A homeless man has been living in a cemetery, and the grave of a family for more than 15 years. Former construction worker, Bratislav Stojanovic, lost his job and home and decided to find shelter in a cemetery in Nis, Serbia.
The 43-year-old could not satisfy his need for food and shelter when he lost his home and job. But that didn’t stop him from trying to survive.
Bratislav may be considered a homeless man; however, he claims living in the tomb of a family buried in the cemetery 100 years ago is comfortable and cozy.
Stojanovic says he feels more comfortable living with the dead.
It all started with Bratislav scavenging cigarette butts and candles around the cemetery. He noticed how quiet, relaxing, and peaceful his future home was.
The homeless man told Reuters more about how he decided to move into the tomb.
“As other homeless people robbed me on several occasions, I’ve decided to find a place where no one would bother me, not even police. I first slept in the open, but as it was cold, I have decided to enter an open tomb. The concrete slab was open so I went in.”
This homeless man expressed how he prefers living with the dead rather than the living.
Bratislav offers an explanation.
“I was afraid in the beginning, but I got used to it in time. Now I am more afraid of the living than of the dead.”
Bratislav is still out of work. Nevertheless, he finds nourishment by getting food from the city’s garbage dumpster. In fact, he’s proud that he doesn’t revert to panhandling.
Amazingly, here’s what this homeless man says about the food he’s able to find to eat.
“It is not as bad as you think. It’s amazing what people throw away.”
During the winter nights, Stojanovic keeps himself warm by lighting candles.
This homeless man is quite different for other homeless men. He has to scan the area before he leaves his home– a tomb in a cemetery. He is aware of the fact that when he emerges from the grave, he might inadvertently frighten someone.
According to Reuters, Bratislav shares his reasoning and strategy of crawling out of the grave.
“Whenever I want to crawl out I first check if there’s someone around, otherwise I could scare a person to death.”
Stojanovic added he likes to watch people come and go into the Nis churches.
“When someone I like enters the church I count the time he spends inside, no one spends more than half an hour, most often a couple of minutes.”
Bratislav Stojanovic doesn’t make any money, he gets his food from a garbage dumpster, and lives in a grave in a cemetery. He can definitely be considered as a homeless man. However, Bratislav is a lonely man, as well.
Bratislav recalls once having a girlfriend.
“I had a girlfriend, also homeless, but ‘she’s gone.’ She died, but it is nicer to say that she’s gone.”
The names of the family that’s buried in the tomb Bratislav has been living in for over 15 years is unknown; the letters that were originally chiseled on the gravestone have since faded.
Bratislav hasn’t seen his mother in more than seven years. She abandoned him when he was a child and started a new family. Bratislav’s father died a little more than five years ago.
Stojanovic said, “I had a friend who also lived at the cemetery, but he left as his grave was damp.”
Some people consider Bratislav an intelligent man, capable of living in such extreme conditions with little aid from anyone. On the other hand, others may think of this homeless man’s lifestyle as eccentric and the man may possibly be insane.
Nonetheless, for 15 years, you might say this lonely homeless man from Nis, Serbia has been able to sleep in a peaceful, relaxing, and quiet location.
[Featured image courtesy of Sasa Djordjevic]