Saturday, June 9, 2018

This is about my ghosts, those I have been growing up with.

And when I talk about ghosts, be reassured that I mean those ghosts of people who once walked this Earth and, after their death, they didn't want to leave the place.
The place I am talking about is located in the center-northern part of Italy, not far from the border between Umbria and Tuscany.
A tiny town called Castiglion Fosco (only 200 inhabitants), which was named after a soldier Fuscus o Fuscius, who received the hamlet as a gift from the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Otto II, as a reward for his participation in the campaign against the Saracen of Abdul Kasem in Calabria (southern Italy).  Fuscus' heirs established there and built a castle which was identified as of Castrum Filiorum Fusci (The castle of Fusci's sons). Now, that was the year 982 AD, and from that day until the time where my family got possession of the part of the castle under the Tower clock, a lot of time has passed by, and the history remains not really clear on how every family got its turn in its ownership.
Nevertheless, it is quite clear that between the thick and solid walls of the building, a lot has happened, which will remain unfortunately untold.
During my childhood, I have spent most of my time in that house, where my grandmother used to live. There I have spent summers and winters, growing with my sister and cousins.
As a child, I have always felt the presence of something or someone watching every move I made, particularly on the stairs that lead from the lower living room to the central part of the house. I remember I used to run on those stairs to avoid that feeling, or perhaps to feel safe that those hands I felt trying to reach me, as I climbed the upper floor wouldn't have the time to grab me.
I remember that none of us dared to go to the restroom in the night alone, we always went together or we called our grandmother, who would have laughed at our sensitivity. The house was quite big, and in the golden years, she used to host the whole family, my grandmother and grandfather, three children and the parents of my grandfather.
At that time she was living alone although my aunt and cousins were quite often there. We asked her whether she wasn't afraid of living alone in a place where those presences were easy to be sensed. She would have laughed "be afraid of those who are still living, not of those who are dead," she used to reply. Perhaps it was right, but after her death, nobody ever dared to remain in that house, and now it is abandoned. I didn't step into it in decades, and perhaps never will again.
I know you are wondering whether I have seen any of them. Well, those were quite shy ghosts, but indeed we saw, shadows at the windows that didn't belong to anyone, we definitely heard the sound of footsteps, when there was nobody in the house, and that constant presence of someone watching at us, like the owner of the house watching that his guests won't misbehave.
It was like there was no chance to be alone.
Perhaps I should write a memoir about the history of that house and of those people who lived within those walls; my family and cultural heritage.


  1. We also have a ghost in the family farmhouse in Southern Italy. His name is Caius and he is a Roman soldier. Many family members have seen him and heard him. We even have captured him on 35m film. He does not pose a threat, as I imagine neither do your family ghosts. Maybe it's time you revisit the family home and try to connect with the ghosts. WE have stayed at a castle in Tuscany where we encountered ghosts. So, do I believe you? YES!


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