We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies and other technologies.


A "Possessed" Nun Wrote a Cryptic Letter from the Devil in the 17th Century and It Was Just Decoded

Modern software translated its terrifying contents.

possessed nun devil's letter
  • camera-icon
  • Photo Credit: Ludum Science Center / Facebook

It was 1676 when Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione of Palma di Montechiaro, Sicily went away from herself and allegedly held a conversation with the Devil. After Sister Maria had returned to her senses, the nun found that she had scribbled letters in a language no one could read—and that no one has been able to figure out how to read ever since. The sisters believed that Satan had taken hold of Maria in an attempt to turn her away from God, but who could say for sure?

Enter the LUDUM Science Museum, also found in Sicily. This year, they subjected the surviving, centuries-old letter to modern analysis and intelligence-grade code-breaking software, and they think they know what it is the Devil had so say.

Related: The Origin of the Term ‘Devil’s Advocate’ Comes Directly From the Catholic Church  

The group, led by Daniele Abete, primed the code-breaking software—which they found on the dark web—with ancient Greek, Arabic, Latin, and the Runic alphabet. They found that the “Devil’s Letter” contained a mishmash of old—but readable—languages.

What did it say, you ask?

possessed nun devil letter
  • camera-icon
  • The Palma di Montechiaro where Sister Maria wrote the letter

    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Well, it turns out that the letter is pretty devilish. Though large portions were unintelligible, the letter describes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as “deadweights” and claims that God was invented by man. Further, the writing sarcastically scoffs at the idea that God can save mortals, saying that this “system works for no one.”

Related: The Devil’s Bible: Did The Devil Himself Write This Medieval Manuscript? 

Skeptical scientists point out that the nun would likely have had an excellent command of ancient languages and that she could have quite possibly been suffering from a condition such as schizophrenia. Which is to say, she very well may have been hearing voices, but they may not have been Satanic in nature.

We can’t say for sure, of course. History is intent on keeping at least some of its secrets – even from the murkiest corners of the dark web.

[Via Atlas Obscura]

This story was first published on did you know?

Featured photo via Ludum Science Center / Facebook