Home / Lifestyle / ‘World’s most haunted island,’ Poveglia, is up for auction

‘World’s most haunted island,’ Poveglia, is up for auction

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 5:14 PM

No one lives on Poveglia, a small, deserted island in the Venetian lagoon. Chris 73/Wikimedia Commons No one lives on Poveglia, a small, deserted island in the Venetian lagoon.

Want to lease your own Italian island? You can soon bid on a 17-acre one, but there’s a catch — it is said to be among the most haunted places in the world.

Poveglia, which is 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.

The island’s tale gets even more ghastly. A mental hospital opened there in the 1920s, and local legend says that a mad doctor conducted cruel experiments on patients, according to the Huffington Post. Some even say ghosts drove him to throw himself from the top of the asylum’s bell tower.

Today, curious paranormal investigators sometimes venture to the island, which is uninhabited and technically off limits to the public.

This room was once a dormitory in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. According to legend, a twisted doctor who worked there would perform brutal experiments on patients, and he was driven mad by ghosts.Marco Secchi/Getty Images This room was once a dormitory in the psychiatric ward of the hospital on Poveglia. According to legend, a twisted doctor who worked there would perform brutal experiments on patients, and he was driven mad by ghosts. This photo of the abandoned Hospital of Poveglia was taken in August of 2011. The eerie island was explored on the Travel Channel’s ‘Ghost Adventures’ series.Marco Secchi/Getty Images This photo of the abandoned Hospital of Poveglia was taken in August 2011. The eerie island was explored on the Travel Channel’s ‘Ghost Adventures’ series. This chapel used to house a Tiepolo painting. It is now among the ruins of Poveglia, which is said to be the most haunted island in the world.Marco Secchi/Getty Images This chapel used to house a Tiepolo painting. It is now among the ruins of Poveglia, which is said to be the most haunted island in the world.  The island could one day be repurposed for a youth center or a luxury hotel.Marco Secchi/Getty Images The island could one day be repurposed for a youth center or a luxury hotel.

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However, that may change. Cash-strapped Italy is putting Poveglia and four other pieces of prime real estate, including a 15th century castle and an old monastery, on the virtual auction block in May.

The state will be auctioning off a 99-year lease for the use of the island. The minimum bid is 350,000 euros ($ 490,000).

Some Venetians, including the city’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni, are reportedly chipping in 99 euros ($ 137) each in the hopes of being the collective highest bidder May 7.

Poveglia served as a mass burial ground for plague victims.Marco Secchi/Getty Images Poveglia served as a mass burial ground for plague victims. Enlarge A ‘manager’s office’ sign is marked off the main hall of the deteriorating hospital. Marco Secchi/Getty Images A ‘manager’s office’ sign is marked off the main hall of the deteriorating hospital. Enlarge

Orsoni suggested that the island be redeveloped as a youth or cultural center rather than a luxury hotel.

Italy is also auctioning off a number of other state-owned properties this year, the Telegraph reported.

With News Wire Services

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