A NEW Facebook group is calling for personal stories about the city’s most mysterious man.
Despite being known as Griffith’s hermit, Valerio Ricetti had many interactions with residents during his many years on Scenic Hill.
“Valerio was supposed to be in solitude for 40 to 50 years but as we’ve looked into it, we’ve found a lot of pictures with him with local families,” hermit aficionado Paul Pierotti said.
“He was supposedly this really elusive man, but in reality he wasn’t that elusive.”
The group, Valerio Ricetti’s Ghost, is asking members of the community to share stories and photos of the eccentric stonemason, creating a dialogue about an integral part of the city’s history.
“It has been unbelievable,” Mr Pierotti said.
“There has been so much interest, so many stories.
“A lot of people have said they haven’t wanted to share their personal stories online, but they’ve contacted me directly.”
Mr Ricetti’s tale begins as he arrived on the outskirts of Griffith just as the heavens open up in a downpour.
Seeking shelter, he found a large rocky overhang where he spent the night.
The next day he realised the scale of the caves and the abundant food and water nearby, and this is where he stayed until returning to Italy just before his death.
The eerie atmosphere has been the subject of thousands of stories ever since.
“He’s pretty mythical,” Mr Pierotti said.
“There have been lots of accidents out there and they’ve all been blamed on Valerio’s hand.”
Anyone with personal stories or pictures of the hermit can contact Mr Pierotti through Valerio Ricetto’s Ghost Facebook group.