Malta is renowned for its year-long sunshine, stunning beaches and friendly locals; but as with most things, it also has a more sinister side to it. As an island boasting so much history, we were bound to have racked up some restless spirits and haunted houses along the way.
These are some of the places rumoured to be haunted by all the ghosts of Maltin past.
1. The Blue Dolphin House, Valletta
We’ll start off light, with a quirky story from a house in St. Ursula Street. Back when Malta was under British rule, two sailors met a beautiful woman who asked them to accompany her back home. Upon their arrival she asked them to help her open the door as she had forgotten the key inside. They eventually managed to get it open and helped the kind woman into her beautifully ornate home.
The following day, when they returned to pick up a silver cigarette case one of the sailors had forgotten, they found the entire house in ruins. Neighbours claimed that the house had been abandoned for decades, but many claim they can occasionally see a light flickering inside.
2. Villa Sans Souci, Marsaxlokk
A long-abandoned mansion in Marsaxlokk that is known for its paranormal activity. Weird noises are constantly heard from inside the villa, and many who trespass have problems getting good shots of the inside the house. Those who have entered complain of a constant feeling of dread and paranoia following them everywhere they stepped.
3. Verdala Palace, Buskett
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During the knight’s reign, Grand Master De Rohan’s niece was to be married to a suitor she was not attracted to. After hearing she wasn’t that into him, the suitor locked the girl in her room at Verdala Palace. She tried to escape out of her window, and fell to her death. Since then her ghost has roamed around the palace in the iconic blue dress she died in. She is rumoured to appear in the mirrors in Verdala, or standing precariously on the edge of the palace balconies.
4. Splendid Hotel, Valletta
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This Strait Street hotel originally started its life as a brothel. One night, an argument broke out between an escort and a client, and the woman in question was murdered in the upstairs bathroom. Her spirit is said to walks the empty halls of the hotel, violently hurling furniture across rooms when her soul turns restless.
5. Mdina (literally everywhere)
Possibly one of Malta’s most popular ghost stories is the woman roaming the streets of Mdina, wearing the traditional Maltese ghonnella. She stands silently at the end of the dark streets, beckoning people to follow her, before walking straight through a nearby wall.
Another story speaks of a girl called Katerina, who murdered a knight in an act of vengeance against a man who wronged her. The courts sentenced her to death, but not before allowing her to marry her one true love minutes before her punishment was exacted. Many find their holiday snaps in the city ruined by an uninvited guest – a headless bride lurking in the shadowy roads. It is also said that she appears to widowers and heartbroken men, telling them to give up on love and join her in death.
6. Manoel Island, Gżira
Originally the Bishop’s residence, the fortified island was turned into an isolation hospital with the outbreak of the black death in 1592. If an island full of plague victims wasn’t enough to imbue the space with a shitload of restless spirits then the desecration of a long-dead knight’s crypt would probably do it.
People working on the island have spoken of an apparition standing proud atop the fortification walls – silent and staring at those beneath him. The black knight, dressed in a full suit of black armour, has patrolled the abandoned buildings in the area for hundreds of years.
7. Telgħa t’Alla w’Ommu, Naxxar
Enjoying a nice, relaxing, evening drive? Perfect – just stay away from this area. For years we’ve heard stories of a teenage girl stumbling across the road, begging drivers who pass by for a help. Whenever someone has pulled over to assist the helpless teen, she’s simply vanished into thin air.
One solution could be to roll up your windows and drive by at full speed, completely ignoring her pleas. That might work, until you look into your rear-view mirror and catch her gaze as she sits in your back seat.
8. Dar ix-Xjaten, Mġarr
In an overgrown field in the middle of the Mgarr countryside, sits an old farmhouse crumbling to pieces. Sounds sad, but not scary, right?
Well that would be true were it not for the fact that the inside of the house is always meticulously kept; with not a speck of dust on the old furniture or an out of place knick-knack to be seen. Also there’s the small issue of the classical music that drifts from the house at night.
9. Fort St. Angelo, Birgu
Fort St. Angelo stands strong as the site for one of Malta’s longest and most gruelling battles. A large number of the battles during The Great Siege, which saw around 40,000 people killed, took place against its walls. That’s 40,000 gruesome deaths in the space of three months. And if thousands of people being stabbed to death wasn’t enough to keep some spirits lingering, what of those who died from the hot oil poured onto them, or the soldiers who saw their heads being blasted from cannons?
BONUS: St. Paul’s Catacombs, Rabat
Nothing scary about crypts carved deep underground as the final resting place for many from 300-800AD.