poveglia island

These cookies do not store any personal information. It was the time when the plague returned and killed off nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population.

In 421, Poveglia welcomed its first inhabitants -- men, women and children who fled the barbaric invaders that had ravaged the mainland. A small canal divides the island into two separate parts, giving it a unique shape of beauty.

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In the 20th century, the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922 the existing buildings were converted into an asylum for the mentally ill and for long-term care, few people were very surprised.

One thing visitors report experiencing is the sensation of being watched. © 2009-2020 Historic Mysteries. All rights reserved. It has a gruesome history and is strictly off-limits to both locals and tourists; factors that are like a red flag to a bull in the eyes of the adventurous (if a little fool-hardy) dark tourist. In many cases, the bodies were burned. Poveglia Island is a small island located between Venice and Lido, Italy. To this day, Poveglia remains intertwined with the legends and myths that surround it as well as being the world’s most haunted location, and to this day attracts adventurers keen on visiting this “Isle of the Dead”, although it is prohibited by the Italian government.While some manage to sneak in, rarely does anyone wish to go back, for the aura of the dark and gruesome history of the place still looms around it, making it a very unpleasant tourist destination. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. Explore the world of strange and unexplained things, creepy stories, true crimes, dark history, paranormal happenings and many more. The fear induced mass paranoia, so in many cases, the people who were banished to Poveglia weren’t suffering from the plague in the first place but were rather just suspected of showing some early symptoms.

Beginning in 1776, the island came under the jurisdiction of the Public Health Office and became a checkpoint (quarantine station) for all goods and people coming to and going from Venice by ship in order to protect the rest of the country from plague and other infectious diseases.

At times, barges were necessary to ship the bodies.

Eventually, in 1793, there were several cases of the plague on two ships, and consequently, the island was transformed into a temporary confinement station for the ill.

In the early 20th century, the government re-purposed the island’s buildings as housing for the mentally ill. As time went on, sinister stories about the treatment of and experimentation on the patients filtered to the outside world.

Poveglia, canal between islets.

The Catacombs of San Gennaro of Naples. Thus, in order to manage the overflow, the city began to transport masses of dead bodies to two islands in the lagoon: Sant’Erasmo and the locality of San Martino de Strata (Venetzia.net). In recent years, Italian construction crews attempted to restore the former hospital building, but abruptly stopped without explanation, leaving locals to speculate that they were driven away by the island’s dark forces. Considered by some to be the most definitive haunted island in the world and by others to even the world’s most haunted location, Poveglia’s history is riddled with the stuff of which nightmares are made.

Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds. In the early 1400s, the Venetians invented the concept of the lazzaretto. Poveglia legends tell of a particularly demented doctor whose notorious experiments on patients are still shocking when told today. Poveglia Island still happens to be home to thriving grape vineyards. But even before all that, the island of Poveglia was marked by bloodshed. Poveglia, a small island located just off the coast of northern Italy between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, is said to be the most haunted island on earth or even the most haunted place in this world. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. All rights reserved. In 1922, a mental hospital was opened on Poveglia. The island was left alone until centuries later when the Black Death of 1630 swept across the civilized areas of Europe.

Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Somehow, the mental hospital remained open until 1968. However, the reality was quite different as the mentally disturbed patients to the island only served to enrich the legend of it being a place to avoid. It is said that every tragic event that happened in its history still haunts this lonesome island. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly.

With a past like this, it’s not surprising that Poveglia is believed to be haunted, attracting the attention of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. Poveglia in the movie "The Plague Doctor", St. Mark's Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio).

Poveglia Island © Tejiendo el mundo For centuries this small community lived in peace and avoided the laws and taxes of the mainland; their population dwindled however and by the 14th century, the island was once again abandoned. The sick lay three or four in a bed … Workers collected the dead and threw them in the graves all day without a break. At the island's center the dead and those too sick to protest were burned on giant pyres. Each except for one that is, Poveglia island; a place that is considered one of the most haunted and most evil places in the world. Each of them left scared to death of what they had sensed there and none have returned. He supposedly saved his darkest experiments for the special patients, whom he took to the hospital’s bell tower. But some visitors are still curious about the small, infamous Italian island that once served as a quarantine station, a dumping ground for black plague victims, more recently a mental hospital. Offer subject to change without notice.

Grape vines must do well in ashy soil, because it had been said that more than 50 percent of the island's soil is composed of human ash. The Plague killed 1 out of 3 Europeans. By the mid-20th century, the facility was converted into a home for the elderly, but which closed between 1968 and 1975, depending on whom you ask. Your email address will not be published.
It was clearly a death sentence.

Photo credit: True British Metal. Also directly off the island’s tip are the remains of an octagonal fort which historians can date back to 1645. The government has banned entrance to the island for safety reasons. The tiny island is said to have hosted over 160,000 infected souls living out their final days and hours there—so many that there are whispers that 50 percent of the soil consists of human remains. During an excavation on the island, archaeologists unearthed more than 1,500 skeletal victims of the bubonic plague buried in pits.

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Other patients were rumored taken to the bell tower where they were tortured and subjected to a number of inhumane horrors. Ghost Adventures investigate Prospect Place, a former stop on the Underground Railroad. This sign that reads “Psychiatric Department” still remains in testament to the use of the hospital for mentally ill patients. It has remained unoccupied to this day except for, allegedly, a population of tormented ghosts. Some say the doctor committed suicide as a way to escape accountability for the grisly human experimentation he conducted on the patients. Poveglia Island is situated just south of Venice.

The only fact that we do know is that their daughters face was ripped open and required fourteen stitches. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Within some years, the dead bodies quickly began to overcrowd the island and thousands were dumped into large, common graves.

Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. Several psychics and book author Ransom Riggs have visited the island and the abandoned hospital. Some illegal tourists report seeing shadows on the walls moving along with them as they explore the decaying facility. After that, there were some agricultural uses of the island.

The fate of the island is still in limbo as of 2018. This legend also includes a nurse who witnessed the fall, who also swore on her life that the doctor was still alive for a few seconds, only to be consumed by a fog-like apparition that took his last dying breath.

In his free time he enjoys reading. The island was patrolled by doctors who wore ghoulish bird-like masks, with their “beaks” stuffed with herbs that were supposed to prevent the bacteria from entering their respiratory system. For this purpose, an octagonal fort was built, and it stands to this day. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. In 2014, the 18 acre island was sold as part of a 99 year lease for just under one-half million dollars by an Italian businessman. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Despite the fact that it is illegal to visit Poveglia, thrill-seekers continue to consider it a cool, albeit creepy destination; however, everyone who has taken the chance of stepping foot on the island has left with absolutely no desire to ever return.

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