Poveglia Island, one of the most unpleasant places in the world, lies on the Italian coast near Venice.
The small, infamous island that once "hosted" thousands of victims of the Black Plague is now in ruins but still attracts attention because of its dark history.
History Of Poveglia Island
Poveglia Island is found in the south of Venice. It's a collection of three islands, one of which is artificial. The artificial island was known for its octagonal shape, made in 1380 for defensive purposes. Buildings were constructed on the main central island and connected to a smaller island via a bridge.
The island has been the subject of many speculations and myths due to bizarre stories about buildings and events over the centuries.
The history of Poveglia Island began when refugees settled it before the Lombards in the sixth century. The community lived in peace, and over time, the island became a thriving center both economically and demographically.
However, the demographic decline occurred at the end of the 14th century, when the Genoese Republic invaded the Venetian Republic. The island's inhabitants evacuated to Venice.
A restoration was considered several times in the following years. However, in the 18th century, it was decided to use it as a warehouse, a port for ships and boats, and store equipment.
In 1782 the island was arranged for plague patients. In the nineteenth century, it served as a naval quarantine station for ships, and a psychiatric and geriatric ward was opened, which operated until the post-war period of WW2.
Attempts At Rebirth
While the island was isolated, it was still the subject of restoration projects, which unfortunately were never carried out.
The care of the plants on the island was entrusted to the farmer. After the termination of his service, the vegetation took over. In 1997, the Student Youth Tourism Center presented a project to build a youth hostel, but the project was never implemented.
Over the next fifteen years, the island was re-sold with the intention and hope of being restored for tourist purposes, but it never found an owner.
Myths And Legends About Poveglia Island
Poveglia Island seems pleasant and populated from afar: this is emphasized by the lush greenery of the trees and the embankment and the graceful spy of the church bell tower. But as soon as a person steps onto an island, they are seized by terror and confusion.
Even those who know nothing about Poveglia island feel uneasy during the visit. The feeling gets creepier when you see this corner of Italy's bloody and mysterious history.
Numerous horror stories are known about the island. This has increased due to the interest of parapsychologists and ghost hunters.
This small piece of Venetian land has been abandoned and undeclared for over a century. Everything changed when the plague hit Europe. That's how Poveglia Island was remembered: seriously ill people were brought to the island to fence off the healthy inhabitants of Venice. Their families were brought in with the infected, even if they showed no signs of illness, to reduce the risk.
Sending someone to Poveglia Island meant inevitable death in agony. Often, the corpses were loaded into common grave pits and cremated.
Thousands of people are said to have been burned at the time of the plague to prevent infection and buried there - some say the soil there contains as much as 50% human ash.
Another legend refers to the suicide of the director of a psychiatric hospital, who was described as a "sadistic doctor." Allegedly he was forced by ghosts to go to the top of the bell tower and jump into the depths. A nurse who is said to have witnessed the incident said that he did not die in contact with the ground. Instead, he suffocated with a strange "fog" that spread from the ground across his body and left him lifeless.
Years after the psychiatric hospital closed, a family reportedly decided to buy the island and plan to build a private holiday home there. However, the first night was filled with such horrors that the family fled within a few hours and never returned.
Another story, which is not confirmed, says that the building, made in 1922 and should have been a care home for the elderly, was actually used as an asylum.
Many, thus, believe that hundreds of thousands of tortured souls are still trapped on the island. From the plague victims who were forced to the island to those tortured in the psychiatric hospital and asylum, sadness and suffering are felt even today.
A Visit To The Sinister Island
Due to the lush vegetation and dangerous buildings, visiting Poveglia island is not exactly pleasant, and there is a creepy feeling of a complex past. All that remains of the ancient church of San Vitale is the bell tower, which is also the tallest building on the island, but it is not possible to climb it.
Because the island has been deserted for years, the passage is obstructed or interspersed with relentlessly dense vegetation.
Buildings are not safe, and the interior is often dark. It is possible to visit several facilities, such as a hospital, prison, church, and psychiatric ward. In the hospital, which includes a psychiatric ward, you can visit the ground floor almost entirely despite the ruins. The stairs are destroyed, but it is possible to climb the first floor very carefully if you cling to the railing, the first floor is empty, but it is very dangerous due to the fallen floor.
This island is called differently: "the gates of hell," "the refuge of lost souls," and "garbage out of pure fear."
Venetians are doing their best to dispel the horrific rumors about Poveglia island. When asked about it, they just smile sweetly, saying it's a great place to relax or set up a fashion resort.
But in 2014, Poveglia island caught the attention of Italian businessman Luigi Brugnaro, who acquired it. The Italian decided that the creepy peninsula was an excellent investment and expected to attract tourists from around the world. For unknown reasons, he changed his mind.
In 2015, a company named Poveglia per Tutti also became interested, intending to build a hostel, park, and restaurant. Years later - the island remains vacant.
Meanwhile, the notoriety of the Italian island continues to persist. According to paranormal researchers, Poveglia Island is one of the scariest places on the planet. For a long time, none of the people who visited here could endure on the unfortunate piece of land for more than a day.