Thursday, April 17, 2014

Poveglia Island For Sale

If you happen to have millions of dollars just sitting around and are in the market for your own private reputedly haunted island, today is your lucky day. The Italian government recently announced that Poveglia, a small island in the Venetian lagoon, is up for sale. According to local folklore, the island is said to be one of the world's most haunted places, and thus this is the perfect setup for a new horror film. Think about it - a developer buys the island and puts up luxury condominiums. Once the new tenants move in, the angry spirits of the island take their revenge and kill every last one of them in imaginative ways except for the main protagonist, who narrowly escapes at the very end. It's a perfect blockbuster!

The trouble started back in the late 19th century when Poveglia served as a checkpoint for ships going to Venice. After a pair of ships carrying plague victims arrived in 1793, the island was sealed off and turned into a quarantine zone for people with infectious diseases, a role it served for over a century. It goes without saying that many of these people died on the island during this time, leading to the widespread belief that Poveglia is haunted. It didn't help when the place was converted into a hospital for the mentally ill in 1922. Rumor has it, the hospital was home to a number of crude lobotomies, performed by a doctor who'd been driven mad by the ghosts. He later flung himself off the bell tower.

These days, Poveglia's pretty quiet. Still owned by the Italian government, it's been abandoned for the past 50 years, though ghost hunters like to make the pilgrimage whenever they can. One American TV presenter even says he was briefly possessed while visiting the island. The Italian government is now offering a 99-year lease to whomever's brave enough to take it over. No price information is available yet—but they think it would make a great destination hotel.

I'll never forget the unintentionally hilarious episode of "Ghost Adventures" that was shot on the island. I'm sure that the poor family they brought over there was pretty frightened at the end of the night, but the whole thing was so over the top - to the point that the host of the show had to remind them that "laughter is not appropriate" when one of them giggled at his initial histrionics about how terrible the place was. The thing is, his tirade was so hokey that I was laughing too. I don't recall the family encountering much in the way of paranormal activity either, they just managed to repeatedly scare themselves bumbling around the place in the dark. So are there any real ghosts there? As usual, it's hard to say. But if the island gets developed many more people will likely have an opportunity to find out.

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Unknown said...

Bidding started at $490,000 dollars. Not millions but I'm sure it will get close. The potential for a paranormal attraction are endless here in my opinion.

Scott Stenwick said...

With the media exposure from "Ghost Adventures" and so forth I expect that this is what the place will be turned into. It would be quite the unique vacation destination.

Unknown said...

Many places have been turned into paranormal destinations like this. Look at Old South Pittsburg Hospital in Tn. I spent a whole night locked in there on an investigation. Waverly Hills in Ky is the same scenario, an old abandoned mental hospital turned in to a revenue producing attraction. It would be a great idea to do this for the money as well as the never ending search for proof of paranormal existence.

Scott Stenwick said...

So did you experience anything unusual in your investigation?

I don't know if I'll ever make it to whatever they turn Poveglia into, but they're now working on turning Waverly Hills into a "haunted hotel." Once it's up and running it sounds like it should be a fascination place to visit.

Unknown said...

I had some very strange and unusual experiences at a few places. Captured many odd recordings and a few questionable photos in my investigations. I Spent almost a year and a half investigating with and was featured in a local paper here in East Tn called Metropulse. Waverly was on my to do list but never got to it.I still go to some local spots.

Scott Stenwick said...

Very cool, and thanks for sharing. If I'm ever in the area it sounds like that's a site I should check out.