Mazzemarille Alley is linked to ancient local legends. It is located in Termoli and from Piazza Duomo appears on Via Federico II di Svevia. Architecturally and aesthetically, the alley does not have any significant features but is linked to a very special folk story. The old inhabitants recall that, when they were young, along the narrow alley there were horse stables and were heard unusual noises and mysterious pranks during the night, attributed to mazzemarille.
Mazzemarille are a legend completely made in Molise. They are sprites that, during the night, moved in the stables, especially of this alleyway, to interlace the horsehair. They would recognize by a red cap and by a club with which, in the dark of the stables, they hit everyone that tried to catch them. According to other local men, mazzemarille would be babies who died before baptism. The red cap of mazzemarille had an inestimable value. It is said that the sprites satisfy any desire in order to have their cap back, as long as someone can pick it up, considering that person with whom they have decided to “play” is immobilized on the beds and covered with invisible and magical strings. Legend tells that many people had waking up from sleep, they had the impression that they could not move or shout and they heard, in those same instant, voices of children and bells tinkling.
This legend is not only widespread in Termoli, but it is present also in other villages of Molise area. Enzo Terzano, a writer from Guglionesi, has written a publication about this legend.