Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

It is one of the most beautiful buildings over-looking the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy and it seems, according to some, that the building is cursed and leaves its owners on the streets, or worse still dead. The building is tilted to the left adding to the effects of the story and its beauty caught men such as Claude Monet and John Ruskin.

Pietro Lombardo built it in 1479 for Giovanni Dario, secretary of the Senate of the Republic of Venice. His daughter, Marietta, married into the Barbaro family and the building stayed in their hands until the 19th Century. Before they sold it, back in that period, Dario lost power and suffered a financial collapse. Mariette fell into disgrace, rumours say she may have died from a broken heard or possibly committed suicide. Her father and husband died not long after she did.

Seemingly the curse came with the building and not the family, in the 19th Century an Armenian diamond-dealer took ownership. Arbit Abdoll went bankrupt and died in disgrace. In 1832 a British Scientist, Rawdon Brown, took ownership and by 1842 was on the streets, committed suicide and so did his lover.

Sometime after Charles Briggs brought it and was forced to flee to Venice. He was charged with homosexuality, which as then a crime. After him was Henry De Reigner who fell ill two years after the purchase and went back to France. In the 1970’s Giordano delle Lanze was killed by this lover in one of the palace rooms.

Christopher (Kit) Lambert, the manger of The Who, brought it and died soon after in London of cerebral hemorrhage when he fell down the stairs at his mothers house. There are more but I will just surmise that it seems some unlucky folks have owned that house, or you can believe it is the curse. Today it is privately owned and not open to the public. 

You would also think I had a picture of this, considering I took a lot of random pictures there but no… turns out I could be the one person that went down the Grand Canal and snapped anything but haha!

Top picture is from Wikipedia the bottom ones are just some random bits I took on my travels.

Iain99 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Palazzo Dario

A minor island of Naples, Italy, that sits in a protected region of the Gaiola Underwater Park, the island consists of two islets with one that has a solitary villa and the other is uninhabited. There is a small narrow bridge connecting the two.

It was originally known as Euplea and had a small temple to Venus on it. There do seem to be other ruins and under the water beneath there are more that are now the homes for various marine creatures. Some people believe that the poet Virgil taught at the ruins too. In the 19th Century a hermit, known as the Wizard, resided there and soon after there came the construction of the villa. It was at one point owned by an author, Norman Douglas. It is a serene place and a getaway island for someone but is currently abandoned and here are some tales about it.

In the 1920’s a Swiss named Hans Braun owned the island, he was found murdered and wrapped up in a rug. Not long after his wife drowned in the sea. The next owner was German Otto Grunback, he died of a heart attack on the island, (really not unusual for someone to go that way). Another owner, German, Baron Karl Paul Langheim then dragged himself into economic ruin by his ‘wild living’ and another owner was the head of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli. His only son committed suicide.

The last in a series of owners who had tragedy in their midst was Gianpasquale Grappore, he was placed in jail when his insurance company failed. The rumours are that the island is cursed. It could just be that it is a series of high profile people who’s lives have had a lot of media attention bringing fuel to the tales. What do you think?

Isoletta della Gaiola (Napoli) 02.jpg
By Gianfranco Vitolo – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gianfrancovitolo/38093974021/, CC BY 2.0, Link

 

It is called The Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory but it is not so much a museum as a collection. The small room sits inside the church of the Sacred Holy Heart just along the Tiber River not too far from the Vatican.

The display centralises on the Catholic idea that souls go to purgatory, they are purified of their remaining sins before they can ascent to heaven. To help souls go to heaven quicker the faithful can offer prayer, before the reformation it was a common practise to buy loved ones swifter entry with the good old value of mortal cash.

Amongst the cases you can see the nightcap of a man who discovered asking him to pray for her. Another is from 1789 where there is a hand-print on the nightshirt that Joseph Leleux had, the mark was made by the tortured soul of his mother who appeared to him and reminded him of his duties to go to mass and begged him to change his behaviour and go back to church.

The museum/collection is mentioned on the website Atlas Obscura and a few other sites, they say the collection comes from the French Missionary, Father Jouet. They story is that there was a painting, Our Lady of the Rosary, that caught fire from candles around it. Witnesses said they had seen the face of a man in the altars burning walls, he was convinced that it was a message from a soul buried in the area and that he should build a church there, and make it a place to pay tribute to the souls in purgatory.

Admission is free but they will welcome any donation to the church that you can make. If you have been, or do go, please let me know and share your experiences.

The museum is in the Church of Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, 12 Lungotevere Prati, Rome. Open 7.30-11am and 4.30-7pm.

museum-of-the-souls-of

Lazarus Colloredo and Joannes Baptista Collerado were conjoined twins from Genoa, Italy. The records are of suggestion that they were born around 1617 and died sometime around or after 1646. They toured Europe exhibiting their condition in order to make a living. Their exact date of death does not appear to have been recorded.

The upper body of Joannes and his left leg stuck out of his mobile brothers torso. Joannes did not speak, his eyes were kept closed and his mouth was always open. An account from an anatomist, later on, said that if his breast was pushed it would make him move his hands, ears and lips. Another visitor noted that Joannes had three fingers on each hand, six toes on one foot and seemed only to survive because of the nourishment from his brother.

It is said that Lazarus was a handsome man and when not exhibiting he would cover up his brother with a cloak. Later accounts have him married, siring several children and none of them experienced any unusual medical conditions.

One account suggests that Joannes made non-verbal noises and often at shows was seen to heavily salivate. It seems that Joannes was mainly considered to be a parasitic twin as he hadn’t got fully developed organs. It seems if he had any cognitive abilities that they were very limited and mostly based on responses to it being touched or prodded.

A letter from Dr Augustin Pincet, of Genoa, stated the brothers were born 20th March 1617 to parents Baptista and Pellegrinna Colloredo. Lazarus ate and had normal bowel movements, but Joannes did not suckle but if her milk hit his lips he would lick them as if he was attempting to swallow it. Their mother apparently died in 1620.

In 1638 they toured France and it was recorded that Lazarus had said Joannes head had been much smaller, now it was twice as large as his own. It seems they had also been unwell on more than one occasion, Lazarus had been subject to 20 bleedings but medics never hazarded purgation. They worried it might be too much for the two men sharing the one digestive system.

Another story is that Lazarus had been so fiercely teased in a pub that he struck the man a fatal blow. The man had been killed but Lazarus said that if he were sentenced to death it would in turn kill his innocent brother.

There doesn’t seem to have been any talks about separating them either, perhaps because from the descriptions they would have shared a liver and other vital organs. The area of joining may well have had several main arterial points too. Today it is highly likely they would have separated them early on to give Lazarus a chance at a normal life, the 17th Century techniques however would not have been capable of dealing with such a complicated matter.

Lazarus and Joannes Baptista Colloredo

Carl Tanzer, Feb 8th 1877 to July 3rd 1952, was a German-born radiologic technologist in Key-West, Florida, USA who developed a particularly morbid obsession for Elena Milagro de Hoyos, a tuberculosis patient. During his childhood and later in Genoa, Italy, he claimed he had been visited by a dead ancestor who revealed the face of his true love, her face was one of an exotic dark-haired woman.

22nd April 1930, de Hoyos came to the hospital for an examination, she was brought in by her mother. He recognised her as the woman from the visitations of his ancestor. De Hoyos was diagnosed with TB, a fatal disease at the time and eventually despite Tanzler’s best efforts she succumbed to the disease.

Tanzer paid for her funeral, with the permission of the family he then commissioned the construction of an above ground mausoleum. It was constructed in the Key West Cemetery and he visited there pretty much most nights. To be honest this already seems to rate high on the WTF list, but it gets more bizarre.

April, 1933 Tanzer crept into the mausoleum and stole her body, taking her home and here he said her spirit would visit. He claimed she often asked him to take her from the grave, and so it seems he did. What he did to preserve her sounds like a work of horror fiction. Her bones were attached together by wire and coat hangers, her face was fitted with glass eyes and as the corpses skin decomposed he would replace it with silk cloth, soaked in wax and plaster of Paris.

Her hair was replaced by using Hoyo’s wig hair, who gave him the hair? Well her mother had collected her hair for a wig and gave it to him after her death. I am still wondering why but at this point the story continues…

Tanzer filled her chest and abdominal cavity with rags to keep her in her original form, then dressed her, put on stockings and jewellery and kept her body in his bed. He then used a lot of fragrances, detergent and preserving agents to mask the msells. Yes I am still going, I did say it was morbid.

October 1940 (Seven years later) her sister visited Tanzley, she had heard odd rumours, Florida authorities were notified when she saw the truth for herself. He was found to be mentallyl competent, he was charged with destruction of the grave and theft of the body. Bizarrely he never had to defend himself because the case was dropped, the statute of limitations for the crime had expired. Even more upsetting for her family the body was put on display at the Dean-Lopez Funeral Home and around 6,800 ish people came to see it.

Eventually she was reburied at the cemetery but to prevent tampering it was an unmarked grave. Strangely it seems the public mood was that sympathy for a hopeless romantic should be given to Tanzler. I can’t help but think that’s not quite the reaction I’d have had… later there was a claim that he had inserted a tube into her vagina too but this evidence has been met with scepticism, mostly because other than the rumour there appears to be no evidence…

Separated from the woman’s body he then used a death mask to create a life-sized effigy of Hoyos, the effigy lived with him until he died 3rd July. 1952. He was found on the floor three weeks after his death and died under the name Carl Tanzer.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Key West, Florida has an exibit that recreats the caring he did to her body. And Svbway to Sally have a video themed around it.

Carl Tanzler (1940)