Witchology, the history of Wicca & Witchcraft
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Turin (Torino) and the Gates of Hell
According to local legend the gates of Hell are located in Turin's Piazza Statuto. In February 2006 Dr Leo Ruickbie was asked for his opinion on this.
Dr Leo Ruickbie was contacted by John Torres of Gannett News Service and subsequently interviewed by him on 10th February, 2006. Below you will find his original reply plus links to the news story online.
I have found in my work that the name ‘Turin’ often comes up in connection with black magic and the supernatural. There was a well-documented case of poltergeist activity at a house on the Via Brava in 1900 and a few years earlier there was a story of a boy who, miraculously restored to life by Don Bosco (1815-1888), vividly recalled his vision of Hell. Turin, it seems, is a particularly apt place to have a vision of Hell.
There is a belief in circulation, mostly within tourist guidebooks, that Turin forms an angle of two ‘magic triangles’, one white, one black, connecting it to other Western cities. It will not come as a shock to anyone to learn that London and San Francisco supposedly form the rest of the black triangle.
Catholic priests have told me of Satanic groups operating in Turin, one said that there was anywhere between six and seven hundred gangs of Devil-worshippers across Italy. There was even a wild claim made in the late 1980s of some 30,000 practising Satanists in Turin alone. Not surprisingly, many Christian activists have told me that Turin is the centre of Satanism in the world today. I would take all these claims with a large pinch of salt, as certain people are apt to believe anyone listening to heavy metal or wearing black constitutes a Satanic sect.
Certainly, there is a local tradition concerning the Gates of Hell, a supposed entrance to the underworld located under the Piazza Statuto. Being built above the old Roman vallis occisorum or necropolis and having formerly been the main centre of execution lend the piazza a sinister reputation. However, I believe that there is no evidence to suggest that these Gates of Hell are viewed as anything other than the entrance to the sewers by members of the occult community today.
That is not to say that nothing untoward has ever occurred in the piazza. Burial sites and particularly scenes of violent death have since Roman antiquity been exploited by practitioners of the dark arts seeking to harness the anger and vengefulness of the spirits they believed still lingered there. In modern times, I have eye-witness testimony that a Black Mass was performed by a grotto of the Church of Satan in Turin in 1989, but the Satanists preferred the comfort of a private apartment to the damp tunnels under the piazza.
The News Story
The interview was published as 'Italian plaza infamous as gate to the otherworld', Gannett News Service, 11th February, 2006.
'Turin is the No. 1 city for Satanic cults,' he says. 'I wish I’d never got involved. If I had only known, I wouldn’t have done it.'
Yves Clement, author of The Heart of Andrea, talking to the Associated Press, 2006
Ghost Hunters Get in on the Act
Following Dr Ruickbie's lead, two sets of ghost hunters have packed their bags and set off for Turin, seduced by the Gates of Hell and tales of dark deeds. In early 2008 both Ghost Hunters International and Living TV's Most Haunted explored the city and environs.
Ghost Hunters International, 17 January 2008
Sci Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters International visited the Lucedio Abbey near Turin in an episode entitled Evil Unearthed aired on 17th of January 2008. In this episode, 'the team descends into the macabre depths of the Abbey at Lucedio, near Turin, Italy, to unlock the secrets behind the dark legends that make up the Abbey’s lurid 1400-year history.' They also managed to cram in a visit to Nanteos Mansion in Aberystwyth, Wales. Buy the episode here.
Most Haunted, 26-30 March 2008
Living TV's Most Haunted staged a five night live investigation of the supernatural in Turin from the 26th to the 30th of March 2008. Billed as 'The Most Haunted team takes on the DEVIL in his hometown in their most daring investigation yet', the programme sought to explore the origins of Turin's sinister reputation, calling it 'Satan's City' and 'the City of the Devil'. As well as the Gates of Hell legend, the programme covered the Knights Templar, sometime reisdent Nostradamus and the Abbey of Lucedio. As evidence of Turin's continuing legacy of evil, the programme website cited the Archbishop's creation of six new exorcists.
Satan's City A-Z
Want to know where all Turin's haunted places are and more? Let Turin: Satan's City A-Z guide you.
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