It’s Halloween and that means it’s time to get spooky. Did you know that up to 75% of Italians believe in ghosts? You know why?
Because they are Latin, they are full of passion, always guided by emotions and of course because their country is filled with creepy haunted places. Lots of passionate murders, love suicides and father-daughter drama has happened in Italy in the last centuries and we want to tell you all about them. Let’s ‘wander’ among the spirits!
1POVEGLIA ISLAND – VENICE
We could easily say that this haunted place is a more beautiful and elegant version of the Shutter Island. It is definitely one of the most haunted places in the world, let alone in Italy and it is totally off-limits for the visitors. Don’t worry, you can still admire it while taking a boat ride in Italy. The story is controversial and scary, because we are not talking about a building, but a whole island of death.
It is said that the haunted island has hosted over 160.000 plague infected souls, meaning that 50% of the soil consists of human remains.You can actually see parts of human skeletons in the open air and feel weird presence near you at all times. It hides a long tradition of human suffering, being known as a city of barbarians, a battlement station, a place where soldiers were captured and burnt alive, a bubonic plague quarantine station and checkpoint and as an asylum for the mentally ill.
Its final status is the creepiest one, because it includes a sadistic doctor. The story says that the doctor used to perform horrible experiments on the patients, being convinced that lobotomies represented the perfect way of treatment. It is said that he used hammers, nails, drills and chisels while torturing the mentally ill. Other mysterious experiments were performed on patients in the hospital’s bell tower, in which they stayed awake at night scared to death by the ghosts they already heard and screaming of pain and despair. The doctor soon began to be harassed by spirits and went insane, throwing himself from the top of the bell tower, in which he used to commit his atrocities.
2CASTELLO DI MONTEBELLO
This castle is haunted because of one of the most famous creepy stories in Italy, a mysterious murder of a little girl. On June 21st 1375, the 5 year old daughter of Lord Ugolinuccio da Montebello, named Guendalina was playing inside the house. She was always guarded by two men because she was an albino and couldn’t get out in the sun or in the village. Her blue hair and eyes made everyone call her Azzurrina – The Little Blue One.
At one point father came up and asked the guards where the little girl was, but she was nowhere to be found. Running after her cloth ball downstairs, Azzurrina was forever lost in the dungeon. It is believed that her ghost is still in the castle and cries out on summer solstice every five years.
3EVIL TOWER – CASTELLO DI POPPI
One of the scariest haunted places in Italy, The Evil Tower, is supposed to be wandered by the spirit of Matelda, a beautiful Italian maid who was charged with the murder of her lover, after she’d made passionate love with him. Matelda received a death sentence and it seems that her ghost is haunting the castle’s visitors at regular intervals, as if she’s coming for the laundry or for cleaning the room.
4BOTANICAL GARDEN – LUCCA
This is one of the most beautiful haunted places in Italy and was owned by the famous Lucida Mansi. The legend says that the Lucchesi noblewoman was obsessed with her beauty and with her young lovers. She used to kill each one of them after a night of love-making by making them fall into a trapdoor with sharp blades beneath. In order to not lose her beauty she sold her soul to the devil in exchange for another 30 years of youth.The legend also tells that if you visit the Lake from the botanic garden and put your face down in the water, you can see Lucinda’s expression as if she was looking in the mirror. In the moonlight night it is believed that people may see the burning carriage driving underneath or crossing the garden.
5CASA DELLE ANIME – VOLTRI, GENOA
The list of haunted houses of Italy continues with the legend of an inn, owned by a family with mental disorders that used to kill its customers. They used to drop huge pieces of furniture on the victims and squash them ignoring completely their horrible screams. Then they’d steal their money and throw them in a large hole turned into a mass grave. After WW II the haunted house was re-inhabited by a family who declared that they used to hear at night huge objects and crockery falling on the floor and making loud noises.
6MONASTERA DI ST. ANNA FOLIGNO
This is the haunted place where you can hear Sister Teresa Margherita Gesta’s mourning and also see her creepy burnt handprint on the door of her fellow sister Anna Felix. Sister Teresa died here on November 4th 1895, of an apoplectic stroke at the age of 62, after 34 years of religious life and it is believed that her ghost still haunts the same room she lived in, because she suffered so much in Purgatory.
7MANIERO DELLA ROTTA
Torino seems to be one of the most active places of earth, in terms of occult energies. On our list of most haunted places in Italy is the Maniero della Rotta di Moncalieri castle, a privately owned and abandoned castle that has lots of creepy ‘action’. Plenty of sightings have been noticed there, especially one of a monk, dressed in the style of the crusades. It is also supposed to be haunted by knights, ladies, knaves and hangmen that lived there or passed by on their road to Moncalieri, traveling on the 10 km dusty road to the city.
This is another haunted place in Italy that deserves our attention. It is believed that King Gioacchino Murat, who was shot to death just after Napoleon’s defeat, in 1815, still seeks for revenge inside this castle.
9MONASTERO SANTA RADEGONDA
This haunted place has a long controversial story that includes the famous Viscontis. During the second half of the XIV century the bastard daughter of Bernabò Visconti, Bernarda, was locked in the Rocchetta di Porta Nuova for adultery. She died after a seven months on only water and bread. She seems to be appearing frequently in the cloisters of the Church of Santa Radegonda, where you can see her screaming at her father but she also did some other appearances in Bologna and Florence, as a prostitute and as a bride.
10 CA’DARIO – VENICE
This is a haunted palace that stays in the top 3 haunted places in Italy for its strange ability to kill all the people who own it. It was built in 1487 and despite its beauty, the building seems to not fit the rest of the area architecturally. The castle was designed and owned by Giovanni Dario and stayed in his family until the 19th century, when the cursed nature of the building started making its way in more than 13 people’s lives.
The first two victims were actually two of Dario’s children, a suicide and a murder. The history continues up until recently, its last death being of Raul Gardini’s, who commited suicide in 1993, under suspicious circumstances. The palace is on sale, but no one wants to buy it. We wonder why…?
11CASTELLO DI FENIS – AOSTA
This is a beautiful castle that is worth visiting because of its beauty and its recently observed hauntings. Tourist claimed that they heard noises from a floor upstairs that is closed for everyone. The Region has started an investigation and so can you, whilst visiting it! Muhaha!
In this village of a few souls, there’s a tiny house that is believed to be one of the most haunted places in Italy. A young violinist used to live in it years and years ago, and spend all of his time playing his violin. One day, he disappeared leaving back only his violin case. No one knows if he killed himself or was killed, but one thing is sure, no one wants to live there anymore. Anyone who had spent a night in the house swears to have heard a violin playing and terrifying screams coming from the walls.
12PALAZZO MALVASIA – VILLA CLARA
According to the legend, this palace has the well-deserved status of haunted place because of a horrible father-daughter murder. It all begins with a young girl Clara, who is thought to be the daughter of famous noble Alessandri, who was walled up alive because of her paranormal abilities. Her father got scared of her clairvoyance and walled her up in the early 1900.
There is also a second version of events, in which the father killed her because of a secret love affair with a family member or a servant. The main idea is that she is still in the house and you can hear her ghost crying and asking for help.
13VILLA SANTORO – SALERNO
Another haunted place in Italy is actually an abandoned house located in Salerno which is still uninhabited because of its creepy legend. It says that a very rich couple used to live there with its servants. One day the man came home to find his wife making love with one of them. He got so angry that he killed them both, buried them in the garden and then planted an apple tree right on the spot of the grave. People who tried to live there say that they’ve seen shadows and have been hearing horrible voices coming from some rooms.
14VILLA MAGNONI – CONA, FERRARA
Let’s talk about the next haunted place from Italy, this unusual house which has all its windows walled-up, except one. The story says that after many attempts of contacting the owner for it to be sold, everyone gave up, except a group of teens that wanted to explore it in the late 80s. Once they entered the house, they started hearing children singing in the garden but couldn’t see anybody. Looking up they got to see an old woman scolding them, insulting them and telling them to leave.
After leaving the haunted house, they had a horrible car accident in which three of them died. The fourth couldn’t remember the experience and didn’t even know where the house was located after the crash. All the windows were covered by the villagers, but weeks later, one of them was uncovered. Guess which! The one the old lady stood out at. The villa is still abandoned and on sale. Would you dare to buy it or even visit it?
15PALAZZO CARMAGNOLA – MILAN
This palace was built in the 14th century and parts of it are used now as a theater and as the domicile for the National Comission for Companies and the Exchange. The thing is that some legends give it the haunted place title, being known for two famous ghosts. Its original owner, Count of Carmagnola – Francesco Bussone and the famous Lady with Ermine – Cecilia Gallerani seem to have made themselves visible on All Soul’s Day – November the 2nd, staring out the window. He died of decapitation, while she died of natural death.
16PALAZZO DONN’ANNA – NAPOLI
This is one of the most popular haunted places in Italy, because of its story. It is said that its owner Donn’Anna, who also gives the name to the palace, was known for her sexual exploits. She used to make love with her lovers and then dump them in a trapdoor. There are two sides of the story. Some say that the trapdoor was directly pointing at the sea, while others say that underneath it were alive crocodiles brought directly from Africa. The palace is not only haunted by the dead men, but also by some other ghost.
Two hundred years later, the place was inherited by Princess Anna Carafa who used to compete with her niece Mercede de la Torre for a lover. One night they fought and Mercede disappeared forever. Her ghost is believed to be haunting the place, together with the rest of the souls, wandering the rooms and screaming. Local fishers were horrified by the atrocities among the years and some say you can still hear the screams at the sea.
17ROCCA DI MAIOLO – RIMINI
This haunted place has one of the strangest stories you’ve ever heard. It is actually a disappeared small village that had the whole rock which was built on turned upside-down on 29th of May in 1700. This destroyed everything and killed all the inhabitants. According to the rumors the people who lived there used to practice some rituals similar to the witch Sabbaths and orgies, called “The Angelic Dance”. It is believed that the ghosts of the dead ones are still dancing and wandering the place, because they can’t find inner peace.
18DEVIL MONK’S MONASTERY
This is a haunted place with a story that gives you shivers. Its legend says that one day a scared traveler stopped by a monastery and asked desperately for help. He was welcomed, fed and offered shelter so he decided to pay back the monks by working in the monastery. Years later he decided to become a monk, but after he made his religious vows, he fell in love with a woman.
Soon he started thinking she was a witch and began torturing her for confession. The woman died and he lost his mind, changing his appearance and starting to scare everyone around him. Soon all the monks and most of the villagers left the village, because of some suspicious murders everyone knew he was behind.
One day a lost homeless couple asked for help and the ‘demonic’ monk welcomed them. The next day the man was sent in the village with a carriage having his skull broken and the woman was nowhere to be found. The ‘demonic’ monk was hanged at the order of the king, but his ghost is still wandering the monastery.
This haunted place was a hospital built around 1930 by Mussolini and used for treating Tuberculosis. The Italian ghostbusters say that they noticed the ghost of a little girl playing in the garden and running around the halls. It is also claimed to be hunted by all the people who died there and also by an avenging bloody woman who was killed by her family. Near the hospital used to live a mysterious family who used to throw all the unwanted guests into a well of the castle, which had sharp blades at the bottom.
20CASIN DEGLI SPIRITI – VENICE
Let’s talk about an other haunted place from Italy which is believed to have been haunted for centuries. It is an elegant palace facing a charming bay in the northern part of Cannaregio that served as a location to many religious sects which used to invoke spirits and demons there. It is also haunted by Luzzo, a famous 16th painter that killed himself because of his unfulfilled love for Cecilia, Giorgione’s lover.
It is said that his ghost is wandering the rooms of the palace, weeping for his impossible love. The story continues with a murder which happened in the 1950s. A young woman was cut into pieces, put in a trunk and thrown in the lagoon. Her body was discovered many years later and the palace was considered to be a haunted place never to be inhabited again. Even the fishermen avoid to sail its waters.
21PALAZZO MASTELLI – VENICE
This ancient Venetian palace is believed to be one of the most haunted places in Italy, because of its troubled history and mysterious legend. It says that three very rich merchants named Rioba, Afani and Sandi tried to sell a poor quality fabric to a Venetian lady for a large amount of money around 1100 AD. After the fraud was discovered, the woman gave them cursed money which turned them into stone statues. You can admire them in the square behind the palace and also visit the place, which is really creepy.
22CASTELLO DI BARDI – PARMA
Bardi Castle is known for its legend and is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Italy. It is said that in the 14th century, a young officer called Moroello fell in love with beautiful Soleste, a noble family daughter. Their love couldn’t be public because he wasn’t rich and noble enough for her and the family would’ve never given permission for marriage. While the young officer was at the battle, Soleste kept waiting for him at the castle.
Some weeks later, she saw a group of soldiers approaching the castle, carrying the enemy’s flag in sign of victory.She didn’t understand their gesture and thought her lover was killed, so she threw herself off the high castle wall and died. When Moroello found out what happened to his love, he decided to join her in death and jumped off one of the castle’s towers. His ghost is believed to be still wandering the castle grounds trying to find Soleste but the Italian ghostbusters reported that they managed to take photos of a monk’s ghost and not of the young unfortunate lover.