Poveglia, the island of ghosts

Entertainment / Senza categoria / Slider / Travel / 22/11/2019

One of the most frightening and, it is said, haunted places in the world is located a few kilometers from the heart of Venice: it is the island of Poveglia (the island of ghosts), located opposite the island of Lido.

Poveglia Maps - Google Maps Location
Poveglia Island Location – source: Google Maps

After the barbarian invasion of the sixth century, the island of Poveglia saw the construction of a castle and is said to have been the last resting place of the famous painter Giorgione, who died in 1510.
Destroyed during a war (1378-1381), the population of Poveglia Island shrink down to a few dozen people.
Subsequently, and until a few years after the fall of the Republic of Venice, the island of Poveglia also began to act as Lazzaretto hosting infected people who once dead were burned and buried on the island itself.
It is estimated that about 160,000 people were buried on the island of Poveglia over the centuries.

Poveglia Lazzaretto
Di Angelo Meneghini, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Even today, a plaque commemorates those who died of the plague here:
Ne Fodias Vita Functi Contagion Requiescunt
(do not dig, the dead rest here from contagion, 1793).

Having become a maritime quarantine station since 1814, the island of Poveglia was also the seat of a psychiatric hospital (1922-1946) and a geriatric hospital (1947-1968).

It was then ceded to the state property in 1968 when the last structure closed its doors forever.
It is precisely on the work of these hospitals that disturbing stories of ghosts have been told since long time: like that of a head of the psychiatry department on the island who would have tortured and conducted brutal experiments on his patients.

Then he go mad because of the sense of guilt and throw himself from a bell tower and then, once on the ground, die strangled by a “spectral mist” that would emerge from the ground.
His ghost would have been seen wandering around the now deserted corridors of the asylum by some ghostbusters who have carried out investigations on the island of Poveglia.

Poveglia Island
Credit: Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2016, the media reported on a dark episode to say the least: five young American tourists from Colorado, want to be transported to the island of Poveglia by a water taxi and stayed there with the idea of conducting a night exploration.
It’s not clear what they saw or believed they saw or heard, but during the night they started screaming to be rescued by some passing boat. In the end, considering that no one approaches the island of Poveglia at night, the Fire Brigade had to intervene and brought the unlucky back ashore, in an obvious state of shock.


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