One of the most chilling tales in paranormal history tells of a 17th century Sicilian nun who wrote a creepily undecipherable series of letters from the devil, 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.
The coded letter was written by Maria Crocifissa della Concezione at the Palma di Montechiaro convent in 1676, and she claimed it had been scribed by Satan using her hands.
Some 340 years later, a group of Italian computer scientists unscrambled the code using decryption software they found on the dark web, and found it does carry a devilish message – describing God and Jesus as ‘dead weights’.
In one hand were several letters she had penned consisting of an indecipherable mix of symbols and languages. Sister Maria and her sisters at the convent believed they had been delivered by a demon, but were unable to make any sense of the text. Sister Maria had become very adept at linguistics during her years at the convent, and scientists believe the letter is in fact written in a language of her own invention – a mishmash of the alphabets she had come to know.
Using that theory as a base, the team loaded the software with any language she might have come across: Latin, ancient Runic Greek, modern Greek and even that of the Yazidi people.
By identifying characters in the letter similar to those of the alphabets that Sister Maria would have known, scientists could start making sense of her words. Over time, they became convinced that the letters were part of an elaborate scheme by Lucifer to turn her away from God.
Now — 361 years later — researchers at the Ludum Science Center in Sicily claim to have decoded 15 lines of the only surviving letter using a piece of decryption code they found on the “dark web,” the anonymous, untraceable part of the internet that can only be accessed by special software.
“Everything’s on there: drugs, prostitution, pedophilia and also programs used by intelligence services to decipher secret messages, like the one we used,” Ludum director Daniele Abate told Italian radio 105 Network.
“We primed the software with Ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet and Latin to de-scramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish.” The scientists concluded that the letters were a jumble of languages and was composed and written by Sister Maria herself; she had become a skilled linguist during her time at the convent.
The letter describes the relationship between humans, God and Satan in a rambling and inconsistent manner. In it, Sister Maria — or whoever had possessed her — encouraged God to abandon man and leave him in the clutches of the devil.
“God thinks he can free mortals, this system works for no one,” one of the translated lines reads. The text also describes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as “dead weights.”
Abate said the contents of the letters made her suspect Sister Maria may have been suffering from schizophrenia. “I personally believe that the nun had a good command of languages, which allowed her to invent the code, and may have suffered from a condition like schizophrenia, which made her imagine dialogues with the Devil,” she told The Times of Israel.
“That has not stopped numerous interested Satanic sects contacting me since I published our findings.”