The House with Laughing Windows (Italian title: La casa dalle finestre che ridono) is a 1976 Italian mystery-horror film co-written and directed by Pupi Avati. The movie was filmed in Lido degli Scacchi, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (the villa where the main character lives).
Stefano arrives in a rural Italian village to restore a fresco of the slaughter of Saint Sebastian, which is painted on a rotting church wall. While living temporarily in a house previously owned by the two sisters of the long dead artist, Stefano begins a romance with a beautiful teacher, Francesca. He hears from various townspeople that the painter was a madman who created his art from real life. The artist, assisted by his two equally insane sisters, had viciously tortured people to death as inspiration for his horrific paintings. Some of the villagers are brutally killed and Stefano comes to believe that the murderer is trying to stop him from learning even more of the village’s depraved secrets.
After several tragic events and murders, Stefano runs to church to reveal everything to the priest who, smiling affably, began preparations for the Mass, but suddenly, his voice changes into that of a woman and begins to chuckle evilly. Unbuttoning his cassock, Stefano discovers the “priest” is a woman instead. Meanwhile, another old woman comes out from behind a screen. Stefano understands that the two old ladies were the sisters of the crazy artist who painted people at death.
Some still photographs by Cesare Bastelli, assistant director and director of photography in several movies directed by Pupi Avati.
Pupi Avati was inspired by an episode of his childhood. In the town where he lived as a child, was in fact open the tomb of a priest, but the remains found belonged to a mysterious woman.
“The House with Laughing Windows” really exists and for many fans of horror has become a veritable place of pilgrimage!