In honour of Halloween, we asked our Travel Directors to share their spookiest, scariest, most chilling ghost stories from around the world. From haunted houses to eerie islands, we found the best ghost tales and spooky stories came straight from beautiful Italy and it’s rich, dark history.
Read on to discover the craziest ghost stories and real-life spooky tales to inspire your next trip abroad… or keep you up at night.
The drowned man of Campiello del Remer
“In the late 16th century, a nobleman called Loredan fell in love and married the Doge’s niece. Loredan was, unfortunately, a horribly jealous man who later accused his wife of adultery (she denied it). He chased her from their home with a sword and ended up beheading her in front of the Doge himself.
“As punishment, the Doge ordered Loredan to carry his dead wife’s body to the pope in Rome to ask for forgiveness. The pope refused to see him, so Loredan walked back to Venice and, distraught, threw himself into the lagoon.
“His ghost can still reportedly be seen at the Campiello del Remer at the Grand Canal, coming out of the water carrying his wife’s head.”
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A Venetian Island plagued by ghosts
“There is an island in the Venetian lagoon, called Poveglia, where many plague victims in the past were left to die. The island covers an area of seven hectares, and it is said that around 160,000 people died there so half the ground is made up of their remains. Poveglia is considered one of the most haunted places in the world.
“Local fishermen don’t fish around the island and locals prefer not to go there.”
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The ghost bride of Florence
“At Piazza della Santissima Annunziata in the Palazzo Budini Gattai (once known as Palazzo Grifoni) the last window on the top-right floor is always open. Why? There is a ghost bride is waiting for her husband’s return. Centuries ago, one of the Grifoni sons was called off to go to war that even the Florentine nobles could not escape. He had to leave his young bride with the promise that he would return soon.
“His bride waited patiently behind the open window for decades, but her loved one never returned. She kept on waiting until the day of her death when the window was finally closed. Legend has it that immediately the furniture started shaking, books flew around and off the shelves, and paintings fell off the walls. This continued until the shutters were reopened, and so that is why this window is always left open.”
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A ghost in the kitchen
“Around 10 years ago I was with a group of guests enjoying dinner at Palazzo Rossi, a local hamlet around the Appennino Bolognese area. It was Halloween night and there was just us in the restaurant with two waiters and two cooks In the kitchen.
“At the end of the meal, we took souvenir photos with chef Marcello and the three other staff. Many of the guests took the exact same photo from different angles, and one of the guests had in his picture a hooded man whose face was not clear. Only in one photo he appeared where there were five people instead of four. We all were shocked because the whole group knew that nobody dressed like that had been posing with the chefs and waiters.
“This has been the strangest, most paranormal thing I have experienced. We went away and most of us, even the most skeptical, couldn’t explain how this happened. To play this down I told them that it was what normally should happen during Halloween night, but I still think about it….”
Travel Director Fabrizio
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Haunted houses in Sorrento
“One evening while on tour in Sorrento some tourists came to the reception of our hotel asking for a room. The hotel was full, but those tourists were desperate because they did not want to go back to their B&B. They had heard moaning, screams, doors and windows slamming and they were meant to stay for the night.
“I thought they were exaggerating until the owner of the hotel told me the whole story. In that area of Naples and Sorrento there are properties that once belonged to the Church. People later bought those properties for very little money and made speculations with them, so eventually those places would become haunted where no one can sleep in peace!
“As a matter of fact, there are still lots of beautiful properties abandoned by the locals in that area because nobody will buy them!”
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The hotel ghost
“I was staying at a hotel with my group many years ago and had no idea that it was haunted. But my guests and I experienced the appearance of a ghost! During the night there was someone trying the handle of my door, but every time I got up to see and check in the corridor, there was no one there.
“The next morning some of my guests reported seeing a lady walking around the corridors, dressed in a long white dress, and asked me who she was. When I enquired with the staff they told me that it was the hotel ghost.”
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Those are our spookiest ghost stories and legends from our Travel Directors. Do you have a ghost tale to share? Leave us a comment below….