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The Girl from the Chest: 12 Years of Life in a Confined Space

That morning, the milkmaid Lyubov Mikhalitsyna, a resident of the village of Alexandrovskoye in the Kirov Region, Russia, did not show up for work. Colleagues were not particularly surprised: the woman did not lead the most exemplary lifestyle.

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But when she didn’t show up on the next shift, the milkmaids got worried and decided to check on Lyuba. The door to Mikhalitsyna’s house was open, and the woman herself was lying on the floor with no signs of life.

The women called the police. When the district police officer examined the room, he heard some movement in the corner, fenced off by a curtain. What is this? Cat, rats?

But on the stove, huddled in a corner and looking around in fright, like a wild animal, sat a girl – disheveled, dressed in tatters not for her age. But Mikhalitsyna had no children. Then whose child is this?

The chest in which the mother kept the girl.
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Upon closer examination, the girl turned out to be quite an adult, adolescence. And she really was the daughter of Lyubov.

Mikhalitsyna, fearing the condemnation of fellow villagers, gave birth to a girl at home. She did not call doctors, did not register the child. And as a cradle, and then as a place to live, she determined a chest for her.

The daughter lived in this chest. Occasionally, her mother let her go to the “big world” to eat and relieve herself.

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Due to the fixed position of the body, the child’s skeleton was deformed, the limbs did not grow. Height at the age of 12 did not exceed 60 cm. The girl was sent to a psycho-neurological boarding school, where she hardly got used to the company of other people. She did not see other people besides her mother.

The teenager did not know about normal food. As well as about the elementary rules of hygiene. The girl didn’t even have a name. And the staff of the boarding school called her Masha.

Masha today.

At first, Masha did not even talk to the staff and other patients. Just scolded. Apparently, this was the only vocabulary used by the mother.

Masha is now 45 years old. She does not remember the terrible childhood or tries not to remember. Psychologists of the institution believe that this is how the mechanism of self-defense was activated.

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Despite health problems, the woman tries not to lose heart and is friends with other patients.

The saddest thing in history is that the mother actually broke the life of the child solely because she was afraid of public opinion and censure of her fellow villagers.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.