Haunted Malta

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 11 July 2005

Our recent trip to Malta and Gozo would not have been complete without a spot of ghost-hunting. Before we went away my wife acquired a second-hand copy of 'The Ghosts Of Malta' by Joseph Attard.

It wasn't, to be honest, the easiest of reads, as the prose style was quite difficult to get into. The thrust of the book was a narrative of how a newly independent Malta had shunned the heritage of ghost stories around the island as belonging to the past, and was facing a ghost-free future. Maltese folklore believed in the 'Hares', spirits that dwelled in the home.

Attard makes much of the fact that people living in the same house would seldom talk of their experiences of the 'Hares', and that it became Malta's unspoken secret.

One enormous piece of evidence for the existence of ghosts in Malta has always been found in the substantial number of beautiful houses that have remained unoccupied throughout the years. Particularly during those following immediately after the end of the last war when Malta was passing through a crisis bought about by a housing shortage. It was a common saying that the unoccupied houses were all haunted. But none would say this in a way that it might reach the landlord's ears for fear of being forced [sic] with a lawsuit for defamation of the building

Due to this cult of secrecy many of the stories in the book are very vague - starting along the lines of 'Once there was a Doctor in a village in the North-East of Malta'. This was a shame for us, because we wanted to visit places that were specifically meant to be haunted. Although I did just take some pictures of random abandoned houses, on the grounds that they must be haunted.

An Abandoned House

There was one place we visited though that had a story attached to it. When we visited Mdina we walked along past the orange groves that form the focus of a story about Bill McGregor. Mr McGregor took a picture intending to contrast the orange grove with the white of the stone walls surrounding them.

But when the picture began to appear there seemed to be something on it which had definitely not been there when he took the snap. A few more seconds of concentration, and he realised that there had been an intruder in the picture.
Standing in front of the balustrading there was the figure of a headless girl, wearing a bridal gown

Attard goes on to describe the tale of Katerina, who murdered a Knight who had tried to 'take from her what she had solemnly promised only to her would-be spouse'. She stabbed the attacker, but was granted a last wish of being allowed to marry before she was beheaded for the crime. Attard claims that the picture featuring the ghost was published in English newspapers as the "Headless Bride of Mdina". Sadly internet research has not turned up any other reference to this story.

The gate to the walled citadel of Mdina on Malta where the apparently haunted photo was taken

So we didn't get to visit many haunted places, but I did have a very spooky experience when we were staying in Gozo. I mentioned in my account of the day that we found a "secret" staircase in our hostel in Marsalforn. I'd noticed it on the map of fire escapes, and so naturally, was taking a picture of the schematic design of the hostel to post on here and Flickr to illustrate the tale. I managed to make a right mess of it, failing to turn off the flash, then not getting it in focus, then catching a huge reflection from the window striking the map. I was just taking my fourth photograph of the notice on the wall when my exasperated wife called out at me in despair at the way I was faffing around. I turned and started apologising to her, and was met by blank stares from her and J., who had been happily talking amongst themselves and hadn't said anything to me.

The photo taken just before I had the voice call out to me

It wasn't the first time it had happened in that room. The previous night I had been quite aggravated that as soon as I had headed into the bathroom my wife had called out to me by name. "What?" I called out, only to find that again she had not said anything to me.

The first time the mystery voice that my wife claimed not to have uttered had called me 'Martin', the second time it had called me by my wife's pet name for me....

Spooky!

32 Comments

hi was lookin up ghosts in malta when came across this, i live in a haunted house in malta. saw the ghost last nite. hopefully wont be seein it again!

Did you stay in the Hostel at marsalforn? Did you enjoy it? was it reasonable? I am going to Malta in the spring of 07, do you have any suggestions? Hauntings are always nice, hah

I've just published a book called "The Do It Yourself Valletta Ghost Walk". It has proved to be a hit on the island and a second edition is planned. A local publisher wants me to do a series including Mdina and 3 cities and Victoria on Gozo. I'd love to hear stories from anyone, and if you have pictures, that would be great. I am also planning a book for 2007 called "Where Angels Fear To Tread - The Spook Houses Of Malta". I am currently researching Roseville at Attard; the "Black Pearl" (Errol Flynn's boat) at Msida. If you have first-hand knowledge of any haunted building please get in touch - particularly Nicola above, should you read this. Thanks.
Malcolm Hanson

Hi Malcolm, thanks for leaving a comment - what a shame you weren't already doing your tour when we were in Malta, as we would certainly have gone along.

Latest news: I hope to be doing regular ghost walks in Valletta from autumn 2007. Alpine Tours will act as agent. A new edition of the Do-It-Yourself Valletta Ghost Walk is due to be printed and circulated by the beginning of February 2007. I'm still mad on "Roseville" at Attard and hope to be allowed in to spend a night soon. Will let you know what happens!

a series of programs about hounted places had just stopped, and in the programm there use to be a medium present Roseville was one of the places were strange things happened during the programm and there was other plces like "il palazz ta l-inkwisitur", Manuel theatre,and other places in Malta and Gozo. I too do wish to see photoes on this site since I myself have never experianced anything . Although I wouldn't personally like to see Ghosts.

hi
i would like to know if the ex-RAFFLES discoteque is haunted pls.
thanks.

Hello Again,
Can anyone help me? The British Residents Association has asked me to devise a one-off ghost walk at Mdina for November 2008. I need to uncover any ghost stories about the ancient city. I've got two so far, the one featuring the headless bride (see above) and a priest that possibly haunted the cathedral. If anyone can tell me of others that would be great and you will be cordially invited as guests on the walk.
many thanks
Malcolm Hanson.

my mum lives in pembroke in the bericks and she has a ghost but only once i saw licke a shadow he never came in my room he just stay in front of the door becuse me and my girl frend used too feel a precence

Hi Martin, this little story from Malta could come in handy: due to major works, my son's School has been relocated to an old School in Sliema for this year and while the building is old there's nothing particularly eerie about it. However he has been feeling awkward every time he visits a specific toilet on the ground floor and so have some of his friends. He says it feels suddenly cold and he feels being watched. A Schoolmate also felt a sense of suffocation in the same place. On another occasion while waiting outside, my son swears he saw what appeared to be a 'leg-less' dark figure in one of the classrooms through a window. On reporting this a search of the area revealed nothing and the room was actually locked. I decided to investigate myself and came acoss this link which has a old picture right in front of the very same toilet and describes a couple of weird incidents in the same building. Apparently the school was utilised as a military hospital during world war I and many people would have died there...

Hi all!

I am Maltese and also live in Malta. I am really interested in hauntings and if you need to ask anything about Malta, just do so, I'd be happy to answer

the last few weeks me and my friends have been exploring a place in valletta and yesterday whilew we wer there very strange things wer wher happening, it gets extreamly cold in ther and thers sudden gushes of wind and stuff its very old like very very very old.
im not going to say wer this place is on the internet bcuz it will get infested with people if any of you guys ever want to come just reply id il see wat we can do

I'm a resident in Malta, ... well i've never actually been to Roseville, but there's a lot of speculation about it in my age group where everybody tries to sneak in and stuff, .. 2 people said that as soon as you enter the house you feel as if your aura is cold but the temperature surrounding you is cold and that its scare but the other person said that is just nothing but the head because she didn't feel anything, ... i personally don't know but you could say buskett is what i've experienced during the night, and i might add that its bloody scary, me and my friend ended there by mistake and it took us a lot of time to get out due to obstacles such as scary noises, paranoia, moving objects and such ... anyway good luck with your research i'm sure you'll find a lot in Malta

Hello everybody,
I will be returning to Malta on the 25th November and staying for 4 weeks. In this time I will be writing a ghost book with another well-known author (Maltese). I will also be doing ghost walks in Valletta and Mdina. Would like to hear from anyone with stories about these places or indeed, anywhere on Malta or Gozo. Email me at info@malcolmhanson.orangehome.co.uk
thanks

Hi I have a very bad ghost experience in Buskett. I was on a ghost hunt, with my pals as I am a non-believer in ghosts. I just saw darkness and sound of wind in the trees. Nothing scared me, until..... all of a sudden I hear a big fart! I got so scared I nearly died of heart attack and the smell was of dead corpses! Damn that was scary not ghosts. Muhahahahhahaa

you haven't tried the 3 cities yet.......

I would like to know if some of the Maltese know something about the villa/detached house as you are entering marsaxlokk. Thank you.

It was good to read your site, I'm also a keen reader of Mr Hanson and highly recommend his book.
As a ghost investigator I'm researching Maltese sites, whilst only a few are actually deemed haunted there are so many 'old' sites such as temples etc its probably worthwhile checking them out because basically most places with a history, have a history if you know what I mean. Thanks again for the site and happy hunting

Dear Jana regarding the house probably the one you mean is opposite the Marsovin wine field, this is called San Cousi House, I've heard numerous ghost stories, for instance my brother visited and even tho it has no floors people could be heard upstairs walking about.
This place is scheduled to become a hotel.
Me and a friend will be visiting it this evening to see what we see :O

I know Roseville . Its not going to be worth staying there now as its being stripped down and rebuilt as a Rest Home by Enemalta. I've no doubt there are stories to be told and when I looked at the foundations being dug for the new buildings there were some
strange rooms being revealed well below the house itself. So there is more history here than previously thought.

I live in malta and would like to suggest visiting the chapel in fort st elmo valletta. Here several people have had paranormal experiences since in this place during the siege of 1565 several knights and maltese met their fate at the hands of the turks, they held mass before hiding all religious artifacts then went to face their doom after holding the fort for months. It is also said that several turks known as 'Janisseries' sort of kamikaze warriors were killed and buried in the fort's ramparts during this seige. Tourists visiting have heard the screams of the desperate soldiers, seen blood coming out of the walls??? and even seen a man dressed in a knight's apparel. The place is very old and like others linked to the knights has its fair share of ghost stories linked to it. Should be a good place to visit.

hey there, i found this site while researching for some haunted sites in malta (i'm a local) and thought you might be interested in another site i found with some interesting tales. i know it is a few years out of date, but thought it might still interest you

Hello everybody,
Malcolm Hanson here. I didn't think i'd be coming to Malta this year as I'd too many commitments in England. However, a chance came along and I'm returning on 23rd of November for a month, staying at the Crown Hotel, Bugibba. I recently lost a lot of email addresses including Elizabeth Hair's, so if you read this, send me an email at malcolm.b.hanson@googlemail.com
I've not arranged any ghost walks but happy to meet fellow enthusiasts while I'm there.
best wishes.

Hi all, it's been very interesting reading the above comments as I'm a local tour guide and have been interested in the paranormal since I started feeling such encounters myself. I have been on Mr. Hanson's tour and this affirmed some of the stories i've been through. In fact I organise ghost tours every now and then, depending on the demand. I incorporate stories I've directly heard, real stories from books and personal experiences. There are several places in Malta which are definitely haunted. This place truly bubbles with history and mystery!! :)

If you want to visit haunted sites then the best place is ancient underground Rome.Generally those places are not that much known to public as most of them are some or the other way related to old churches.

Martin,

I am British now living in California but I lived in Malta as a child from 1961 to 1966. My father worked for the British Foreign Office and my parents and brothers and sisters lived in a modern flat at 4 Panoramic Buildings, Bay Junction, St Julians - basically at Balluta Bay nr Sliema. The flat was ABSOLUTELY definitely haunted but it seems I was the only one who could see and hear the several ghosts there. At first it was more at night...there were a lot of ladies...they would whisper and giggle...they knew I could hear them. I saw them sometimes float down the hallway. One day - in broad daylight in the middle of the day, my family all down in the living area, I ran up to my bedroom down the hall to brush my hair as we were going out. As I stood looking in the mirror, I heard a noise of steps on the floor and behind me was a lady dressed all in blue - medieval costume with pointed hat and long veil - she had walked into the room and did not know I was there - she gasped - like she was scared of me!! I ran downstairs and never told anyone. I hardly ever slept at night when we lived in that flat. I went back to Malta a couple of years ago with my sisters...just for a week...and read that right there in that area, the ladies would wait for their knights to come back from the crusades...I think there are some still waiting there! We moved back to England when I was 12 - we lived in older houses and I never saw another ghost! I have to say though - despite ghosts and mosquitoes, I LOVE Malta and the people of Malta.

I was small when one of my cousin brother told us that he ran away from his college hostel back to home just because there was a ghost in the hostel haunting everyone. Thatz was the first time I heard something about ghost around me.
It was really weird when my bro was talking about the ghost :)
When my bro was studying in my hostel room, suddenly he saw something moving outside his window. Later he realised there was a man standing completely nude and was a size of a tree with lot of hairs grown on his body. Sometimes we were laughing at my bro of the weird stuff he says everyday. One day when he was sleeping in the night, a lady comes out of the picture which is on his living room wall and starts to talk to him...
I guess there might be some haunted places in this world where ghost do exist. Your article is really great and it inspired me to ask my bro to read it too :)

I have lived in the uk for nearly thirty years. But as a child I lived in a house in Sliema on Rudolph street. Very ordinary looking place, but I experienced many strange and weird things in there, ...most of the time I kept them to myself. My sister also shared some of those experiences, but mainly it seemed to be geared around me. I now suspect that my father knew more about the house than he let on. I'd rather not say what happened in there as the house is now occupied, but I would love to know it's history.

I never believed in Ghost.............

until i experienced it too.. Yes their are ghosts..

and spirits wandering around us...

how can science explain what i experienced during my high school years??

many of my school mates were possessed by spirits and they are talking incomprehensible language until stopped by ritual ceremony with offering.

many talks of Japanese Language but i am sure they never learned that language.. Almost all of the possessed were women.. only 1 male.. I tried to prevent one possessed on hurting her friend and i realized she was stronger than I and even ou male teacher..

Hi,i just came across this article this morning, i am a British woman renting an old house. The very first night we moved in, the two pipes burst under the sink in the bedroom downstairs. I have seen shadows and i have recently taken picture in my bedroom and captured two little girls and many orbs. I always feel the bed shake and i hear voices. It's a shame there are no paranormal groups here. The priest is coming to bless the house.

I got this sent to me via email...

"I grew up living in Balluta Bay in Malta in a modern block of flats / on the second floor.

The flat was absolutely full of ghosts and I would hear them all the time during the night - sometimes see figures floating down the hallway. I didn't tell anyone as no-one else saw them and being a kid I thought something was wrong with me.

Then one day - in broad daylight and with my family all waiting in the living room to go out. I ran up to my room to comb my hair and a woman in a blue medieval costume stepped out of the wardrobe - she was solid - I heard her shoes click on the tiled floor and saw her in the mirror - then she gasped like she was afraid of me and I ran out of the room and downstairs. I always got the impression that they were a bunch of lady ghosts I would hear them giggling - and I knew that they knew I could hear them and would sometimes sshhh each other - I never saw ghosts again after we left that house."

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