Saturday, 3 May 2014

CUE THE HORROR THEME MUSIC - Poveglia: Island of Madness

Real Life can be much more interesting than fiction.  Some real life events sound like the first 10 minutes of horror films...

Poveglia is one of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon and is considered by some the most haunted island on Earth (You have to go to Europa for the most haunted island in the Solar System).  Oh, and it's now available for a 99 year lease from the Italian government.

Cue the Horror Theme Music...

First mention chronicles in 421AD, as where refugees of barbarian invasions settled, it was abandoned in 1379 when Venice was attacked by a Genoan fleet.  In an octogonal fort was built to defend the entrance to the lagoon.  During the Napoleonic war it is claimed that British soldiers used the island to trap the French and would burn their prisoners there.

In 1793 when several cases of plague were discovered on two ships it became a temporary confinement station for the ill - a role that became permanent in 1805 and into the twentieth century when it was used as a quarantine station.  Anyone with symptoms of the plague were shipped off to the island, where their bodies were burnt, sometimes still alive.  An unknown number of unmarked plague containing remains of the dead exist somewhere on the island.

In 1922 the facilities were converted into a hospital for the long term care of the mentally ill until 1968 when it was closed down.  It was briefly used for agriculture but quickly abandoned.  Legend has it that the chief psychiatrist who tortured those in his care and ended up throwing himself from the bell tower.

With some estimating 100,000 deaths on the island, the cast of Ghost Adventures travelled there and were lucky enough to catch one of the fighting off being possessed on camera.  It is said: "Every now and then daredevils dodge the police patrols to explore the island, but everyone who has made it there have refused to return saying that there is a heavy atmosphere of evil and they the screams and tortured moans that permeate the island make staying there unbearable," with one visitor going as far as to say: "Maybe it's the sun and the salty air and the teal water everywhere, but even covered with abandoned buildings, it doesn't seem creepy in the least."

In 2014 the Italian government began offering a 99 year lease on the island with a suggestion that the buildings could be converted into a nice hotel.

Cue the Horror Theme Music...
~ DUG.