Monday, January 19, 2009

L'Italia frequentata: Haunted Italy

Italy is renown for it’s beauty and history, and it should be known for it’s ghosts as well. From the watery depths of Venice to the crumbl ing grandeur of Rome, centuries of plaques, natural disasters, religious fervor and conflicts have made this a country that echoes with the voices of its past. If you are planning a getaway to see Italy, put some of these spooky places on you list of must-sees. Known as the Island of Horror, visit Poveglia Island in Venice. Once a dumping ground for the corpses of those who died of the bubonic plaque, those both dead and alive who suffered from this painful plaque were forgotten and left here. People who get permission to visit this island get a sense of the horror from the water surrounding the island and claim to hear voices whispering along the current. Later the home of a poorly and at times criminally run psychiatric hospital, Poveglia Island is filled with the energy of those wronged.

Heading back to dry land check out Lucedio Abbey. This building dates back to the 1100’s and once housed Cistercian monks who had lost their Christian way. Investigated by the TAPS team (Ghost Hunters television show on SCIFI channel,) visitors here claim to feel a menacing presence and a pillar that seems to cry. Eerie and elegant be sure to check it out.

Talk to the staff at the site of the ruins of Pompeii. Although the tragic history of this locale is well known, some may not be aware of the shadow people, echoes of screams in the night and pervasive smell of sulfur. Much more here than what meets the eye, so go with all your ghost hunting equipment.

Finally, check out Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. Currently being featured in the soon to be released “Angels and Demons” movie, this location is well known for being haunted and is included on most of the Haunted Rome tours. Final resting place for Roman Emperor Hadrian, the haunting are attributed to his family who were executed right in front of this fine building. Locals believe that the Archangel Michael appeared here in 590 and ended the plaque that thrived amongst the population here. Take a guided tour to hear more scary history.

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