Italy’s Lucedio Abbey, while beautiful to behold, has a twisted history that has haunted the once great home for men of god for eight centuries.
In the mid 12th century, Renier, Marquess of Monferatto donated a large tract of swampy land to the order of Cistercian monks to build a monastery. The swampy land was perfect for their ambitious plan to cultivate rice for the entire country. Upon receiving the generous gift, the monks quickly went about building their new home as well as their farm.
A hundred years into the Abbey’s existence, unnerving rumors and bizarre tales began to filter out from behind its walls into the region that surrounded it. Young men who were taken into the Abbey as laborers or as prospective monks were never seen again outside the Abbey walls again. At night, residents of a nearby village reported the unmistakeable sounds of anguished screams. On the night of a full moon, chants that do not sound like holy hymns devoted to God could be heard on the breeze. The villagers feared something diabolical was going on in the Abbey.
People from the surrounding area began to believe the monks of Lucedio Abbey may have done the unthinkable. They speculated the monks had forsaken their holy vows to worship a much darker master, the fallen angel, Lucifer. Little did they know their worst fears would soon be revealed.
One night, two young boys were discovered roaming the streets of a nearby village naked and covered in blood caused by horrific gashes on their bodies. The two boys appeared to be in a daze as they wandered the village. When they were brought before the Lucedio village leadership, they recounted a bizarre tale of black magic rituals. According to them, the monks were attempting to raise a powerful demon from the depths of hell. If there was any truth to what the boys told them, the monks may have been successful.
The boys went on to say, numerous young men and boys were being held against their will in the Abbey. They were being used as sex slaves and tortured because Satan demanded it of the disgraced priests. They explained how the boys were tied to a pillar and raped as the monks cursed God and pledged their undying devotion to the great beast of hell. The horrified villagers had heard enough, something had to be done about the monks of Lucedio Abbey quickly before their evil infected the land.
The villagers sent word to Pope Callixtus III, who heard the news of the wickedness at the unholy Abbey. He immediately sent an official papal inquiry to investigate if these reports were true. When the investigators arrived at the Abbey, a three-day stand-off between the officials and the monks of the Abbey ensued. When the stand-off ended, the investigators gained access and were shocked by what they found. Signs of diabolical rituals were everywhere, as well as the lifeless bodies of battered young men littered the Abbey. They further learned the monks were successful in summoning a demon and that evil spirit was the one in control of Lucedio Abbey.
Upon hearing of the ghastly circumstances, Pope Callixtus put the Abbey on “commendatorial control.” In layman’s terms, the Abbey was closed down and the few monks who refused to follow their brothers into debauchery were sent to other monasteries. As for those who committed the unspeakable acts, they were tried, convicted and beheaded. The Abbey, which gained a reputation for being a place of great evil remained closed for over three centuries.
To rid themselves of this Abbey of wickedness, the Vatican secularized the Abbey in 1784, and sold it to the highest bidder. Not surprisingly, the Abbey changed hands many times. It seems none of the owners could spend more than a year in the dark and foreboding structure.
Of the countless owners to reside at Lucedio Abbey, none was more famous than Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France. According to the historical records, Napoleon’s tenure didn’t last long and he sold it to Italian painter, Camillo Borghese. Today, the Abbey is a privately owned rice farm, and despite all their best efforts to the contrary, the bizarre history and malevolent hauntings make this Italy’s most haunted building.
One of the most famous hauntings said to happen at the Abbey is known as “Weeping Pillar.” The weeping pillar is said to be the pillar where the wicked priests raped the young men. Over the years, several witnesses have claimed to see what looks like tears coming down the pillar with a mournful cry of agony issuing from the base of the pillar. It would seem the pillar has retained the horrific treatment those young men endured centuries earlier.
Apart from the weeping pillar, investigators have caught evidence that would indicate the souls of the young men who suffered still haunt the Abbey. Many EVPs have been collected with what sounds like screaming and men begging for mercy in Italian. Horrifying apparitions of frightened young men have been seen walking the corridors trying to escape this house of horrors. However, one spirit is said to rule over all of them, the demon of Lucedio Abbey.
Those who have claimed to be in the presence of the demon all report the same experiences. When the demon manifests the reeking odor of rotting garbage and decaying human flesh fills the air. As the stench overwhelms people the demon appears as a swirling mass of darkness that emits feelings of rage and evil. According to the few people who encountered the demon, their lives were never the same.
Understandably the current owners of the Abbey do their best to dispel the rumors of disfigured ghosts and demons lurking in the Abbey. The people who live in the surrounding region would wholeheartedly disagree with the owner’s assertion. They believe a great evil resides at the old Abbey and when they pass by, they’re sure to recite a Hail Mary and an Our Father to protect them from the evil deep within the Dark Abbey.
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