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Poveglia Island: World’s Most Haunted Place For Sale

Apr 19, 14 Poveglia Island: World’s Most Haunted Place For Sale

In the Venetian Lagoon of northern Italy is an island that is divided by a small canal. It is called Poveglia, first inhabited by people from Padua and Este escaping the wrath of a barbarian invasion in 421. It began to be populated in the 800s and grew until the people were attacked by the Genons in 1379.

The people of the island were moved to Gludecca and the Venetian Government built a fort called “the octagon,” which is still around today. The island stayed unpopulated until 1776 when it became a checkpoint for ships bringing supplies to and from Venice. In 1793, the plague infested two ships and the facility was transformed into a confinement area for the infected called “Lazzaretto.”

In 1814, the Lazzaretto was closed, but again became a confinement center in the early 1900s. In 1922, it was converted into a hospital for the mentally ill and a long-term care center until 1968, when the hospital was closed and the island has been vacant since. It is still owned by the Italian government and has just been put on the auction block.

During the time the facility was a hospital, like in a scene from a SyFy movie, rumors say that a doctor who performed lobotomies on many of the patients was driven mad by the ghosts of the dead and leaped out of the bell tower to his death. Paranormal investigators visit the facility often.

The Italian government is offering the island on a 99-year lease to reduce the country‘s debt, but no information on final price has been released. It is considered to be the most haunted place on Earth and will be auctioned in May 2014 to the highest bidder.

It is a 17-acre island there are claims a girl named Little Maria is the most famous ghost haunting the island. The girl stands on the shore, crying and staring at her home, which is located across the lagoon.

Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures investigated the island and one of the cast members claimed he became possessed by a spirit. He banged against a wall and the incident was caught on camera.

According to Mental Floss, work crews were digging in the near by Lazaretto Vecchio and found a pit with over 1,500 remains of plague victims. Archaeologists were called in to examine them. One was found with a brick in its mouth. Legend says that a brick shoved in the mouth of a vampire — called by the diggers a shroud-eater — would starve it.

An NBC News story states that these mass graves were sometimes reopened to bury new corpses. The diggers would find bloated bodies with blood seeping from their mouth and a hole in the shroud that covered their face.

Matteo Borrini is a forensic archaeologist studying the find. He states, “Vampires don’t exist, but studies show people at the time believed they did. For the first time we have found evidence of an exorcism against a vampire.” He added, “These characteristics,” talking about the bodies seeping blood, “are all tied to the decomposition of bodies. But they saw a fat, dead person, full of blood and with a hole in the shroud, so they would say: “This guy is alive, he’s drinking blood and eating his shroud.’”

“The shroud would have been consumed by bacteria found in the mouth area. At the time however, what passed for scientific texts taught that “shroud-eaters” were vampires who fed on the cloth and cast a spell that would spread the plague in order to increase their ranks. To kill the undead creatures, the stake-in-the-heart method popularized by later literature was not enough: A stone or brick had to be forced into the vampire’s mouth so that it would starve to death,” Borrini said.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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