Hallows-week is here! What better way to celebrate than exploring the city’s spookiest sites? With thousands of years of history, Rome has no shortage of potentially haunted locations – some of them may even surprise you.  Here are 5 spooky places to visit this Halloween in Rome:

1. Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo


Castel Sant’Angelo is a staple of the Roman skyline, but it also has a dark past. Particularly during the Renaissance era, Castel was one of multiple sites in Rome where papal executions would take place. A multitude of executions took place on the bridge in front of Castel, Ponte Sant’Angelo. The papal state also used it as a prison where many died while waiting for their sentence. Considering the history of the landmark, it is not surprising that it has been the site of many ghostly sitings.



The most well-known haunting of Castel Sant’Angelo and the nearby bridge is the story of Beatrice Cenci.  Beatrice was the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat who was sentenced to death in 1599 for the murder of her father.  Beatrice was executed at the gallows once raised in front of Castel Sant’Angelo. Since then, both visitors and locals have claimed to see her headless ghost walking across the bridge on the night of September 10th to 11th. However, sightings of Beatrice are not limited to September 11th, so perhaps she will make an appearance this Halloween.



Castel is also allegedly haunted by the ghost of Mastro Titta – who is commonly referred to as the legendary executioner of Rome.  Between 1796 and 1864 Titta executed 816 prisoners on behalf of the Papal State.There have been many claims that Titta can be seen walking Ponte Sant’Angelo at dusk wearing a red cloak. It is said that he offers passersby tobacco, just like he used to do for those awaiting execution.

Where: Lungotevere Castello, 50

When: 9:00-19:30 daily

Entrance: 11€-16€

2. Death’s Portal


St. Peter’s Basilica is home to 5 sets of bronze doors – each depicting important Catholic beliefs or experiences. The most prominenet of these doors is the Holy Door – which is only open on Jubilee years.  Less prominent are the set of doors referred to as the Doors of Death.  Located to the far left of the Basilica’s portico, the Doors of Death depict morbid scenes including the deaths of Jesus, Mary and St. Peter.  Considering the content of these doors it is not surprising that they were used for funeral processions. Many even refuse to walk through these doors for fear of being cursed.

You can see the Doors of Death on Enjoy Rome’s tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.  Go to www.enjoyrome.com to book! 

Where: St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza San Pietro

When: Open daily 7:00-18:30

3. Campo dei’ Fiori and the Ghost of Giordano Bruno


Campo de’ Fiori is one of Rome’s most lively areas. However, both visitors and locals often overlook the ominous statue located at the centre of the piazza.  The statue is of Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher and astrologer who is best known for his theories of the cosmos. Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition and sentenced to death. On February 17th, 1600 Bruno was executed in Campo dei’ Fiori.  Many have claimed to see his ghost wandering the piazza at night or looking down on the crowd from one of the terraces above.

Where: Piazza Campo de’Fiori

4. Crypt of the Capuchin Friars


(No photos are allowed inside; digitized postcard; author unknown)

This location is both creepy and fascinating all at the same time, thus making for the perfect Halloween visit.  The Crypt of the Capuchin Friars is located within catacombs of the Church of Our Lady of Conception of the Capuchins.  The church itself was completed in the 17th century . It is not exactly known when the catacombs were constructed, however it is believed to have been between 1732 and 1775. The crypts themselves are comprised of 5 rooms decorated with the bones of 4,000 friars.  The decorations include instricate designs and patters such as crosses, crowns, and even a chandelier.  Not to mention the eerie plaque that reads “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be”.

Where: Via Vittorio Veneto, 27

When: Open daily 9:00-12:00 and 15:00-18:00

Entrance: 4€-6€

5. San Callisto Catacombs


(No photos are allowed inside; digitized postcard; author unknown)

There are many catacomb sites in and around Rome, but the most popular are probably the San Callisto Catacombs located on the Appian Way.  The catacombs are a massive underground burial complex where popes, martyrs and other Christians have been buried for centuries – including the original crypt of St. Cecilia.  It is difficult to get much spookier than miles of dimply lit crypts where the souls of thousands were buried.

Want to learn more about the San Callisto Catacombs? Book your spot on our guided tour of the Catacombs and the Appian Way!