The ghosts of the Fumone Castle

Castello di Fumone, Frosinone, Lazio

The Fumone Castle in Frosinone is a place where history has surrendered to the weight of mystery, yielding to imagination and dark legends: there are currently two stories casting a disturbing shadow of death over the fortress.

A book on the obscure stories that relate to some places in Lazio says, “The castle, once used as a prison, is fit for a horror movie: it has trap doors, false exits, and dungeons that are impossible to escape.”

“Every castle must have a ghost, but Fumone has two – and famous ones, belonging to two popes. The first is Gregory VIII’s [in fact, antipope Maurice Bourdin – editor’s note], who was locked in here in 1121, forced to live in a cell so small that standing up and lying down were impossible, and left there to die from hardship.”

“The second ghost belonged to Celestine V, the one Dante blamed for his ‘great refusal’. Celestine was put in Fumone’s jail by Boniface VIII, who took over from him. Despite hardship and being completely covered in wounds and sores, Celestine would not die. Legend has it – although the Church’s official sources have always denied it – that in the end Boniface VIII sent his nephew to kill him.”

“He supposedly died only once a nail was hammered into his brain: a folk story later supported by a 19th-century evaluation on Celestine’s skull, which showed a hole that was apparently not accidental, but caused instead by a sharp object that could have very well been a nail.” (translated from A. Musci-M. Minicangeli, “Malaroma. Guida al lato oscuro della Città Eterna”, Castelvecchi, Rome 2000).

But never mind these horror stories: ghosts are impossible to see, while the beauty and charm of this castle are under everyone’s eyes.

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January 28, 2016

The ghosts of the Fumone Castle

Fumone (Fr)
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