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Venetian Lagoon

Cities and Towns in Venice

The mythical and abandoned island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoon
 
When thinking of the island of Poveglia, thoughts that come to mind are: A haunted stories, dump spot for victims of the plague in the 20th century, and multiple cases of total abandonment and remigration. 
 
Poveglia is a small island located in the Venetian lagoon in Northern Italy. The island is divided in two and is connected by a small canal. This island unlike all the others in the Venetian lagoon has a very particular history. A history that has been for years captivating to those who like a good haunt story or some adrenaline of the like. 
 
Its history supposedly dates back all the way to the year 421 when the people from Padua and Este moved there in order to escape from the barbarian invasions. From there on, multiple events took place that today formed a haunting reputation for this particular island based on many rumors confirmed or yet to be confirmed.  
 
Among many stories told about this island, they claim that this island was once used as a quarantine station for ships going to Venice to do trading businesses. As the plague became once again a serious issue in the 20th century, they used the island of Poveglia as a quarantine station where ships had to remain at for forty days while they were being inspected for plague infection. The Venetians used this as a method to prevent further spreading of plague on the main land.
Only those who received a clean bill of health were allowed to proceed and land in Venice. This is also the moment where the word "quarantine" was invented. The ships unfortunately detected with plague were evacuated and left on this island to wait for their own death together with those brought from Venice for the same reason. 
 
As the numbers grew more and more, a mental hospital was established on the island in the hopes to cure the ones who were mentally ill.
The doctor and founder of this mental hospital carried out, besides many recovery treatments, some experiments on the patients including crude lobotomies, which was a highly cruel procedure. 
Rumors say that, this psychiatrist threw himself from the island's bell tower after claiming to be driven mad by the same ghosts of the ones who suffered to death from the plague and his cruel experiments. 
 
According to historic estimates, 1500.000 people died on this island over the years. As a result they say, that the soil of Poveglia largely consists of human remains. In 1968 everything got closed down and the island was once again abandoned. After this, thanks to its haunted reputation many film makers became interested in Poveglia as an ideal location for movie sets. Ghost Adventures was a well-known show that was shot on the island. Rumors say that the director also claimed to be briefly driven mad by the ghosts there.
 
Now, due to the hefty debt of Italy, the state decided to put the island off for auction in the hopes that someone will take it over, restore it, and convert the psychiatric center into a luxury hotel. 
 

 

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