Maria Marmora: The Legend of an Italian Witch [ARTICLE/THEATRE]

A very interesting theater act took place this summer in the south of Italy, curated and realized by the Italian LaB – Laboratory of the Theatre Performers from Salerno.

It tells about the life of a woman, a story  handed down from generation to generation, a legend.

The Legend of Maria Marmora,  accused of witchcraft and infanticide.

The Legend of Maria Marmora, accused of witchcraft and infanticide.

This story took place in the south of Italy in 1600, years of the Inquisition and the witch hunts.

The legend says that Maria Marmora was a woman who lived near the castle overlooking the small village of Polla and she went around the country in search of children taking them away with her.

Considered by everybody as a witch, it was thought that she had used strange substances  to create magic potions.

One day she was seen to kidnap a child and take him to her home, so it was  alerted the whole country.

Maria Marmora was arrested, processed and then executed  in front of the entire population. Her head was cut off and the legend says that on that occasion, her head would continue to talk.

It is said, too, that her head was exposed as a warning for days in front of the castle  and the stone on which it was supported took on the appearance of the same head, scaring everyone who passed by there, especially at night.

Where history ends and legend begins? It is not known exactly.

What we know is that this strong story reminds us the terrible atmosphere of what happened in Salem and, more generally, everywhere during the terrible  historical period of inquisition.

So, people must continue to hand down this and other similar legends to not forget and to learn from the past, also ( and especially) when it’s so terrible and scary.

Mariarita Cupersito 

Author: Mariarita Cupersito

Mariarita Cupersito is an Italian gothic writer. She collects Venetian masks, reads lots of books, comics and manga. She loves music, all Tim Burton's movies, and, sometimes, she tries extreme sports.

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