1. Poveglia: A Very Small Island Near Venice Suspected of Being Haunted (Italy)
Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy.
For centuries Poveglia has been a refuge, a stronghold, a place of exile, and a dumping ground for the diseased and deceased.
In 1348, the Bubonic Plague arrived in Venice and Poveglia, like many other small islands, became a quarantine colony. Fearing the unbridled spread of the disease, Venice exiled many of its symptom-bearing citizens there. At the island’s centre the dead and the dying – who was mistaken for dead bodies – were burned on giant pyres. These fires would burn once more in 1630 when the Black Death again swept through the city.
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 the mentally ill. This went on until 1968 when the hospital was closed and the island once again became uninhabited.
Legends surround the island of hauntings by the victims of plague and war, as well as a crazy doctor of the mental institution who supposedly butchered and tortured patients.
Today, the island is closed to locals and tourists. In recent years, Italian construction crews attempted to restore the former hospital building but unexpectedly stopped without reason.