When you think of Italy, you conjure images of sunshine, food, and wine. This overshadows other aspects of Italian history and culture, with one being its paranormal aspect. From hauntings at old insane asylums, the lingering ghosts of serial killers and those of whom have been removed from this world at another's hands, Italy is riddled with paranormal locations.
These grim locations are more often than not situated in some of Europes most picturesque areas which provides a stark contrast to the horrific events that have and continue to occur there. Perhaps this one of the reasons why Italy is so undervalued. Below are 10 of the eeriest and strangest of Italian haunting locations.
10 Dario Palace, Venice
An ancient curse has haunted this house dating back over 500 years now. The first victim was the daughter of the house's original owner. Soon after moving in, her husband was stabbed to death, she lost her fortune, and ultimately committed suicide. Not long after their son was assassinated in a mysterious fashion and thus, the curse was born. A 19th-century owner of the house who was a rich merchant similarly lost his fortune and died shortly after. Its next owner and his lover both died mysteriously and in the '90s, renowned businessman, Raul Gardini bought the house, soon to lose his fortune and commit suicide.
13 owners have died in the house's history and now, this palace is being sold surprisingly cheap but struggles to find a buyer on account of the curse. Its origins are unknown but many who lay claims to the house end up suffering a painful death.
9 Chapel Of The Dead, Otranto
This 11th-century chapel has a morbid history. In 1480, the town was invaded and over 12,000 were killed while a further 5,000 were sold into slavery. 813 people hid during the attacks in this church but were eventually found. The invaders then brutally murdered the people hidden in this church.
Today, the bones of these victims are held, visibly, behind the altar and the weapon used for the executions is held on display also. This haunted site is still haunted by some of these spirits and is a relatively unknown attraction to tourists.
8 Poveglia Island, Venice
This island, considered to be Italy's most haunted place, was initially a quarantine station in the 18th century. Many died during this time, with mass graves recently discovered. From 1922-68, the building served as a hospital for the elderly and mentally ill. There were rumors that lobotomies and other such experiments were carried out by the hospital's director. He later committed suicide, rumored to have been haunted by the ghosts of his victims who remain today, and a film called "The Plague Doctor" was made about the events.
The hospital closed in 1968 and was later made off-limits to visitors. However, in 2016, a group of people managed to sneak onto the island. When night fell, a presence haunted them. Their screams were heard by a passing boat and they were rescued.
7 The Museum of Purgatory, Rome
This museum, a mere one room, was built in 1897 with the express reason of proving that purgatory exists. After a fire broke out in the church, Sacra Cuore Suffragio, a priest observed the face of a man burned into the wall.
This inspired him to prove purgatories' existence by collecting items that prove his thesis in order to display them at the sight. One of these relics is an old prayer book with handprints burned into the pages and another is a man's garment that had his dead wife's fingerprints burned onto it. Both of these instances are of the dead seeking human attention and prayer to escape purgatory.
6 Devil Monks Monastary, Sicignano Degli Alburni
The presence of an evil monk remains here today. The monk in question was originally a traveler who sought help at the monastery. He stayed there after being helped to repay the monks for their help, eventually joining the order himself. However, the monk's life is one of celibacy and things got difficult after he fell in love. The monks hated her and believed her to be a witch, subjecting her to extreme torture which eventually led to her death.
After this, the monk's mental health deteriorated and he went insane. Locals began to go missing, murdered by the monk and this culminated in the regions King having the monk executed. They hoped to be rid of him, but instead, they made him immortal.
5 House Of Souls, Liguria
A small town near Genoa was once home to an inn, owned and run by a deranged family. Passersby would be greeted by the family and invited in to spend the night. While they slept, the family would murder their guest, robbing them and dumping their bodies in a mass grave. The murderous family was eventually caught, executed and the house shunned.
After the end of World War 2, a displaced family whose house was bombed reluctantly moved in. Doors would open, dishes would be thrown by an unknown force, and they soon moved out. Locals also tell of a girl in white who wanders the premise looking for her lover, one of the family's victims.
4 Montebello Castle, Montebello
Another location that inspired a movie, this fortress was home to a little girl, Guendalina. The girl was an albino, a condition considered to be a curse in the 14th century and grounds for burning. Her father had her essentially locked up in the house, protected by two hired guards. On July 21st, 1375, the day of the summer solstice, Guendalina ran down to the basement and disappeared, never to be seen again.
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The girl still haunts the castle which became a museum as of 1990, with visitors hearing noises similar to those of a young girl. The movie inspired by the event titled 'Azzurina' was filmed in the castle and a series of strange events followed the crew, with many of the crew becoming unusually sick.
3 Issogne Castle, Issogne
The ghost of Bianca Maria di Challant, a notorious serial killer, roams this castle. In life, Challant was of the ruling class and after two tragic marriages, she opted to pursue a series of casual relationships, with a twist. Fearing a negative impression of her actions, she decided to silence each of her lovers by killing them. Eventually, she was caught and hanged. Many still see her ghost to this day as she appears to seduce visitors with her smile and alluring kisses, continuing what she did in life for eternity.
2 Montecatone Hospital, Imola
This hospital established during Mussolini's reign specialized in treating tuberculosis. Today, the hospital is haunted by the large number who died there. One such haunting is that of a woman soaked in blood. Allegedly, she was killed by her family, perhaps because of her illness and difficulty in caring for. Along with this, the hospital has a general dark aura and has attracted many paranormal investigators. One such team explored an abandoned area of the hospital and encountered a young girl running through the hallways.
1 Carini Castle, Sicily
This medieval castle which dates back to 1563 is haunted by the baroness Laura Lanza, particularly on December 4th where she leaves a trail of blood along the walls. There is a good reason for her to appear on this date as it is the same as which she was murdered. Who exactly killed her cannot be clarified but most agree that it was her own husband. She was married to a noble at the age of 14, as per her father's arrangement but Lanza loved another. She had an affair that was discovered by her father and this ultimately ended in tragedy as both she and her lover were murdered on account of it.