Italy to auction off “haunted” island

The cash-poor nation is looking to lease the 17-acre island near Venice
April 20, 2014 10:00AM

 Italy is about to auction off a state-owned island that many believe is haunted.

Poveglia, a 17-acre island located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, was once a quarantine station for people with infectious diseases and a mass burial ground for those with the plague. As a result, it is the source of many unnerving ghost stories and legends.

Adding to the lore is the fact that a mental hospital was opened on the island in the 1920s. Stories have circulated about a mad doctor conducting experiments on patients. Some even have suggested that ghosts drove the insane doctor to throw himself off the top of the asylum’s bell tower.

These days, paranormal investigators visit the island, which is uninhabited and not open to the public.

Italy will auction off a 99-year lease for the use of the island. The minimum bid is €350,000 ($490,000).

Poveglia is one of five pieces of real estate Italy has put up for public auction in order to receive a much-needed cash infusion. [NYDN] —TRD