An Australian podcast about Maltese ghosts

Il-Ħares takes centre-stage in an SBS podcast that explores this Maltese folktale figure, its history, its significance in our culture, and its many haunts, including public buildings, forts, churches, and houses.

Our modern way of life seems to leave very little room for belief in the supernatural, yet the topic remains one that captivates audiences across the world. Whether you head to your favourite streaming service or your nearest bookshop, you can expect to find something related to witches, vampires, werewolves, and, of course, ghosts.

Malta is quite a hotbed for ghost stories, with every locality having its fair share of haunted buildings, ghostly apparitions, and mysterious happenings. The most infamous of our local folk creatures in this regard is the Ħares, a house guardian that is often depicted or believed to be an Ottoman, though the word can sometimes be interchanged for that meaning ghost. 

The Ħares is now the topic of a podcast by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia’s multicultural and multilingual broadcaster that includes a ‘bil-Malti’ branch.

Ghost Stories of Malta – L-iħirsa f’Malta is a five-part podcast produced and presented by Ramon Mizzi, which follows the story of the mythical figure, starting from an in-depth introduction on the subject. It then moves on to explore its roots in Maltese folklore, how it got its reputation as a house guardian, and how religion helped shape its creation. It does so by using plenty of stories on encounters from down the centuries, as well as interviews with local experts like Vanessa MacDonald, the author of The Unexplained: Ghost Stories from Malta and Beyond, and Stephan D. Mifsud, the author of The Maltese Bestiary.

The podcast is conducted in Maltese and can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including on Spotify.

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