It may seem strange but Venice isn’t just the sinking city of Europe, it also happens to be one of the more haunted cities of the world. When you think about it, it starts to make sense: thick foggy nights, empty alleys and water walkways every which way you turn. Not only is it easy to get lost in Venice, it also happens to be a common spot for flickering shadows, time loops and ghosts. And ghouls and vampires appear all over the place. Photo above: Ca’Dario Venice.
You may have heard of Poveglia, an island separate from Venice that no one is allowed on because of the terrible ghost stories and cursed legends surrounding it (and supposed diseases). Instead, we will look at some spots that you can visit in haunted Venice itself.
The Ca’Dario is a castle, palace or house (depending on who you ask) built off the Grand Canal of Venice around 1486. This palace has had a string of deaths and misfortunes connected to it for every owner since the original one died. That is over 500 years of documented evidence of tragic and strange deaths, accidents or unusual situations that either happened to the owner of the place or someone incredibly important to the owner. Probably the most famous owner of this place is Kit Lambert, the manager of The Who, who fell down the stairs after a major downward spiral in his life.
Many of the deaths and accidents are in rather strange circumstances, with quite a few car accidents happening in the last 50 years. Although the place is currently owned by a private organization rather than an individual, it has been up for sale for a number of years but no one else wants to test the curse that seems to have befallen this canal-side property. It has gained such a reputation that it is now often called the ‘house of no return’ by locals.
Luckily you can still view the inside and much of this place if you come along for some of the art exhibitions that still take place there. Because there is no specific owner, there haven’t been any major accidents surrounding it recently, but it continues to be one of the most cursed homes in all of Italy.
Casa Degli Spiriti
This place is also known as the House of the Spirits. And if the previous house didn’t have enough spirits for your taste, this one is full of them. There are all sorts of legends surrounding it, including the stories of religious sects and cults performing major religious and magical rituals within it. These are said to have cursed the Casa with spirits and demons that often escape.
The most famous is a spirit, wandering the house after he committed suicide in it over his unrequited love for his muse. This spirit is Luzzo, who is well known for painting the ships around the Venice canals. His ghost is often the explanation today for cries coming from the home and doors randomly shutting.
The most recent death to occur was when a woman was stuffed in a trunk and sunk in the lagoon that surrounds the house in the 1950s; and even that isn’t the end of the story: all the pipes burst at once during a more recent renovation.
The place can still be visited, but can be difficult to get to, as it’s in the middle of the lagoon. Many locals are afraid to go near the place, so don’t expect to find a guide to take you without a hefty fee.
If you would like to find out more about the haunted places of the Venice area, you can find all sorts of tours focusing on that subject. The best option as always though, is to look things up yourself and find some of the good haunted places, or even ask some of the locals about the ghost stories they’ve heard. Every town has at least a few, though of course Venice isn’t just any town.
This is a guest post by Sarah Murphy.