Thursday, June 21, 2012


Light begins to run from you as soon as you step under the round arched cupola of ochre stone that guards the entry. The unpolished, rough-hewn wood door closes slowly behind you, whether you want it to or not. Turning left you enter the long, seemingly endless corridor that leads away from you with no end in sight…perhaps to an evil infested eternity. Your footsteps scratch along the grit and sand of the thousand year old stone floor as you enter into the darkness, the great stone pillars connected by graceful arches would be beautiful were it not for the shadows that lurk behind them, the tears that stream from them, and their screams. You’ve entered the Lucedio Abbey, once a place of devotion and religion, now considered one of the scariest places on earth.

In the early days of 1124, the Marquis of Monferrato, Raneiro and his parents, Bernard and Ardizzone gave the land upon which the monastery to the abbot of La Ferte in order to enable him to form a new Cistercian Settlement. Also called the Bernardines or the White Monks, Cistercians are a strict Roman Catholic order with emphasis on manual labor and self-sufficiency. With the help of abundant additional donations, the monastery quickly became a vital part of the community, both as a religious presence and as a fecund agricultural compound.

For the next five hundred years, the abbey conducted itself with great comportment with involvement in the Crusades as well as benefices from such notables as the Marquis Boniface, Pope Pius IX, Pope Callistus III and Francesco II Gonzaga. But all that was to change in 1684.

Legend holds that in that year, many of the young girls of the surrounding village became instruments of the Devil, and their work for him was to corrupt the monks of the Lucedio Abbey. Perhaps through seduction, perhaps under the guise of spiritual guidance, the girls preyed upon the monks, turning them into active Satanists, converting their devout practices slowly into harmless rituals that eventually became sacrifices. From that moment on, the Abbey became the sight of debased humanity, a place of gruesome tortures, evil rituals, bloody murders, and even child molestations. A once holy place became a vortex of evil itself, one so malevolent, that word of the happenings reached the pope, Pio VI, who closed the abbey, in 1784, exactly one hundred years later. But by then…it was too late, the evil had permeated the very structure and there it remains, even today.

The Lucedio Abbey has been studied by numerous and varies paranormal groups, and all have come away with the same findings…shadows that move, pillars that weep, cries of anguish that feel the building and the heart with revulsion. It is in the Judgment Room where prisoners were once tied up to stand and await the fate of the Monks that the Crying Column stands, a pillar of stone that becomes wet (‘weeps’) for no reason or rhyme.

The mythology continues into the Crypt where, it is said, and evil spirit was imprisoned under the Church. But only the greatest of powers could keep it sequestered, powers held by the abbots themselves. Buried in an upright, sitting position they are stationed in a circle surrounding the believed vortex of the evil. In a bizarre twist, some sort of natural mummification took place and they are on guard even today, perhaps through eternity.

Additional strange occurrences include a strange mist or fog that inexplicably rises up and overtakes the Principato and bell tower. In the graveyard strange shapes, of the kind that people say represent the Devil, appear to dance upon and around the graves and stones. And in the church and the priest’s house, strange lights and sounds ring out at odd days and times.

In a land as ancient as Italy, this is but one of many such places, where remnants of previous lives have left their indelible ethereal impression upon the physical earth. As I set about to write historical fiction tales of the uniquely Italian sort, I cast my mind’s eye and my writer’s pen to the winds that carry such stories.

No comments: