Thrill, adrenaline and fear, get ready for a journey into darkness and the esoteric. Let's discover together 10 haunted places in Italy.
October and November are the two months of the year that most appeal to the esoteric world, when thrill-seekers and mystery buffs go on the hunt for solutions and adrenaline by exploring places that were once full of life but are now abandoned because they are considered haunted places with ghosts and spirits.
There are many haunted places in Italy that attract tourists from all over the world, especially considering that the Italian city of Turin is part of the so-called 'esoteric triangle' or 'magic triangle' along with the cities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Lyon (France).
There are those who stay away out of fear or respect who instead challenge the supernatural to try and solve some mystery. Together we will try to identify 10 haunted places in Italy, cradle of stories and legends, between mysticism and reality.
Start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner - you're in it!
Haunted places in Italy
Italy is a beautiful country known the world over for its cuisine, and elegant tailoring, and anyone who visits it is enraptured because it is rich in history, culture, passion, and above all, magic!
Those who come to Italy very often go in search of its legends, its exciting stories, and many of these speak of curses, spirits, witches, or ghosts. Did you know that there is a real tourism industry dedicated to this topic,which is very active, especially in the Halloween season?
Well, there are many haunted places in Italy and we have chosen to tell you about the scariest and most terrifying ones. Come with us.
10. The witch of Villa Magnoni
In the heart of Cona, a small town in the province of Ferrara, lies Villa Magnoni, an abandoned ruin of what was once a luxurious mansion. The legend surrounding Villa Magnoni speaks of a witch and many witnesses tell of screams, moans and sightings coming from the Villa.
According to the legend, a witch, once the guardian of the mansion, wanted revenge on some youngsters from Ferrara who, in order to experience a bit of thrill and adrenalin or simply attracted by curiosity, decided to enter the villa in defiance of fear. It was the 1980s when the four boys went exploring. During their visit they heard the cry of a child, frightened to the core they ran for their lives but before they got into their car an old woman, looking out of one of the windows of the villa, shouted at them never to return. In their flight home, the four boys got into a car accident and only one of them survived, three of them died fatally.
The boy who survived told the authorities what had happened, and so the municipality of Ferrara, in order to prevent others from attempting the same adventure and ending up in some kind of accident, decided to have all the windows walled up, except one because it had no floor underneath due to a collapse. Villa Magnoni is one of the most haunted places in Italy.
9. Abandoned hospital in Colorno
When speaking of haunted places in Italy, mention must be made of the abandoned Colorno Hospital in the province of Parma. At one time this hospital was actually a Ducal Palace used as an emergency shelter when the cholera epidemic broke out in 1873.
It was supposed to be a temporary shelter but for many it ended up being a tomb. In addition to the sick, it gave refuge to vagrants, prostitutes and abandoned children. A place for those who had nothing and were lost or about to be lost. Hygienic conditions were precarious and infections proliferated peacefully. A shelter that became a psychiatric hospital.
What was supposed to be a hospital and then an asylum was actually a prison. The methods used on the patients were borderline human such as straitjackets, electroshocks, corrective sticks and of course bars on the windows. A frightening place that saw more dead patients coming out of its doors than living ones. Damned souls locked together in four walls until the end of time! Villa Magnoni is today one of the most haunted places in Italy.
8. Beelzebub's house in Cefalù
The Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù, Sicily, Italy. Used by Aleister Crowley as a temple and spiritual centre from 1920-1923.
The Sicilian town of Cefalù is home to one of the haunted places in Italy: the house of Beelzebub. According to legend, this is the home of the lord of darkness, a place of perdition and darkness. It once housed the ancient abbey of Aleister Crowley, one of the most famous writers and Satanists of his time, founder of modern occultism and creator of a religion based on sexual magic and the way of the left hand. Certainly no saint...
Crowley created a place where everyone could walk around naked, there was no modesty or decency, he painted the walls with pornographic images. Satanic prayers, animal sacrifices and acts of extreme sex with the use of drugs once took place in the house. When rumours of alleged acts of cannibalism and human sacrifice began to circulate in the village, Crowley was expelled from the village and the building was put up for sale.
Today the house is abandoned and is in a state of disrepair like the street leading to it. No one has ever made an offer to buy it since it was put up for sale and no one intends to share it with the devil himself. The house in Cefalù is one of the haunted places in Italy and is frightening at the very thought.
7. The Principality of Lucedio and the Devil's Score
In the municipality of Trino in Piedmont is the monastic complex of Lucedio, a monastery and abbey whose legends frighten the curious. The legend tells of the arrival of the devil in the principality of Lucedio and a curse against the Cistercian monks who lived there and cultivated rice.
The monks and novices who inhabited the principality began to have strange dreams and visions because witches, through dancing and singing in the nearby cemetery, evoked an evil presence. This presence took possession of the monks, driving them to abuses and abuses of power against the weakest, until someone managed to imprison this evil force and chain it in the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Vigne. It was an exorcist from Rome who exorcised the monks and succeeded in freeing them from the evil presence.
Inside the sanctuary there is a painting of an organ and inside it a very peculiar score because the first three opening chords are actually three closing and not opening chords, as if the score had been painted backwards. Coincidence in your opinion?
The demon that circulated within those walls is locked in a dungeon and blocked by the so-called devil's score, a score inside the sanctuary that if played backwards, according to legend, would remove the chains to this force freeing the demon from his imprisonment, while if played in the right direction following the opening and closing chords would strengthen the seal of containment. The principality of Lucedio is now a farm and also a place for receptions and parties, but within it lies one of the greatest mysteries of esotericism, making it one of the most haunted places in Italy.
6. Palazzo Penne - The Devil's Palace in Naples
In the heart of the historic centre of Naples, a stone's throw from Largo Banchi Nuovi, lies one of the most emblematic and mysterious palaces in the capital of Campania: Palazzo Penne, considered by many to be the Devil's Palace. Yes, but why? Why is Palazzo Penne one of the most haunted places in Italy?
Legend has it that in 1409 Antonio Penne, at the time secretary to the King of Naples Ladislao, fell in love with a beautiful woman. However, the girl wanted nothing to do with him, but promised to marry him if he gave her a new palace, adding that this palace would be built in one night.
An impossible feat for Penne, who for love of his woman was willing to do anything, so he made a pact with the devil himself: Beelzebub. Penne promised the devil his soul if he would build him a new palace so that he could give it to his beloved, and the devil didn't ask for it twice, he built the palace and gave it to Penne in exchange for his soul.
The young man, however, was not stupid and added a postulate in the pact, he would surrender his soul if the devil was able to count how many grains of wheat were scattered in the courtyard of the palace. The devil, bold and confident, counted all the grains in a few minutes but the number he gave Penne was wrong by five grains, in fact Antonio Penne along with the grain spread pitch on the courtyard floor causing the grains of wheat to stick together leading the devil to make a mistake.
Penne became the owner of the palace and managed to trick the devil himself, after the sign of the cross Beelzebub sank into a deep well into the underworld, a well that is now closed and can still be seen inside the palace courtyard. Today, Palazzo Penne remains one of the haunted places in Italy, built by the devil and the site of his own undoing.
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5. Montebello Castle and the Ghost of Azzurrina
In Romagna, specifically in Poggio Torriana, stands the famous Montebello Castle, home to a brightly coloured ghost which has made it one of the haunted places in Italy to be treated with respect.
It is said that the castle belonged to the Lord of Montebello, Ugolinuccio Malatesta, the father of an albino girl with completely white hair. Guendalina, this is the child's name, lived hidden from prying eyes because at that time albinism was not known and she could have been accused of witchcraft (we are in the 1300s).
Guendalina's mother tried in every way to colour her hair with natural colours that would make her go unnoticed, but they always ended up mistaking her hair for blue, hence the name Azzurrina. One night in 1375, Azzurrina was playing with her rag ball inside the castle, but suddenly the ball rolled down into the dungeon, where the castle icebox was located. All of a sudden, the guards heard a shrill cry that chilled their blood coming from the dungeons. On their way there, however, they found nothing, neither the rag ball nor the young Azzurrina, she had disappeared into thin air and was never found again.
Since that day, legend has it that Azzurrina's ghost still roams the castle walls and during the summer solstice nights (the night she vanished) children's screams and cries can be heard from the castle. Someone has tried to solve the mystery by experimenting with sophisticated equipment and cameras, finding traces of otherworldly entities several times.
Some say they have seen her and even painted her. In fact, in the dungeons of the castle where Azzurrina vanished, there is a painting of a completely blue girl, painted after her disappearance by someone who claims to have seen her ghost there. The Castle of Montebello holds one of the biggest and most disturbing secrets in this world, making it one of the most haunted places in Italy.
4. Donnanna Palace and the ghosts in love
Palazzo Donnanna is one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the city of Naples. With its own private beach and balconies overlooking the sea, it is every Neapolitan's dream to wake up in the morning, look out of the window and see the sea, yet Palazzo Donnanna is also rightfully among Italy's haunted places due to a very curious story.
It is said that two ghosts appear at night on the terrace of Palazzo Donnanna, two loves broken by fate that meet in a new life. The ghosts are those of Anna Carafa's niece, one of the most beautiful women in the world, and Ramiro De Guzman, Duke of Medina.
Ambitious as they were, within a year they became viceroy and viceregent of Naples and had a palace built for them, entrusting the project to a great architect of the time: Cosimo Fanzago. However, Donn'Anna constantly betrayed her husband during her many trips to Spain and fell in love with one of her lovers: Gaetano di Casapesenna, the most dashing of her escorts.
Fate, however, is mocking, and during one of the palace parties Gaetano fell in love with a woman, Mercedes de Las Torres, who was actually Anna Carafa's niece, only he did not know it. When Donn'Anna discovered the long clandestine relationship between the two lovers in a fit of rage, she killed the niece and contender and made the body disappear. The young Gaetano searched everywhere for his beloved, vowing to find her in one world or another.
After the death of her husband Ramiro De Guzman, Anna Carafa was left to live alone in the large palace, eventually dying of lice, the disease of the poor. Since then, the souls of the two young lovers Gaetano and Mercedes, whose love has defied all reality, meet again at night on the terraces of the palace that first brought them together and that unfortunately separated them.
A haunted and romantic palace that tells a story of love, betrayal and fantasy, this is palazzo Donnanna! If you happen to pass by the palace at night, stop and have a look, perhaps, if you are lucky, you might see the two cursed lovers.
3. Fortress of Montefiore Conca
In the Rimini area stands the Fortress of Montefiore Conca, an ancient Malatesta residence built around the 14th century, a place of mysteries, scary ghost stories and hidden treasures. There are many eerie presences in the castle and one of these is that of the ghost of Costanza Malatesta, the only daughter of Malatesta l'Ungaro, although for some she may actually be the mother of Azzurrina, the ghost of the little girl who disappeared mysteriously and now roams the walls of Montebello castle.
Costanza married Ugo d'Este but was widowed very young. She began to accompany many men, one of whom was Ormanno, a German mercenary. When Costanza's uncle found out, he ordered a hitman to eliminate them both.
Paranormal experts investigated over and over again with their equipment to find traces of a never-to-be-forgotten past. Disturbing details emerge from their photos and audios, as several evanescent humanoid figures can be seen in many photos, such as lords in ancient clothing, medieval soldiers, a knight and his lady, killed within these walls and never found again.
Inside the castle one senses presences, strange voices, sudden changes in temperature. One of the most haunted places in the palace is the room where Costanza Malatesta is said to have been killed. Today, the Rocca di Montefiore Conca is undisputedly one of the most beautiful haunted places in Italy to visit.
2. Ca' Dario House, the Cursed Palace
Ca' Dario House, the Cursed Palace, Venice
Venice is a place full of magic and mystery, of love and suffering. Everything tells something in Venice, every street corner, every palace, every house, every gondola. Immersing oneself in a real-life scary movie is not everyone's weekend programme, but for fans it could be a real treat. Now let's dive into Venice's cursed palace: Casa Ca' Dario, one of the most haunted places in Italy.
At number 353 in Dorsoduro is the 'cursed house', an elegant palace decorated in polychrome marble that, according to legend, is the object of an ancient curse that would lead any of its owners, inhabitants or tenants to total bankruptcy or even violent death.
There are many hypotheses that have been made over time about Casa Ca' Dario. According to some, the building was erected on an ancient Templar cemetery, which led to the structural failure of the foundations and a slight inclination.
Those who have lived there, such as Christopher Lambert, music producer of the band The Who, tell of a constant torment, with noises, creaks, voices, footsteps, screams, many, many ghosts, so tormented that they would rather sleep in the gondoliers' kiosk than in the palace.
Truth and mystery, superstition and witchcraft, we do not know what lurks behind Casa Ca' Dario but it is better to stay away from it and observe it from afar because it is truly one of the most haunted places in Italy, terrifying.
1. Poveglia Island, the queen of haunted places in Italy
Island of Poveglia, Venice
The island of Poveglia is a beautiful island in the heart of the Venetian lagoon. The island is uninhabited but holds stories and legends, some of them frightening. For many, Poveglia would even be the most haunted place on the planet, for others just a place where misfortunes have occurred. A place of falling buildings and wild vegetation. Let's find out more!
Once upon a time, a psychiatric hospital was born and operated on the island, a hospital where terrible things happened because, according to stories, mad doctors carried out experiments on children with strange equipment. One doctor in particular performed so many experiments on the children of an orphanage that he fell into the madness of remorse for so many broken lives, leading himself to death by suicide by jumping from the church tower on the island.
The many spirits that inhabit the island would be the thousands of plague victims who lost their lives on Poveglia itself and were thrown together in mass graves at the re-melting they did not receive a proper farewell. Today all those dead still live on the island, their ghosts are the inhabitants of Poveglia.
American ghost-hunters went to Poveglia several years ago to survey and search for traces, but what they found made them run for their lives. They wanted to spend the night on the island but fear got the better of them and they were forced to leave the island, calling for help. They said they had never seen such a haunted place in their lives, full of evil spirits and otherworldly presences. Poveglia is one of the most haunted places in Italy and we advise you to respectfully observe it from afar.