Legends and Myths of Malta: Creepy and Macabre tales on the island
With 7,000 years’ worth of history, it’s natural Malta birthed a few myths and legends here and there. From St Paul’s shipwreck to the beautiful but eerie St Angelo, and Homer’s Odyssey, today we list down a few of the legends and myths of Malta.
St. Pauls Shipwreck
First one in our list of legends and myths of Malta and by far the most popular is the St Paul’s Shipwreck. If you visit Malta and you go to the area of Selmunett, you’ll notice that 80 meters away there are small islands knowns as “Il-Gżejjer ta’ San Pawl” (The islands of St. Paul). In 60 AD Paul the Apostle was accused of religious rebellion. He was on his way to Rome when his ship was caught in a storm and some say wrecked on the Maltese island. It’s believed this is how Christianity was bought to Malta.
St Paul and The Viper.
While we’re still on the subject of St. Paul, the book of Acts states while Paul was collecting firewood, a snake bit him. The Maltese thought he was going to die, but Paul suffered no illness. In addition, the Maltese believed he was Godly. Maybe the snake wasn’t poisonous? Just a suggestion.
Ogygia in Homer’s Odyssey.
Gozo is the island and home of the nymph Calypso. In Homer’s classic and epic poem, The Odyssey, this where Odysseus a.ka Ulysses was shipwrecked (we have lots of shipwrecks on this today’s topic) Calypso held him captive for seven years. The Calypso Cave is believed where he was held, hostage. The Cave overlooks the Ramla beach in Gozo.
St. Angelo in Birgu (Vittoriosa)
Built around the medieval period as a castle called the Castrum Maris (Castle by the Sea.) Later rebuilt by the otherwise notorious Order of St John. During the Great of Siege, a few Ottoman soldiers were decapitated and their heads were used as cannon balls, talking about extreme measures. However, this was done because the Ottomans crucified Knights,(also headless and cut up) floating in the Grand Harbour, with the tide bringing them to Birgu. The place is haunted by the headless Ottomans and also the mysterious Grey Lady.
The grey lady was a beautiful woman but had a tragic life. She was a mistress of Di Nava family. Tired of being second best, the lady went to the house of the nobleman, while his wife was there. The nobleman told his guards to “get rid of her”. The guards took it literary and killed her. Dumping her body in a dungeon known as “It-Toqba” The hole.
When he found out what the guards did, he killed them and dumped their bodies in this hole. Take about a huge misunderstanding right there. Now, her spirit is exorcised. You can stroll the bastions with ease but keep a lookout for the headless Ottomans. 🤣
Sant Marija Ta-Virtu
This Chapel is located in Tal-Virtu in Rabat. Captured by amazing views and quiet surroundings the church makes an ideal walk to the countryside. At the dome, it has a statute on the top to make it all together macabre. To add another layer of creepy, underneath this chapel, are Punic, Roman, and Phoenician tombs. Catacombs and medieval crypts. You don’t think this chapel is trying hard enough? Wait for it, it gets better. 😱
A Preist haunts the church, where he delivers mass to no one in particular. As if finding a Priest’s ghost saying mass is not enough to freak us out, here is the icing on the cake, Satanists consecrated this chapel. To make your blood curdle; a number of symbols carved on its floors, and a cross turned upside down and altars painted black
For more mediocre tales, myths and legends book one of our Valletta Tours and we take you on a journey of the island’s secret past and beyond.