• 2017.05.26
  • Horror
When you were a child, after impatiently pestering adults for a ghost story, did you end up screeching or exclaiming something like, “How scary!” or “I’ve got goose bumps?”
Italian children also beg to be told scary stories. What’s more, horror storybooks for children are incredibly popular, which makes sense if you think it through. I worry when I see kids reading such books in bed before going to sleep, yet can’t help but smile. When it comes to horror movies, the latest advances in movie technology seem to have made them scarier because of the sound and visual effects, so it’s not only the kids who hide behind cushions. Even I, a grown adult, am not immune to the intensity and instinctively turn the channel. Even so, sometimes I find myself turning the channel back. I guess it’s the contradictory human nature that seeks excitement and possesses a sense of curiosity that makes me want to look away, yet compels me to watch.

Speaking of spooky, narrow alleys that encompass central Milan are familiar, busy streets during the day, but have a surprisingly different side when the sun goes down and they’re enveloped in silence. An eerie atmosphere is cast over them. Similarly, haven’t you ever experienced a momentary sense of being alone and scared when you’re at somewhere like a school, a forest, or art museum and you suddenly realize it’s quiet and there’s no one around?


There is a church in the center of Milan that I avoid going to alone. Visitors enter that church and go through a chilly passageway to find a chapel that has four walls filled with skeletons. Being confronted with over 2,000 bones and skulls paralyzes you for a time because you find yourself unable to move.


I think people who have a strong extrasensory perception can’t even get close to this church. As an aside, my friend who has a strong ability to sense the supernatural had been avoiding going past a certain plaza in Milan without knowing the reason, but understood why when he later found out that was where Mussolini was put to death by hanging.

Getting back to what I was saying…of course, I’ve never met anyone who looked at the walls full of bones at the Church of San Bernardino alle Ossa and ran out screaming. Visitors gaze at the myriad of gray bones and beautiful, softly colored decorative ceiling paintings, and are prompted to think about life and death.


After leaving this church, you’ll see another church, Parrocchia Di S. Stefano Maggiore appear right in front of you. Shift your line of sight and you’ll see the top of Duomo in between. Energetic university students from the University of Milan right nearby will pass right in front of you, and you’ll gradually come back to your senses.


I wonder what you’ll feel if you find yourself at this corner of Milan?


  • Yuriko Mikami
  • AgeDog (INU)
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

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