Poveglia, a small, uninhabited island in the Venice lagoon, minutes from St Mark’s Square, is among five prime properties, including a castle and a
monastery, that will go under the hammer in an online auction to help cut Italy’s massive debt pile.
The 17-acre island was fought over by the Venetians and the Genoese in the 14th century - and still shows traces of being fortified - before it became
a quarantine station for ships arriving at Venice in the 18th century.
In 1776 the island came under the jurisdiction of the Magistrato alla Sanità (Public Health Office), and became a check point for all goods and
people coming to and going from Venice by ship. 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 sick.
This role became permanent in 1805, under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, who also had the old church of San Vitale destroyed; the old bell tower was
converted into a lighthouse. The lazzaretto was closed in 1814.
In the 20th century the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922, the existing buildings were converted into a hospital for mentally
ill and long-term care. The hospital is rumored to have hosted experiments on the mentally ill, including crude lobotomies, carried out by a director
who was driven mad by ghosts before throwing himself from the hospital’s tower. This went on until 1968, when the hospital was closed, and the
island, after being shortly used for agriculture, was completely abandoned. Presently, the island is still owned by the Italian state.
Because of the mass graves from the plague and the supposed atrocities of the mental hospital, the island is thought to be one of the most haunted
locations in the world.
I remember this place from an episode of Ghost Adventures. A very creepy place for sure. I think this would be a tremendous opportunity for a
millionaire/billionaire to buy this property to be used for paranormal research. You could bring researchers from all over the globe to live, study
and investigate. Wire the entire island up with cameras, mics, emf and more running 24/7. This place would be perfect because of it's reputation,
history and it is some what isolated being an island.
I know it will never happen, but that's what I would do. What say you?