Just stop trying to be unconventional, because honestly, everyone loves Halloween! What we really like about Halloween, to be precise, is its mysterious, pagan origin. Even if you don’t feel like joining a Halloween party in a bar, you can go on a tour around the country, looking for the scariest, most mysterious places you can find. Italy is packed with incredibly beautiful places… and we managed to find some locations that will make even the bravest among you absolutely shudder!
Montebello Castle, Emilia-Romagna
This castle is in the surroundings of Rimini, and it is famous for Azzurrina’s legend. Azzurrina was a young girl, the daughter of a local lord, who disappeared while she was playing in the fortress’s rooms. According to legend, her ghost makes an appearance every five years during Summer solstice… but trust us, even in Autumn, the empty rooms of the castle will make you feel uneasy!
Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a skeleton, right? Right. That’s what these Catacombs are for, and you will find them in the Capuchine monastery, one of the most macabre, ghastly places in Palermo, Sicily’s regional capital. If you think you are brave enough, have a walk in the rooms pakjed with semi-mummified, decomposed corpses.
The Sacred Grove, a.k.a. Park of the Monsters, Bomarzo
The name is pretty telling already. This sacred grove is located near Viterbo, in the same region as Rome. It is inhabited by gigantic lavic rock sculptures, and perhaps also by the ghost of the man who originally had the idea of starting this garden, prince Vicino Orsini. Go there at sunset, these stone figures will look like the set of a horror movie!
Villa Malvasia (o Villa Clara), Bologna
This place is probably the most disturbing in the list for us, perhaps because it’s got something to do with one of the typical things that always appear in horror movies: little girls. Legend has it that a father walled his little girl in alive, for reasons nobody knows. This is why some people swear that they can often hear the sounds of a child wailing and crying. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I can already hear funny noises coming from the room next door… Help!
La Ca’ de Anime, Voltri, Genoa
The “House of Souls”, near Genoa, is an abandoned inn with a very sinister reputation, and it sounds like no one will every want to restore this building anymore. According to legend, its owners used to kill the unlucky guests who chose their inn to spend the night, to then throw their bodies in mass graves, after stealing their possessions. This place is also famous for ghost sightings!
Mombello’s former mental hospital in Limbiate, near Milan
If you also like American Horror Story, and watched Asylum, you will already be shuddering at the idea of visiting this location. This is a former mental hospital where patients were subjected to terrible treatment. You can still sense the buulding’s painful history when you walk in.
The Devil’s Bridge, Lucca
You can see that the devil had something to do with this, actually, because this bridge, whose actual name is Magdalene’s Bridge, known to all as the Devil’s Bridge, is oddly slanted. What happened, then? Rumor has it that one of the workers on site struck a deal with the Devil in order to make sure that the bridge would be finished. The Devil promised the worker that he would finish the bridge overnight, in exchange for the soul of the first person who crossed it. The fun part is that it was the Devil who was fooled this time: a pig was the first living thing to cross the bridge, and it was this pig that lost his soul, instead of a human. Have a walk across the bridge if you like, but be aware that the Devil might still be hanging around, looking for the worker’s soul!
Fontanelle Cemetery, Naples
This large cemetery is right in the heart of the city, and it hosts the remains of about 40,000 people who were killed by cholera. The cemetery looks dark, vast and silent. The most notable of the “guests” residing here is Donna Concetta, whose skull is famous for sweating! You can find it inside the church. Are you scared yet?
The Isle of Poveglia, Venezia
Such a small island, and yet so scary! This little isle is located in the lagoon of Venice, and it was where plague patients and victims were moved and buried in the 18th century. Doctor Sarles, a lobotomy-loving doctor and a sadist, lived on the island and he lobotomised some of his patients, extracting part of their frontal lobe. Legend has it that the doctor took his own life, after having been driven crazy by the ghosts of his former patients, in Poveglia.
Parma’s abandoned mental hospital
To conclude our super scary list of horrors, here we are, with another asylum in the surroundings of Parma, which has been abandoned for a long time. Artist Hebert Baglione decorated the walls of this place with shadows and ghosts, making the place even bleaker and spookier.