World's Scariest Haunted Hotels

by - October 31, 2009 See all photo galleries
Italy: Villa of Corliano

Villa di Corliano

Recognized as one of the most prestigious Renaissance villas in Tuscany, Villa di Corliano's luxury and grandeur is more than enough reason to never leave—even after the body has given up the ghost. Built in the 15th century, the building's exterior is decorated in graffiti typical of the Florentine Mannerist Art and dating back to the 1500s.

The villa has been home to and welcomed many prestigious guests throughout its time. In fact, it is one such person that is thought to remain on the grounds to this day.

By the light of a full moon, guests have encountered a noblewoman, known as the "White Ghost," lurking in their rooms. Some local peasants even claimed once to see her in the drive of the park leading a six-horse coach, where she stopped at the Ragnaia, or "Cobweb Corner," to stare longingly at the villa which they believed was once her home. Known also as a good-natured spirit, she is also responsible for moving tapestries and rearranging ornaments, and a slamming door or mysteriously opened window is considered her handiwork. Occasionally the underground passageways beneath the wine cellar ring with giggling or the sound of footsteps. There is also the account of one night when the hall was filled with the thunderous sound of the crystal chandelier crashing to the floor, but when the chandelier was found, it was right where it should be without one crystal out of place.

So, who is the "White Ghost?" Speculative fingers point to the direction of Maria Teresa Scolastica Ottavia della Seta Gaetani Bocca who was married at the villa in 1755, but there is very little to support that claim. For now, her identity remains as mysterious as her presence in the villa.

Rooms start at €70 (about $102 U.S.; check for current exchange rates) per night, and include breakfast.

(Photo: Villa of Corliano)

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