The Witches and Benevento


Benevento is a city tightly linked to the witches. It was one of the favorite places for the witches coming from all over Europe and used to gather under a mysterious and enormous walnut tree for the evil Sabbath gatherings. The Sabbath served as an inspiration of disturbing fantasies of several writers, painters and musicians.

The connection witches-Benevento is rooted in the Langobard domination. According to the legend, the Langobard soldiers used to hang goatskins from the walnut tree and, after trashing them with spears, ate them in the belief of acquiring the power of the goat.

These rituals lasted several days and Langobards used to light bonfires at night and get warmed up with wine, dances and women.

In the 7th century, to stop these practices, Bishop Barbato decided to cut the walnut tree revered by the Langobards, however they continued to practice their pagan rites, lighting fires and entertaining with women.

It should be emphasized that the pagan cult of the Langobards is rooted on even more ancient times, on the Egyptian goddess Isis.

When the Romans rule started, in fact, new cults were assimilated, including the one of the Egyptian goddess Isis. In Benevento there was a temple dedicated to Isis and today in the city center there is an obelisk dedicated to her with hieroglyphic inscriptions that describe Isis as the "lady of the stars, of the heaven, of the earth and of the underground."