May 6, 2014

Haunted Island Up For Grabs

Poveglia Island by Jim Nolan

Italy, home to Dante Alighieri who famously wrote about his journey through hell in Inferno (first act in his Divine Comedy trilogy, shall we say), is also the home to what is known as "hell on Earth"--a tiny island in the lagoon just off the famed city of Venice.

Why is it haunted then?

Well, here are a few points from its interesting history:
Povaglia Asylum

  • It was used as a refuge from barbarian invasions (starting around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire)--to little use as the island still saw many a battle.
  • It was used as a quarantine place for thousands of people suffering from the plague during the Black Death sweep over Europe (1348-50).
  • It became a quarantine location again in the late 1700s are more outbreaks of plague hit the region.
  • A building on the island was redeveloped in 1922 into a mental asylum where people were supposedly a Hannibal-like psychiatrist tortured his patients before committing suicide.
Today, though the public isn't allowed to visit, thousands of human skeletons pave its grounds like some macabre death roads. But, if this doesn't deter anyone, the island is currently up for auction (May 2014). Anyone interested?

A mass tomb on Poveglia


  1. I think I have read in today's Guardian that an island off Venice has been sold for 550,000 Euros. Is it this island?

    1. Not sure... I haven't seen anything about it since, except that some people are trying to raise the funds to buy it and make it a public park type of place. I wonder if they'd get lots of crowds around Halloween time, just like how they have a Jack the Ripper tour in London about that time :)