Syfy’s Ghost Mine debuted this Wednesday, introducing the world to an 80-year-old mine with a tragic history and a haunting reputation. The show is set in a rural Oregon, but tales of ghostly miners certainly aren’t limited to the United States. Nearly every nation has a unique ghostly legend, and in Ukraine there’s talk of shubin, a spirit said to dwell within the mines of Donbas.
Legends about shubin’s motives vary, but most portray the spirit in one of two ways: a dead miner who offers help and warns others of danger or a former mining master who murdered workers and hopes to claim more victims.
One well-known legend tells of a miner who became lost in a mine after the lights blinked out and left him grappling for the exit. The man despaired for his life, but was saved when a mysterious figure with a flashing beacon led him to safety. However, shubin isn’t always so helpful. Another common tale speaks of an evil mining master who killed his employees and continues his terrible deeds by causing deadly mining accidents. Some miners are so unnerved by the shubin legend that they invite church officials to cast out evil spirits from a mine.
Whether or not shubin is real, the infamous spirit has become ingrained in Ukrainian culture. Bars and entertainment venues name their business after the ghost of the mines, and the spirit has even inspired its own brand of beer – Good Shubin.
Ghost Mine airs every Wednesday at 10/9 Central. As for shubin, the spirit is still said to lurk deep within the mines of eastern Ukraine.