Saint Marcel, a castle haunted by hooded souls
In Surpian, a small hamlet of the municipality of Saint-Marcel, 12 km from italian city of Aosta, stands an imposing castle, Saint Marcel (in french château de Saint-Marcel), probably built in the fourteenth century by Giacomo di Challant and now in a state of complete abandonment (with the exception of some recent restoration interventions). It is located on a plateau at a crossroads of paths leading along the valley bottom and the roads towards the larger valley located to the south, known since Medieval times for the presence of iron, bronze and manganese mines.
Closely linked to the Challant family, the castle was passed to the Bianco di San Secondo family in the seventeenth century to then be acquired by the mine exploration society in the eighteenth century. It eventually became a municipal property in the twentieth century.
It is part of the agricultural-military network of installations that guaranteed the local nobles control of the rich agricultural territory of the valley floor. The current structure was built by expanding the pre-existing strong house when in 1400, due to the change of political conditions due to clashes, plots and alliances of families, it was decided to transform the “rural-fortified-castle” into a “rural-castle-residence”: the current building, 7 floors high (with cellars), in fact, it is a pure and simple display of power of the noble family.
Due to its sinister appearance, it is considered a place of mysteries and alleged ghost sightings. Apparently, strange phenomena such as noises, screams, rolling stones, moans and hums occur here.
The few visitors who have had the opportunity to visit this splendid castle often came across strange figures that they identified as “chatty” and hooded ghosts. All the tales that have been collected apparently speak of these strange hooded figures, seen engaged in conversations that are sometimes very heated and sometimes whispered, but also rather violent discussions.
It seems that these souls are condemned to remain into the castle and above all to always follow the same path, which consists in passing through one of the corridors inside the castle, the one that leads to a large room, where they then seem to vanish into thin air. In addition to these so-called “talkative” souls, another spirit has also been sighted, belonging to a knight who seems to come directly from the seventeenth century. He is tall and sturdy and the expression on his face seems confused and bewildered. In this way, endlessly, he runs through the rooms and places of the castle in a threatening tone tohether with his sword…