Like Seeing A Ghost
The car had driven away before anyone could react. After the car had stopped in front of the gate, the man stepped out and closed the passenger door.
The family looked on with wide eyes, not believing what they saw. Was there a ghost in their midst? Were their minds playing cruel tricks on them?
The Villagers Were Shocked
Bacau, a city in Romania is well known for its colorful culture. The outskirts of the city, however, are mainly home to small villages.
Rural life here was not easy. Mainly farmers, the villagers mostly eeked out a living from cattle and agriculture. Usually quiet and uneventful, in 1991, a remote village in Eastern Bacau would experience a tragic event.
The Family Never Expected It
Vasile Gorgos was a simple family man. He often commuted to the city where he sought buyers for the cattle he raised.
His trips were ordinarily short and he always returned a few days later. On this occasion, however, as he said goodbye, Vasile’s family was unaware of just how long that goodbye would actually last.
Nothing Seemed Unusual At First
When Vasile boarded a train for his business trip, he had been sprightly for a 63-year-old. His trips to market fairs had never previously been a cause for concern.
This time, however, a sign of trouble first came when he failed to check in with his wife. Not worrying too much initially, it quickly became apparent something was very wrong.
The Family Grew Anxious
As the days went by with no word from Vasile, his family grew worried. Nothing made sense. He had always been responsible and loyal to his family.
It was not uncommon in Romania for people to abandon their responsibilities. Vasile had never seemed the type though. The evidence was now beginning to point to something more nefarious.
They Became Desperate
The days passed by agonizingly and the family grew more anxious. Eventually, the authorities were called in and Vasile was reported missing.
Weeks went by and there was still no sign. Even the authorities were baffled as Vasile seemed to have vanished into thin air. Their initial hope now evaporating, the family began fearing the worst.
They Were Heart Broken
The weeks turned into months. Still, without even the faintest clue of what had become of Vasile, the family suspected that something terrible must have happened.
The tragedy was not knowing—he may have been kidnapped, lost, hurt, or worse. Unable to prove anything conclusively, they faced a heartbreaking decision.
Unable to continue living with constant speculation, the Gorgos family began holding regular memorial services for him. The entire village joined them in remembering their husband and father.
Eventually, the months slowly turned into years. The family finally had to face a painful truth. Pressured by the authorities and for legal purposes, Vasile was tragically pronounced dead.
Moving On Was Hard
Life without Vasile was hard but his family was forced to move forward. Time had marched on relentlessly. The family changed and even grew, but they never forgot Vasile in their hearts.
Seemingly in the blink of an eye, thirty years passed until Vasile became nothing more than a tragic memory. Now, the family was faced with the tremendous challenge of getting over their grief for the missing, beloved late father. But it didn’t end there. Soon, their tragic story took a more eerie and unnerving tone.
Vasile’s wife, Bianca, had a lot on her plate. Aside from being crushed by her grief, she had to manage her late husband’s cattle and properties.
In the blink of an eye, she found herself having to step up from her former housewife duties to become the sole breadwinner in the household. And that wasn’t all there was to it.
Twice A Parent
She still had to be there for her children and twice their needed parent. Her days and nights were filled with anguished thoughts about whether she would be able to raise them properly in the absence of their father.
Luckily enough, she could count on her brothers and Vasile’s who often visited the house and helped Bianca with anything she needed. However, this came with additional problems.
Small villages such as Bianca’s are often a fertile breeding ground for slander and rumors. Most people live rather uneventful and monotonous lives, and the easiest way to make them a bit more exciting is following a story, real or imaginary, about someone they know.
For the weeks following her husband’s disappearance, Bianca was the object of everyone’s compassion. But that changed soon.
Some people in town became suspicious of Vasile’s brother’s recurrent visits to Bianca. One may think that they had no particular reasons to do so; after all, Bianca was in great need of any help anyone could bring her, and the man was her deceased husband’s brother.
It was only natural that Bianca’s brother-in-law volunteered to make Vasile’s loss a little lighter and less painful. Or at least, that’s what one would think.
However, some people in town didn’t feel that way. Some frowned upon Bianca’s closeness to Vasile’s brother; some even hinted that they may be having an affair.
A part of it perhaps had to do with the village’s conservative mindset; maybe they didn’t like that Bianca had stepped up to manage her late husband’s properties and would rather see her in the role of the reclusive, eternally grieving widow. But was that all there was to it?
Bianca received Vasile’s brother’s visits more and more often, and the two of them seemed to be getting closer by the day. The man would play with his nephews and it seemed like he was becoming a second father to them.
People started thinking that Bianca was getting over her grief too quickly. However, the widow wasn’t concerned about those rumors: she thought that, with all she had on her plate, there were other things that merited her attention more. But that soon changed.
The rumors didn’t stop, and people in the village started developing an animosity towards Bianca. Every time she went to the marketplace, she was received with hostile stares; some shops refused to serve her, and one time someone even spit on the ground after she walked by.
When it happened, Bianca turned back immediately, furious and ready to confront the rude man. But then she thought twice. Was she really in a position to provoke those people’s hostility? But the worst was yet to come.
A Frightening Incident
That same night, something happened that made Bianca fear for her own safety and her children’s. After making them dinner, she escorted them to bed, tucked them in, and kissed them goodnight.
Then, she went back to the kitchen to wash the dishes, tired after a long day, and eager to go to bed herself. And right then, something happened that made her blood run cold.
Sound Of Broken Glass
Bianca suddenly heard a crash and the sound of shattering glass behind her. It came from the living room. Quickly, she ran towards the scene and what she saw made her heart drop to her knees.
Someone had thrown a rock through her window and completely shattered it. She ran to the door and opened it, looking for the culprit. But there seemed to be nobody in the house’s surroundings.
Bianca returned to the house, frightened to her core. Did that have something to do with all the hostility she was facing in town? How far could the smearing villagers go?
She went to bed filled with worry. Should she go to the police, or would that just be a one-time thing? But just a few days later, something else happened.
A Phone Call
One evening, Bianca heard her phone ringing. She was waiting for some pesticides she had ordered to arrive, so she thought it would be the delivering company.
She picked up the phone. But what she heard on the other side of the line wasn’t what she expected; as a matter of fact, it was something nothing in the world could have prepared her for.
After picking up the phone, all she heard on the other side of the line was someone breathing heavily, even panting at times. “Hello? Who is this?” she asked. Then, a chilling realization hit her.
The breathing and panting sounded exactly like Vasile’s. She could have recognized it even if a million years had passed since the last time. “Vasile? Is that you?” she asked. And right then, the person on the other side hung up.
What Was That?
Bianca dropped the phone and her mind went blank. What had just happened? The first thing she did was calling Vasile’s brother to tell him about the call.
They both went to the police. The local chief of police told them he would put his agents to work again in order to find out the truth about the disappearance. However, they never got any news. After a while, the rumors and hostility faced by Bianca started fading and Vasile became nothing but a memory. Until one day.
They Never Expected It
It was a normal day. The family had long since given up hope of ever seeing Vasile again. It started when a strange, red car approached the village entrance.
The passenger door was opened and an old man stepped out. The family and other villagers were stunned beyond belief. The man was much older but—unmistakeably—it was Vasile Gorgos.
No One Knew Where He Came From
With everyone stunned by the old man’s return, nobody had reacted fast enough to write down the car’s registration number or see the driver before it sped off.
Despite being 73 years old now, there was no doubting that this was Vasile. As shocking as it was to see him again, his unexpected reappearance was not the biggest surprise.
It Made No Sense
In yet another unexpected twist to this tale, Vasile had returned wearing the exact same clothes he had been on the day of his disappearance.
The family had so many questions. However, It was soon apparent there were no answers. The reason—when questioned—Vasile was convinced it was still 1991 and believed he had only been gone a few days.
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Vasile Gorgos certainly proves this. His story became a national sensation, causing much speculation.
There are many theories for why Vasile cannot remember what happened to him or where he was for thirty years. Chief among these theories is that he suffers from dementia. Some experts, however, have a much more extreme theory.
Is It Possible?
Some experts believe that Vasile had fallen into a kind of “fugue” state. This affliction might have caused him to experience a dissociative state—meaning he may truly believe that he was never gone.
However, there are other different theories about what happened to Vasile. Many people on the Internet are sharing their impressions and hypotheses about what he was up to for all those years.
“I think had a second family, left voluntarily, and never intended to return to his first family. Perhaps his second partner died and he realized that he had no one to take care of him,” says one Reddit user.
“Still, if that were the case, then surely someone would remember him from his second life and speak up. Or perhaps he left Romania to live elsewhere. I don’t think this is as mysterious as Mr. Gorgos would like us to believe.” But there are more theories.
“My theory:. On the day he vanished he had some type of misfortune and ended up in a monastery. Romania is an Orthodox country. Monks, especially good ones, might not ask too many questions if he just decided to stay and could still work.”
“Once his mind started to go, the Abbot arranged his return. also possible he went over the border maybe Moldavia and that really is remote!” Some people have even more outlandish theories, like the following:
“Dimensional glitch. He arrived at home on schedule but decades later instead of hours later and looking old,” suggests a Reddit user. “He was clearly abducted by aliens. They got tired of him and returned him,” jokes another.
What is your theory? What do you think happened to Vasile while he was away, and what could explain his strange behavior after coming back?
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.