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You Won’t Be Alone: “The seven horned witches emerged from the mist and surrounded my daughter. I never saw her again”

You Won't Be Alone: "The seven horned witches emerged from the mist and surrounded my daughter. I never saw her again" 1
Jan van de Velde II, "A witch at her cauldron surrounded by animals", 1626.

If you look at the stories about the encounters of people with mysterious creatures with an open mind, it becomes clear that most of them are just fiction.

One of these incidents, for all its seeming fancifulness, could really have happened, since it is cited as the most real in a newspaper from 1926.

Le Janare

For many centuries, the inhabitants of the Italian province of Benevento have been passing from mouth to mouth stories about dark entities called “le janare” (the article le in Italy is intended to denote the feminine in the plural).


In popular belief, Janara is a kind of evil female presence. That is, she can take both a physical form, becoming something like a witch, and be an invisible spirit flying through the air like fog.

Neither good nor evil

According to historians, their name comes either from the word “Dianara”, denoting the priestesses of this goddess, or from the Latin “ianua”, which means “door” – after all, according to tradition, it was necessary to leave salt in front of the door, so that these entities would not penetrate in a dwelling.

Initially, Janara was neither a positive nor a negative creature. According to legends, they knew the remedies for many diseases and often helped people. But at the same time, for unknown reasons, they could send a storm to the village or destroy crops.


In the Italian folk beliefs, Janara was not associated with religion, but was considered rather a magical creature that obeys the unknown laws of being.


As for the appearance of Janara, she can take on any form, but prefers to transform to a cat, dog or wolf. And to quickly move from one place to another, they can turn into fog and move with the wind.

People usually depict Janare as women with long hair and horns on their heads. This is probably due to the fact that they are usually associated with witches.


But most of all, people were afraid that the Janare could lure children into the forest in order to absorb their strength and thereby prolong their lives.

Le Janare magic

To do this, the janare, like witches, gather in abandoned and uninhabited places, where they perform their sinister rituals around small magical fires.

It is their magic, consisting of strange rites and chants performed at night by the light of the full moon, that can deprive a person of will and force them to meekly obey the orders of witches.

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It seems that a farmer from Torrecuso in the Campania region named Fernando Elmo witnessed one of these rites.

One dreadful night

This story took place in May 1923 and was preserved thanks to the local historian Francisco Bernardone, who published it in the Benevento newspaper in 1926.

That moonlit night, farmer Fernando woke up in the middle of the night and went to check on his pregnant mare. Everything was fine with her, but when the man left the stable, he saw how his 7-year-old daughter, Teresa, slipped out of the door of the house.


Elmo called out to her, but she didn’t respond. The girl seemed to be in a trance. She passed through the vineyard and began to withdraw deep into the forest…

In the forest

Fernando thought Teresa was suffering from somnambulism. Knowing that it is better not to wake such people, he decided to follow his daughter so that nothing bad would happen to her.

The girl confidently made her way through the thicket, as if she knew where to go. In the meantime, her father, who was pursuing her, having walked about a quarter of a mile, began to hear distant singing coming from the place towards which they were heading.


Finally, after 10 minutes, Elmo saw Teresa come out into a small clearing shrouded in fog. In its center, a bonfire of an unusual scarlet hue was burning, and strange rounded symbols could be seen on the ground.

The meadow

To Fernando’s dismay, Teresa slowly approached the fire, which seemed to part and let her into the center. The symbols on the ground began to glow and turned blood red.

– The fog around began to swirl and take on eerie forms – either animals, or hellish monsters … then seven horned witches came out of the fog and surrounded my daughter. I didn’t see her again … – Fernando said.

"Witches in the Woods"
“Witches in the Woods”

At that moment, when the fog began to surround Teresa, Elmo could not stand it and rushed to her to save his daughter, but as soon as he stepped into the clearing, he lost consciousness and saw nothing else.

Secret Benevento

The man woke up the next morning in the same clearing. Only there were no longer any traces: no signs on the ground, no ashes from a fire, no fog.

Thinking that he had dreamed it all, he decided to return home. There he was met by his frightened wife, who, getting out of bed in the early morning, saw that her husband and her only daughter had disappeared.


Fernando told his wife everything he saw at night, so for the next few weeks they wandered through the forest, trying to find Teresa. Alas, the search yielded no results. Later, the couple moved to northern Italy, so their trace was lost, but the story survived.

According to some locals, the Janare still exist and still perform their dark rituals. So if you are brought to the province of Benevento, and you hear ominous singing in the middle of the night, then be on the lookout. Perhaps the dark entities are trying to lure a new victim into their circle.

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