Villa del Bambino Urlante (Villa Scott) - Atlas Obscura

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Villa Scott (Villa del Bambino Urlante)

This unassuming Art Nouveau home was used as the "House of the Screaming Child" in a famous Italian horror film. 

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Dario Argento’s 1975 Italian film Profondo Rosso, internationally known as Deep Red, is often considered a masterpiece of the giallo genre. Giallo combines elements of murder mystery, slasher, and exploitation, often characterized by the over-the-top gore and, especially in Argento’s case, strong aesthetics using vivid colors and lights.

Much of the filming for Deep Red took place on-location in Turin, Italy, the center of Satanist practice in Europe at the time. Especially recognizable are the Teatro Carignano, Santa Costanza, Piazza CLN, and Villa Scott, known as Villa del Bambino Urlante in the film, which all play a key role in Deep Red.

Built in 1902 for Alfonso Scott, an executive of the short-lived auto company, Villa Scott stands in the affluent Borgo Po neighborhood, west of the city center. It’s one of the major works by architect Pietro Fenoglio, a pioneer of the Italian Art Nouveau movement called Liberty style.

The villa appears in the Argento film as the Villa del Bambino Urlante, the “House of the Screaming Child.” Rumored to be haunted, the villa sits abandoned on the outskirts of Rome (instead of Turin as in real life) and hides a vital clue to the mystery, revealing a disturbing mural of a child holding a blood-soaked knife over a ghastly body when the protagonist Marc investigates the site.

At the time of the production of Deep Red, the villa was owned by a convent of nuns and operated as a boarding school for girls. To use the location, the production team sent all the girls and the nuns away to Rimini and paid for their vacation.

Know Before You Go

Since 2022, the villa is owned by a group of London-based real estate investors. It’s currently not open to the public (and likely not haunted, either).

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October 3, 2023

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