At the famous Bell Tower at St. Mark’s Square in Venice, the ghost of a former Bell-Ringer is haunting the place, trying to sound the bells one more time. 

Walking the narrow streets and alleys of Venice, there are tales of a skeleton still walking among us, rattling his bones and asking for alms. This is said to be along Bressana Court at SS. Giovanni and Paolo. 

It is said it is the skeleton of one of the last The Bell-Ringer at St Mark, one of the more popular tourist spots in Venice. The Bell-Ringer was said to be a very tall man, ringing the bell of the St. Mark’s Campanile, a huge bell-tower on St. Mark’s square. The bell tower is one of the standing symbols of the republic and the highest point in the city.

From here, Galileo Galilei sat in 1609 and demonstrated his telescope and from here Goethe saw the sea for the first time in 1786. Although the tower has been destroyed many times, the Venetians have always rebuilt it just as it was. 

When the almost 100 meter high tower was changed into a bell tower in the 1100s, it wasn’t just to ring bells. It worked as a watch tower and lighthouse before being turned into just the belltower. This was where The Bell-Ringer was working, ringing the five bells every day at the right time.  

The Bell-Ringer was not a content man though and according to the legend, he was easily led. He allegedly sold his bones out of greed to a scientist. The Bell-Ringer agreed to it and accepted the advanced payment, and started to go out every night drinking himself to an early death.  

After his death, it is believed that The Bell-Ringer regretted taking the offer of giving his skeleton away to a scientist. Because of this he was condemned to wander at night in his skeleton form until he had enough money to buy himself free from the curse he brought on himself. 

To this day you can see the actual skeleton of the bell-ringer in the Venice’s Natural History Museum. According to the legend however, the skeleton leaves the museum at night, trying to do his job, ringing the twelve bells of the St. Mark’s Campanile. 


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