MALOCCHIO (EVIL EYE): How to Remove the Evil Eye

Many of our Italian relatives believe in superstitions. One of the more popular superstitions is the Malocchio (mal=bad occhio=eye) or the evil eye.

It’s the look that one person gives to another if they are jealous or envious.

According to Italian folklore, those giving the malocchio can cause harm to someone else.

Legend says it’s just another way of putting a curse on others that can cause physical pain such as head or stomach aches or even cause misfortune.



If the child manifests a sudden grogginess, if he is struck by an inexplicable fever accompanied by gags of vomiting and frequent and insistent yawns, if the little one’s eyes are shiny, there are no doubts: some envious and malicious look has fascinated the child.

It is necessary, therefore, to call immediately a woman – or even three if the fascination is strong – to make ‘a spascina, to remove, that is, the evil eye.

With the arrival of the initiated woman, and therefore able to “exorcise”, the ritual of the sfascino begins.

She makes three signs of the cross on the forehead and two on the head or on the eyes of the fascinated child and mentally recites three times the first part of the ritual formula without stopping yawning for a single instant (if the yawns are intense and prolonged it is a good sign: ‘a spàscina has an effect).

Fora maluocchji! Fora maluocchji!
Ggioja ‘i ru cori, t’ana affascinata!
China has fascinated you
and your heart has ‘lligrated;
and your heart with your mind
fuja fascina c’è nnenda.
For such a stone on your head
so many pitrèti you want to pull.

At this point the woman brings a basin of water in which she puts, with her left hand, an odd number of pinches of salt (3, 5, 7) and while she is doing this, always in silence, she recites the second part of the formula.

Mminàjiti mmaliritta
Go to the sea
You have a heart full of life
and you don’t keep who will do it.

Pour some vinegar into the water so that the vinegar falls and describes three crosses.
With this water the woman washes the child’s face with her left hand, always in the same direction – from the bottom to the top – and recites the third part of the formula three times.

A nnumi ‘i ru Petri,
a nnumi ‘i ru Figghji,
a nnumi ‘i ru Spiriti… Saints,
c’a ‘ffascina ‘i Vicinzulla
nu’ gghjissa cchjù avanti.

This water is thrown in the middle of the road, possibly at a crossroads.

Immediately afterwards, the child’s mother stands behind the half-closed door waiting for the person who will be the first to pass by the place where the water has been thrown, in order to ascertain whether it was a man or a woman who fascinated her child.

There are, however, many other versions that women are inclined to teach only on December 24 at midnight and this to avoid losing ‘a spascina”.


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