sight. 

She lived with her family for a couple more years. In 1925, Vanga was sent to a city named Zeum, where she attended a school for the blind for the next three years. Not much is known about her school life. 

However, it is known that she was taught basic housework like cooking, cleaning, and knitting. She was also taught to play the piano and read Braille. She might have spent a few more years here if not for her stepmother’s untimely demise.

Her father called the girl back to take responsibility for the home and care for her younger siblings. 

Birth Of Baba Vanga 

Back in her village, Vanga reconnected with her old friends. And between cooking, cleaning, and other household chores, Vanga also found time to make prophecies for her friends. 

It started as a joke; however, as more predictions passed, Vanga realized her “true powers.” 

She was already experiencing unusual things in her dreams. She could hear voices, see things, and even talk to the deceased and plants. Later, she predicted events that would come true.

Her fame as a clairvoyant came from predicting the fate of young girls following a custom. The Bulgarian custom involved girls throwing objects in a vase to determine their fate. 

The jug was placed in a yard, and the girls threw in objects one by one. 

This always took place at night, and the next morning, the girls would gather and wait for the oracle to declare their fates. 

The oracle was usually one among the group; however, this group of friends always reserved the role of the oracle for Vanga, and the girl never disappointed. 

Whatever Vanga predicted would come true a few days later. As her accuracy increased, she became more and more famous. Soon, the word of a clairvoyant making prophecies spread far and wide. 

However, a new tragedy struck the girl in 1939. This time, in the form of lung disease—pleurisy. And this time, it was the doctors who made a prophecy—that of Vanga’s demise. However, Vanga cheated her end once again and survived to live many more years. 

There is yet another story from the same period—that of a man on a white horse. 

In this story, an interesting guest visited Vanga on the eve of her 30th birthday. He wore the guise of a shining wanderer on a white horse. 

According to tales, the guest informed Vanga that she would do many great things in the future. He told her that she would tell people about their demise and the future and that she need not be afraid as he would be there guiding her and giving her the right words. 

The tale may seem just like it sounds—a tale. However, it may well be true considering how drastically Vanga’s life changed after 1941. 

The Seer Vanga 

Vanga helped peasants find their lost cattle; they would find them in the exact location that Vanga predicted. 

She also helped families concerned about their male members who had gone to war. The story goes that she consistently predicted correctly and stated the truth, no matter how hard or disheartening it was. She foresaw if they were ever coming back. 

As her renown grew, more and more people began approaching her for her soothsaying abilities. 

Vanga not only helped people with her predictions but also with her healing abilities. Her medicine generally consisted of medicinal herbs. 

Soon, the Tsar of Bulgaria, Boris III, learned of the blind fortune-teller with psychic abilities. He came to visit her in 1942 and wanted to know about his end. 

And reportedly, she predicted exactly—in great precision. After this, her fame only went uphill, and the soothsayer had visitors daily.

In 1942, Vanga married a Bulgarian soldier, Dimitar Gushterov, and moved to a village near Patrich shortly after. She practiced soothsaying even in Patrich, and her fame never passed. 

However, her personal life was never satisfactory. First, her husband was recruited into the Bulgarian army and had to leave. Later, he became an alcoholic and passed away in 1962.

Baba Vanga in 1992. Photo by Пакко. CC BY-SA 3.0

Baba Vanga also predicted her end one month earlier before it happened in 1996. On August 11th, she succumbed to breast cancer. Many people from around the globe attended her funeral. 

Apart from helping people and making predictions of their future, the fortune-teller also made many predictions about the world. Most of these predictions have come true. As for the others, we must wait and see. 






1 thought on “Who Was Baba Vanga, The Blind Bulgarian Mystic?”

  1. You guys should definitely look into Bulgarian area 51 and her predictions for the future. They are pretty wild topics.

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