Culture
Eight terrifying local ghost stories that will freak you out
Drama is inherent in Malta's history, which is why it's no surprise that apparitions are abound, rooted in the island’s steep historical past.

Lisa Borain

The Blue Dolphin House on St Ursula Street, Valletta

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When Malta was under British rule, two sailors met a beautiful woman at a late hour, who asked them to walk her back home. When they arrived at her house on St Ursula Street, she told them that she had forgotten her key inside and asked if they could help her to regain entry. Although reluctantly wary, they aided her, and quickly relaxed to find that when she opened the door, a beautifully kept house illuminated with candles was revealed. Eventually, they grew tired and bid their farewell.

The following day, when they returned to pick up a silver cigarette case one of the sailors had forgotten, they found that the entire house was completely derelict. Neighbours informed them that the house had been abandoned for decades, but that they occasionally saw a mysterious light flickering inside.

Dread at Villa Sans Souci, Marsaxlokk

Originally constructed as a private residence in the 1870s, this now long-abandoned mansion was used as a hotel in the 1910s, and by the Royal Air Force in the 1940s. It's been said that eerie noises are often heard from inside the villa, and many who have entered the abandoned site have said that a constant feeling of dread and paranoia follows them everywhere they step.

The girl in the blue dress at Verdala Palace

During the time of the Order of St John, Grand Master De Rohan’s niece was to be married to a suitor she did not love and refused to marry him. Upon discovering this, the enraged suitor locked the girl in her room at Verdala Palace in Buskett. When she attempted to escape out of her window, she fell to her death. Since then, her ghost has roamed around the palace in the blue dress she died in. Many palace visitors have reported seeing her in the mirrors throughout the palace, or standing on the edge of the palace balconies.

Mdina's headless bride

One evening, a beautiful girl named Katerina who lived in Mdina was attacked by a knight on a dark street. When she fought for her life, she accidentally killed the knight. The courts sentenced her to death by beheading, but not before allowing her to marry her one true love minutes before her punishment was exacted. It is said that the headless bride still roams the streets of Mdina, standing silently at the end of the streets, encouraging people to follow her and appearing in their holiday snapshots. It's also said that she appears to widowers and heartbroken men, telling them to give up on love and join her in death.

The knight on Manoel Island

Folklore and rumours have it that Fort Manoel is haunted by an apparition called the Black Knight, who wears the full armour and regalia of the Order of St John. British and Maltese soldiers who stayed there, as well as workmen and tourists have sighted his presence over the years, and some say that it's the ghostly figure of the Grand Master Vilhena, who commissioned the building of the fort.

In the 1940s, the knight began to appear near the ruins of the Chapel of St Anthony of Padua, which had just been bombed. When the rubble from the ruined chapel began to be cleared, the workmen reported that the knight was supervising their work.

The hitchhiking girl in Naxxar

Probably one of Malta's most often told and scariest ghost stories is of the teenage girl who stumbles across the isolated road which leads from Salina to Naxxar. The teenager appears to frantically beg drivers who pass by to stop to help her. When the driver pulls over to aid her, she vanishes into thin air. The scariest part is that if the driver tries to drive past her, she sits defiantly in the back seat of their car.

The grey lady at Fort Saint Angelo

During Siculo-Norman times (a period spanning circa 400 years from the early 12th century onwards), one of the two women of the governor grew tired of being shared. When she tried to protest, she was taken away by guards, killed, and her body was thrown in a cell in the fort’s dungeon. Since referred to as the Grey Lady, she has been heard and sighted, and said to have been aggressive and vulgar as she banged and threw furniture around. The Grey Lady was said to have never be seen again when her ghost was exorcised by a Maltese lady.

Lullabies in the Manoel Theatre

A voice, which is said to come from that of the mistress of Grand Master de Vilhena (who built the theatre in 1732) is sometimes heard singing lullabies in the background during rehearsals at one of the oldest functioning theatres in the world in Valletta.

@mullionmarauder / Instagram

29th October 2022


Lisa Borain
Written by
Lisa Borain
Lisa is a copywriter/editor with an adventurous interest and penchant for all things Malta.

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