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On the night of the solstice, the sound of a little girl is echoes through the old castle. A little girl with blue hair.

Castle on a Hill: The ghost of Azzurina of Romagna is supposedly haunting the castle Montebello di Torriana.
Attribution: Carlo Pelagalli

The sun lingered for a long time over the mountain area where the castle of Montebello di Torriana was. The castle stands in what was known as Romagna, a historical part of northern Italy that no longer exists. It was a stormy June day, in 1375 with thunder going on all around the castle grounds. Towering 400 meters above the ocean, the castle looks out over the valleys of Marecchia and Uso when it was still under the Papal rule. The earliest name of this castle was Mons Belli, or War Mountain in English. 

That day was the day of the solstice. The lord of the house’s daughter, Azzurina was playing with a ball, being watched over by her bodyguards Domenico and Ruggero. She was around five years old and running around in the castle with her ball made out of rags. They were distracted for just a moment, and when they turned around, the child was gone. A scream was heard from the castle icehouse and the bodyguards rushed over. Perhaps she had chased the ball and fell? But no trace was left and they were never able to find the child — at least not alive.

The Blue Haired Girl

Centuries later, around 1600 a priest put the legend to paper for the first time as we know of, although the writing itself is lost. The title of the story was Mons Belli ed Deline, hinting that the name was Deline or Adelina, but to most people hearing the legend, her name was Guendalina.  

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Guendalina was a normal girl wanting to play around the castle grounds. But to the people in the castle, she was more of a secret. She was born as albino, which at the time was connected to persons of a diabolical nature. Her mother tried again and again to color her hair darker with pigments from plants. But the black color wouldn’t stay, and the color faded, leaving only a blue tint of it. This is where her nickname, Azzurrina, meaning blue comes from. So instead she was hidden away from the public eye. This is also why her father ordered her two bodyguards to always watch over her every move as he was worried about the superstitions and rumours surrounding his daughter’s affliction. 

The Mystery of the Solstice

Solstice: When the sun is on the sky the longest is the summer solstice. A lot of paranormal rumours surrounds this day, and this is the supposed day the little girl went missing.

What happened to the girl is still debated to this day. Perhaps only a tragic accident? The most gruesome theory is that of her father, Ugolinonuccio, that he himself ordered the death of his daughter because of her being an albino and therefore a problem for him, his reputation and his career. At the time he was supposed to be far away fighting in a war. Even her mere existence is debated as the records of the past are far and few between.

Now, every five year, or to be more exact, on every summer solstice ,strange occurrences have been reported from the castle. Paranormal researchers flock to the place then, to hear “the sound”.

Since the museum opened in the 90s, visitors have heard stories about a child crying or laughing. She is sometimes seen, looking a bit different than the others, running around and disappears in the castle like smoke. 

The Claim of the Supernatural

The sound of a child is what the paranormal researchers find over and over again together with strange images. Shame about the manuscript from the priest that could have given more details, which by the way is more of a claim of existence than a trace of it. However, the first real recording we have of the legend actually dates back to 1989, so quite recent, and very in line with the commercial museum that opened up the next year. 

But as they say on their web site, they welcome all to have a listen for themselves. Have a look and open your ears. Maybe you as well are able to hear the sound of a faint child’s laughter through the old halls of the castle’s basement?

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References

The legend of the ghost of Azzurrina of the castle of Montebello | e-borghi 

Montebello (Poggio Torriana)

Azzurrina – WikipediaLa Leggenda

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