Monday, February 8, 2010


The island of Poveglia is located in the Venice Lagoon, between Venice proper and the island of Lido.

The story - a good one, but of dubious (at best) authenticity, is that during the Great Plague, Venice's fast-dying victims were put on Poveglia. Even those who weren't dead, but considered to already have the plague, were dragged out of their homes and forced to the island, where they were thrown into plague pits with the dead. A cloud of smoke usually however over the island, from the bonfires built to burn the corpses.

In 1922, so the story goes, someone got the bright idea to build a psychiatric hospital on the island. The doctor in charge was a sadist who liked to "experiment" on the patients. The patients, by the way, reported hearing strange noises and seeing the ghosts of rotting bodies, but these complaints were put down to mental illness. The doctor in charge continued his little hobbies on the patients.

Finally, the doctor himself fell from a high tower in the hospital, and was choked to death by a strange fog that forced itself into his mouth.

Poveglia is regarded as one of the ten most haunted places on earth. It is off-limits to tourists.

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