Poveglia is one of the islands located in the Venetian lagoon just between the Venice and Lido. You probably would imagine a serene, relaxing and a perfect location for getaway upon hearing where it is situated but it is the complete opposite of what the Poveglia Island is. The island has been called the “Island of Madness” as well as one of the most haunted places in the whole world. And there are several freaky reasons as to how it has got its reputation.
In 421 AD, inhabitants from Padua and Este fled to Poveglia Island just to escape the barbarian invasions and ravage in Venice. However, the barbarians still managed to rampage through the island and there were numerous deaths as the people tried to fight against the barbaric flock. Despite the bloodshed in the island during that time, Poveglia grew in population and was steadily inhabited until the following centuries. However, in 1379 the Venice government exiled the people in Poveglia to use the island as a headquarters to battle with the Venetians longest blood rivalry with the Genoese.
Slaughtered French Soldiers
Rumor has it that Poveglia Island was also used back then as a British military base during the Napoleonic War. French soldiers who were captured are said to have been brought to the island to be slaughtered or burned alive. According to claims, French shipwrecks are still found at the bottom of the lagoon where the island is located. Bunch of deaths, bloodshed and violence all in one island – if you are still wondering how it became so haunted, there are a few more reasons.
Deaths from the Bubonic Plague
After being uninhabited and forgotten for a long time, the government turned Poveglia Island as a quarantine site during the Bubonic plague that beset the whole Europe. When the plague reached its peak, people who were showing even the slightest symptoms of the disease were brutally dragged and brought to the island where they will be burned alive together with the pile of dead bodies. It is said that the island’s soil is now composed ashes from 160,000 men and women, children and old people from all walks of life who ended up dead on the island.
Ghosts Started to Linger Around in the Island
Poveglia Island was turned into an asylum during the 1900s where existing buildings used as Bubonic Plague quarantine facility were renovated to cater to mentally-ill people. Patients started to see ghosts and hear wailing voices from no one knows where. However, they were not taken seriously they are considered to coming from insane minds.
And It Gets All the Freakier and Scarier
It is said that there was one a sadistic doctor in Poveglia Island who performed several inhumane experiments and lobotomies on different unwilling mentally-ill patients. The doctor used nails, hammers, drills and other tools without taking care of sanitation and safety believing that it will cure whatever is punishing the souls of the patients. The doctor would do such experiments on the tower during the night and it was then common for other patients to wake up to screams emanating from that tower. However, the doctor was said to go mad after continuously seeing shadows, hearing voices speaking gibberish language and being harassed by ghosts. Rumor has it that he ended up throwing himself or being thrown by some unseen entity from the top of the tower.
No One Gets to Stay That Long on the Island
After all the blood, misfortune and spooky events that happened on the island, there have been some attempts to inhabit the island. However, these attempts were never successful due to unexplained mysteries. Several owners would abandon the island quickly after purchasing it. Rumor has it that one family decided to leave the island after their daughter mysteriously split her face requiring 14 stitches. It was said that it was caused by a brutal and violent entity which attacked her.
Every Visitor Has Something Creepy To Say About the Island
Aside from the gruesome history and now crumbling buildings filled up with crawling weeds, it is no doubt that Poveglia is indeed, severely haunted. A lot visitors claim they felt a sense of despair and fright. Some would have a feeling of wanting to turn back upon setting foot on the island. There are reports hearing unearthly voices asking visitors to leave and never come back, screams and wailings emanating from the old asylum buildings and the sound of the bell in the bell tower even if no one is there. Even psychics felt very scared with the very strong forces of evil on the island.
Physical Ghostly Encounters
Some encounters with the ghosts of Poveglia Island were physical and sometimes, aggressive. It was even captured in one of the most infamous incident recorded on video by the TV Show Ghost Adventures. The team, which stayed on the island for 24 hours, experienced several unexplained phenomena such as weird readings from equipment, disembodied voices and footsteps and orbs on their camera. Even their host was assaulted by a vicious ghost who wanted to possess him.
Abandoned Structures and an Air of Evil
Poveglia Island is definitely a place to scare yourself stupid with all its old, creepy and decaying buildings full of weeds. The corridors of the building are nothing but peeling paint, dust and molds, and graffiti from illegal visitors. You’ll never know if you are stepping on what used to be a graveyard or a buried mass grave. Skulls and skeletons came out in the open and sometimes being washed up on the shores.
And Now it Remains Uninhabited
The government has restricted Poveglia from all visitors. However, if you insist on paying the mad island a visit, you will need to secure a special permit which requires a lot of paperwork. Right now, the island is used as a vineyard and other agricultural purposes with people going there only to harvest the grapes.
Poveglia, indeed, has a dark, tragic and morbid history. It truly deserves its reputation as one of the creepiest and most haunted places in the world and only the bravest would dare step foot on it.