Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ghost hunting, would you dare? You're safe with the Wandering Writer

Hello Everybody! Yes, as the title already says, we are going for a short trip to the most haunted castles in Italy. I know you are wondering already why in Italy, and the reason lies in my best knowledge of the places and the history behind those castles and the ghosts who still seem to haunt those places.
We are starting our journey to one of the most interesting pieces of history, the Fortress of San Leo,a castle located between the two Central Italys regions Romagna and Marche. 
However, the most important fact bond to this place, besides being one of the residences of Duke Federico da Montefeltro, was the fact that its dungeons hosted the final years of the life of Alessandro Count of Cagliostro (born Giuseppe Balsamo on June 2nd, 1743).

Now, everyone interested in occultism and mysticism might have heard at least once in the life of the Count of Cagliostro, alchemist, traveler, adventurer, freethinker, and heretic.
For those who dont, the Count of Cagliostro, after a life spent traveling around Europe, being hosted by dignitaries and kings, returns in Italy and founds a secret Freemasons lodge, for which during the years of the Inquisition in Italy he will be accused of heresy. At those times heresy was sentenced to death, however, thanks to the intervention of the pope Pio IV, the death sentence is transformed into life imprisonment.
Now at this time, I am not sure it would have been better being sentenced to death rather than to life imprisonment. Particularly because of the inhumane conditions the prisoners were kept at those times
In fact, the cell where he was detained was the most secure and isolated, but also the darkest and moist. He was not allowed to talk with anyone, not even with the guards. If this was not considered enough also books, paper and pen (and inkwell) were forbidden to him. Like this was not enough to make anyone wish for death, he was then transferred to another cell, called Il pozzetto (the little well). Already the name doesnt promise anything good, and in fact, it wasnt, and the little well was really a well. It was a very small cell accessed only by a cavity on its roof. Nowadays, there is a door opened to allow visitors to enter the place.
This is a brief note just to understand the dark history of the Fortress of San Leo. Lets talk about the ghost of Cagliostro that is said to haunt the place. I am the most skeptical person in this world, and I do not easily believe in occultism, but since I have been living for most of my life in a house that could convince everybody about the existence of ghosts, I decided to have a visit to that Fortress too.
It is said that the ghost of the Count, being used to the solitude, doesnt appreciate the presence of people, and particularly doesnt appreciate the fact that visitors are bringing with them their cameras. Many people said that their batteries got progressively down as they approach the room.
You dont get to see any ghosts in the way horror movies suggest, but you are suddenly grabbed by a sense of anguish that grabs your heart. You feel as it would be something that saturates the air, like hands that grab your lungs restricting the breathing. Looking at the small window, you feel something about that man sitting for five years in that room looking at the sky, wishing for freedom or even death. People, generally bring some flowers in honor of the poor prisoner, as regardless his heresy, no one deserves this kind of fate.
Incredible to say, that feeling seems to disappear immediately as soon as one leaves the cell, but dont look back; those feeling will grab you one more time.
Something else you want to see is the town of San Leo. It is a very small town of a bit less than 3000 inhabitants in the municipality of Rimini, and it is dated pre-roman without any certain date about the time of its foundation. As you can see from the pictures, walking might be challenging, being built for strategic reasons, on a cliff, but its beauty and history will be well worth some physical stress.
Moreover, if you go during the summer, this can be a great reason to have a tasty gelato observing the valley and enjoying its sweet beauty.


  1. Hi Paula,

    I love your stories, keep it up. I particularly love ghost stories!

    Jo UK

    Follow my creative mental health recovery blog, Creating My Odyssey:

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jo! I am truly glad you liked my stories, I have visited your blog, and I found it very interesting. I subscribed to your feeds, and I am waiting to read more about you.


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