One of the most chilling tales in paranormal history tells of a 17th century Sicilian nun who wrote a creepily undecipherable series of letters, all while being under the possession of Lucifer.
Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione woke one morning in 1676, covered in ink and with the eerie letters before her, written in a strange and mysterious mixture of archaic alphabets.
Sister Maria told her fellow nuns how Lucifer had taken possession of her body, manipulating her hands to write the diabolical script, explaining how this was Satan’s way of forcing her to turn her back on God and serve evil instead.
Sister Maria is widely believed to have screamed and fainted during her ordeal.
The other nuns believed her story and for many generations, the sisters of the Palma di Montechiaro convent tried in vain to decipher the puzzle.
340 years after Sister Maria’s night of horror, the secret has finally been cracked.
One of the letters has survived the centuries and has been unscrambled by a group of researchers from the Ludum science centre in Sicily, using a software program they found on the dark web.
Speaking with The Times, centre director Daniele Abate explained the ingenious code cracking process:
We heard about the software, which we believe is used by intelligence services for codebreaking.
We primed the software with ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet and Latin to descramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish,
The letter itself appears to focus on the relationship between humans, Satan and God – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all described as being ‘dead weights’, with the sarcastic line, ‘God thinks he can free mortals’.
The ‘rambling’ letter goes on to say how God was invented by humans, and states, ‘this system works for no one’.
There’s also a reference to the River Styx, which separates the living from the underworld in Greek mythology, with one strange sentence reading, ‘perhaps now, Styx is certain’.
Sister Maria is believed to have been well-educated in the field of languages, which Daniele believes allowed her to invent such a complex linguistic code.
However, Daniele believes her writings could be reflective of mental health problems rather than demonic possession:
[She] may have suffered from a condition like schizophrenia, which made her imagine dialogues with the Devil.
That has not stopped numerous interested Satanic sects contacting me since I published our findings.
A message from Satan or the inconsistent thoughts of a troubled mind?
What do you think?