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The city of Triora, Italy, is as beautiful as a painting. Tourists flock there from all over the world each year to marvel at the stunning region’s medieval architecture and picturesque hillsides.
Hidden within the confines of this fairytale city, however, is a history of violence and paranoia that makes the Salem witch trials seem like child’s play.
In 1587, particularly bad weather led to a massive crop failure and subsequent famine. Instead of blaming the climate, however, townspeople decided to blame the presence of witches.
The local government called in the Inquisitor of Genoa and Albenga, along with Priest Girolamo del Pozzo, in order to substantiate the city’s claims of witchcraft…and that’s exactly what they did.
Within days of their arrival, at least 20 women were rounded up, tortured, and forced to confess to their Satanic crimes. By the time the initial interrogations were over, at least 10 more women were added to the doomed list.
Several of the accused were from noble families in the region, and despite serious pushback from their relatives, the captors would not release them.
By the time everything was said and done, at least 4 of the accused parties were burned at the stake. It’s possible that the number was actually much higher. Unfortunately, there are few surviving records from the time.
But the violence didn’t stop in Triora. For a few years, witch hunts continued in smaller towns outside of the city. Things got so bad, in fact, that the Vatican had to intervene and put an end to the madness. That’s when all remaining prisoners were set free.
Despite having such a morbid history, the people of Triora seem oddly proud of their town’s past.
Within its ancient walls, you can find museums dedicated to the bizarre witch hunt. They even hold several witchcraft festivals there throughout the year.
(via Atlas Obscura)
The power of unsubstantiated paranoia is strong. It’s events like these upon which I think we should all reflect on a regular basis. After all, you know what they say about history repeating itself. Let’s not allow that to happen.
Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/triora-italy/