Rome’s Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Museum of Purgatory, Rome

Along the banks of one of the most prominent rivers in Rome sits a grand old church with a dark secret tucked deep within. Towards the back end of the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio is Rome’s very own Museum of Purgatory.

The church where Rome's Museum of Purgatory exists.
The Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio in Rome, which contains the Museum of Purgatory.

While this museum is small, contained within one modest room, it makes up for what it lacks in size with an extreme amount of creep-factor. This is one attraction that lovers of the strange and supernatural should add to their bucket lists for visits to Rome.

A book on display in the Museum of Purgatory in Rome.
One of the books on display inside the museum, appearing to have been burnt.

Haunting Tales of the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Various burnt and marked objects are on display within the Museum of Purgatory. Each of these items is believed to have been touched and therefore, marked by someone whose soul is trapped in purgatory. Typically these marks manifest in a type of burn. Handprints and silhouettes appear marked onto various objects including bibles, clothing and other everyday items, all protected behind glass windows in this museum

Museum of Purgatory display case.
A glass case filled with items that have supposedly been marked by souls trapped in purgatory.

The ancient Catholic belief looks at purgatory as a place where the deceased could become trapped until they can atone for their sins. It is thought that family members may help those in purgatory ascend onwards to heaven if they pray intensely. Many of the marks left on these objects are said to be from those trapped in purgatory trying to contact family members and urge them to ‘up their game’ in the prayer department and hopefully expediting their path to heaven.

A handprint burnt onto clothing on display inside Rome's Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
A distinctive handprint that can be seen marked onto an item of clothing.

There are many objects with stories to tell within the Museum of Purgatory. These are both fascinating and disturbing, especially when you consider how they came to be. The museum even includes images of a church’s burnt walls, now marked with what resembles a demonic face

Demon face burnt onto walls of church.
A demonic appearing face, burnt onto the walls of a church.

Visiting Rome’s Purgatory Museum

The Purgatory Museum in Rome is open daily to visitors and makes for a quick interesting trip. The museum is free to enter but a donation is typically requested. You can find the museum at the rear end of the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio and it is likely you will need to ask to see the museum. You will be guided to a small room with all displays behind glass windows. Photography is permitted though it difficult due to the reflections the glass display cases create. You won’t need a long time to see all of the items contained in this museum as it is extremely small.

Display case for the Museum of Purgatory in Rome.
A small but disturbingly interesting display case in the Museum of Purgatory.

If you enjoyed this article and want to look for other haunted places in Rome, check out this article.

Thanks for reading!

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Amy

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Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

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