a story of 1700
Not far from the catacombs of San Gennaro in Capodimonte there was a tavern. One evening two travellers arrived near that crossing.
Chatting with a beautiful girl who served them, they began to speak about the dead and their appearances; the girl said she felt no fear, so much so – she said – while no one was going at that hour to draw water from the near wood, because it was necessary to pass in front of the cemetery, she would have gone immediately.
Saying and doing was one matter, she took the bucket and went. Passing by the entrance of the caves, she saw in the middle, sitting on a tombstone, an old man with a long white beard, with a red cap on his head.
She mistook him for the groom of the tavern, she came near him and took the cap from his head, saying: “I will give it back to you, later at home.” Returning, she learned that the groom had never moved, and in fact, he had a red hat on his head.
At night the girl got into her room, bringing with her the cap of the mysterious old man; at midnight she heard a knock at the door and weak voice said: “Give me my cap, give me my cap.” The young girl opened, but saw no one, then she tried to throw the red cat out of the window, but it always came back.
For many nights the spirit came back to knock on the room and finally the girl went to confide in the parish priest, who decided to make a big procession.
The evening of the dead in fact, a great procession composed by the people of the neighboring houses, with crosses, images of saints and candles went to the catacombs of San Gennaro.
The old man was sitting on the tombstone bareheaded. Among smoking incense, to the sound of hymns, the brave girl approached him, and put on his head the much desired red cap.
The tombstone cover then crashed open with a thunderclap and the man sank there.