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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone January 20, 2023

This hidden theater in Italy hosts children’s shows, not child sacrifices

If Your Time is short

  • This video shows Teatro Donnafugata, a hidden theater on the island of Sicily in Italy. The theater, open to the public since being restored in 2004, hosts plays, musical performances, art exhibits and children’s theater. It has no connection to child sacrifices.

Sometimes a hidden doorway can reveal something beautiful. But in today’s landscape of social media misinformation, it’s easier to convince people it might be malicious.

That’s what one social media user suggested recently while sharing a video of a hidden doorway that leads to a small underground theater.

"This is where elites sacrifice kids," reads text overlaid on a video shared Jan. 19 on Instagram. The caption said, "Stuff like this they think it’s a conspiracy ...  the sooner people wake up to this the sooner the nightmare is over."

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.

We found an earlier video with the same text overlay shared on Bitchute in March 2022.

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In the video, a woman opens what appears to be a secret door in a wall, then lifts a trapdoor in the floor, exposing a staircase. The camera operator follows the stairs down to a narrow hallway that eventually leads to an ornate red and white theater with a stage.

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the video shows the theater is the Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, a town on the island of Sicily in Italy. We found the same video and similar ones on social media sites that provided the name and descriptions of the theater.

According to its website, the 100-seat theater dates to the early 19th century and is built into the Palazzo Donnafugata, which it calls "one of the most significant buildings in Ragusa." The building’s owners completed a restoration in 2004.

Since then, it’s functioned as a theater open to the public, hosting dramatic plays, musical performances, art exhibits and even events for children.

We found no evidence, such as news reports or articles about the theater’s history, to support the claim. 

We rate the claim that a video shows a hidden theater "where elites sacrifice kids" Pants on Fire! 

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This hidden theater in Italy hosts children’s shows, not child sacrifices

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