On Monday, Italy put the island of Poveglia (along with other public assets) up for auction in an attempt to cut debt and comply with European Union budget guidelines.
The beautiful island lies just 10 miles from Saint Marco Square in the heart of the tourist mecca of Venice, Italy. It seems like it would be an extremely popular destination. So why is everyone so afraid of it?
Well, it’s deserted, for one. And justifiably so- the island has a grisly past. In the 14th century, it was used as a dumping ground for bodies from the Black Death.
Many of the locals believe their ghosts still haunt the island and there’s a rumor that 50% of the soil there is made from human ash. There’s also a local saying that goes:
“When an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia.”
It gets worse. In 1922, a hospital “for the elderly” (which many believe was a cover for a mental institution) was built on the island. Rumors of botched lobotomies are widespread amongst the locals. There’s also a widely believed rumor that one of the doctors jumped to his death from a tower window of the hospital.
Would you bid on the island? Take a tour through the pictures below (click an image to enlarge):
All images courtesy of Ransom Riggs via Mental Floss.