The Happy, Haunted Island of Poveglia

Strange Geographies: the Happy, Haunted Island of Poveglia

by Ransom Riggs 

A quarantine station, a dumping ground for plague victims, more recently a mental hospital — the tiny island of Poveglia in the Venice Lagoon has served many unpleasant purposes over the years, but today it stands empty, a crumbling collection of abandoned buildings and weeds run riot just two miles from the glittering palaces of the Grand Canal. Legends and rumors about Poveglia are nearly as pervasive as the weeds, and they read like a horror story: that so many people were burned and buried there during the black plague that the soil is 50% human ash; that local fishermen give the island a wide berth for fear of netting the wave-polished bones of ancestors; that the psychiatrist who ran the mental hospital was a butcher and torturer who went mad from guilt and threw himself from the island’s belltower, only to survive the fall and be strangled by a “ghostly mist” that emerged from the ground.

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mental_floss Blog » Strange Geographies: the Happy, Haunted Island of Poveglia


The Ancient Digger said...

This is too creepy. The picture made my cringe. Yikes!

Kicauku said...

very creepy, human skulls scattered

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