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The Plague Island of Poveglia, The World’s Most Haunted Island

Ann Nuñez





A quarantine colony, a resting place for plague victims, and an asylum for the mentally unstable – these were the quite unsavory purposes the rather quaint island of Poveglia has served in the past hundred years or so. However, the historically rich island now stands barren, empty, and abandoned, for fear of its macabre history.

Located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon in Northern Italy, the island of Poveglia was first recorded in history as a sanctuary for refugees fleeing invasions of Padua and Este. However, in the 1700s, it was transformed into a confinement station for people infected with the plague, and ultimately as a quarantine station doubling as an asylum for the mentally insane in the 20th century. By 1968, the island was completely abandoned. Even now, water taxis traversing the Grand Canal rarely transport tourists to the island.

An aerial view of the island of Poveglia



The remaining structures in the island have been partially claimed by rich plant growth


The buildings in the island show signs of neglect, with the stairs already collapsing and the walls rife with graffiti



The Old Bell Tower


Source: Mental Floss
An excavation unearthed hundreds of human remains, believed to be buried plague victims


Source: Mental Floss

However, in 2014, in the hope of raising funds, the Italian government has announced that it would auction Poveglia for a 99-year lease contract, with the goal of finding a buyer which would develop it into a luxury hotel. To date, Poveglia still stands empty and abandoned in all its haunted glory.

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