Italy to auction off “haunted” island

The cash-poor nation is looking to lease the 17-acre island near Venice

Poveglia, a supposedly haunted island in Italy
Poveglia, a supposedly haunted island in Italy

WEEKENDEDITION 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.

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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