The haunted house of Caboga family
Author's note: The story was translated from the article written by Nikša Violić and published in the local newspaper GlasGrada, number 588, on 24. of June 2016.
The renaissance house of the family Caboga (Kabužić) in Komolac, is located in the area called Tenturija, directly on the shore of the river of Dubrovnik in Komolac. It is surrounded by a spacious garden with walkways and is enclosed by a high wall. This is where the branch of the old noble family Caboga lived that is mentioned in the archives of Dubrovnik already in the year of 1279. In the 14th century, the Cabogas were among 18 of the most influential noble families in Dubrovnik, and they belonged to the top layer of Dubrovnik's aristocracy. Among the prominent members of this noble family were Marojica Caboga (1630 - 1692) and Austrian field marshal, the count Bernardo Caboga (1783 - 1855).
In the early 19th century, Vlaho Caboga (1779 -1854) lived here, whose great-great-grandfather was famous Marojica Caboga. After the French army left Dubrovnik, Austria and England designated Vlaho Caboga as the provisional governor for the area of Dubrovnik. It's believed that his incompetence has contributed a lot to a failure of the attempt to re-establish the Republic. He was despised by many citizens in such a manner that even his relatives avoided him. He got the nickname "Traditur "(the traitor). He spent his last years in this house in Komolac. He was buried at the cemetery in front of the church of the Holy Spirit in Komolac, among peasants and serfs. This was unusual since at that time noblemen were buried at the cemetery of St Michael in Lapad.
This old summer house at Tenturija in Komolac was the place where it often frightened, mostly at night. Household members experienced it as well as the guests that stayed overnight. Even the old people that lived in the area called it the house of ghosts.
The new tenants, who had bought the residence after the death of Vlaho Caboga, went on one occasion on a long trip out of the city. They asked one of their friends to guard the house and to sleep in it while they were away. And even if he had heard the stories about the hauntings in the house, our hero still accepted the invitation to keep the home safe until the owners would come back. He chose one of the rooms on the first floor as his bedroom.
It was his first night and sometime around midnight, the noises of clanking and banging of metal and ceramic dishes from downstairs woke him up from his deep sleep. He heard the glassware breaking in display cabinets, the lids of old chests were creaking. The glass was clinking, the wooden chairs were moving. He immediately thought the thief had broken into the house. So, when he decided to get out of the bed, he heard heavy steps climbing the stone staircase and then walking on the stone floor of the parlour upstairs. He quickly rose up and just as he wanted to open the door, someone coughed loudly in the dark corner of the room. Eeriness seized him. He turned on the light, but there was no one there. He searched the room but found nobody.
Just as he wanted to leave the room, the footsteps in the parlour made a sound as if they were approaching his bedroom. The doorknob moved, and the light went off on its own. A heavy, cold arm caught his shoulder. He swung his arms around in the air, but in vain. In fear, somehow he reached the switch and turned on the light. The bedroom door was closed, and the room was empty. He was petrified with fear. The noises of clatter and the creaking footsteps were coming from downstairs once again. He heard the gruff coughing too, but this time it was coming from outside. He went back to bed, while the light was on an entire night and he prayed to Lord that it would stay on. He believed that he was not alone in the house.
Scared, sleep-deprived and with great anguish, he welcomed the morning. Tortured by the nightmare, he went downstairs. Everything was in its place inside cabinets and trunks, while the front door was locked. Our hero no longer returned to this haunted house. Since that night it stood alone with the shadows of its invisible tenants that haven't found peace at the old cemetery of Holy Spirit in Komolac.
Later, when he told the owners everything that he had encountered in their home, the old lady just laughed and shrugged off his story. She said: „My dear friend, how would we live in this house if we would be bothered by everything that happens here during the night. We see and hear things, but we pretend not to, and it's for the best.“
Reference: GlasGrada - 588 - Friday 24.06.2016. article: Kuća duhova, by Nikša Violić
Images borrowed from the facebook group Historical images of Dubrovnik