Eye
Voices in his head tell a chruch-goer to tear out his own eyes. Image: Christine Salek/CC BY-ND

In a scene horrifically reminiscent of a Roger Corman horror film, a man tore out his own eyes in an Italian church Sunday. The man reportedly was plagued by voices in his head. He is recovering in a hospital, but doctors say he will never see again.

With bare hands

Forty-six-year-old Aldo Bianchini tore out his eyeballs with his bare hands during a service in St. Andrea’s church in Viareggio, a town in Northern Italy. Bianchini collapsed to the floor in a pool of his own blood as paramedics were summoned to the scene.

‘Started tearing at his face’

The Reverend Lorenzo Tanganelli described the horrific event to reporters for the Italian newspaper Corriere Fiorentino. The quote was translated by NBC.

“This man at the back of the nave started tearing at his face and I realized he was gouging out his eyes. I called for assistance and the paramedics were quickly at the scene, and he was taken away and then I carried on celebrating Mass, but a lot of people had left because they were so shocked by what they had seen.”

Bianchini was born in the UK, but lived most of his life in Italy. For the last 20 years he has resided with his mother in Viareggio, a small coastal town near Pisa. He studied chemistry and spoke five languages, but has suffered from psychological problems in the past.

Calm and lucid

Emergency responders told the news agency ANSA that Bianchini was “calm and lucid” when they arrived. He told the medics that voices in his head had commanded him to pluck out his own eyes.

Doctors unable to save sight

Dr. Gino Barbacci told Italian-language news site Bresciaoggi that he had never seen a similar incident in his 26-year practice. He elaborated in a translated interview for the UK newspaper, The Daily Mail:

“In all my 26 years of service, I have never seen anything like this before. He was in a great deal of agony and he was covered in blood. He said that he had used his bare hands to gouge out his eyeballs after hearing voices telling him to do so – to do something like that requires super human strength. We tried to operate and save his sight by reinserting the eye balls in both sockets but there was nothing we could do and he will now remain blind.”

‘If thine eye offend thee’

The incident is eerily reminiscent of the ending scene of a 1963 cult favorite, the Roger Corman horror film, “X – The Man With the X Ray Eyes.” In that film, actor Ray Milland plays a doctor who plucks out his own eyes at a church revival as patrons quote Mathew 18:9: “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.”

Ending of ‘X – The Man With the X-Ray Eyes’ (Note: Simulated gore)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO_OyB_dHoI

Sources

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/aldo-bianchini-tears-eyes-church_n_992108.html?ir=Weird%20News
Gather: http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474980463546
New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/man_rips_own_eyes_out_in_italian_BHNjjVWGXwZogsOoBVyMCL

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