Poveglia is supposedly one of the most haunted places on earth. Back in the times of the plague the island was used to quarantine travelers who were thought to be contaminated. Also locals who had the plague were shipped there. Thousands of people died there and were buried in mass trenches.
More recently (1922) an insane asylum was built on the island and rumors of atrocities began. Supposedly one of the doctors performed a bunch of botched lobotomies and then ended up going crazy. The doctor jumped from the bell tower and died.
The curse of the island has been whispered about in Venice for centuries and local fisherman are rumored to give the island a wide berth when tending their nets. One of the most interesting facts I found out about the island was the legend of “Shroud Eaters.” Here is an excerpt from mental-floss.com about what was found in the burial trenches.
“During epidemics, mass graves were often reopened to bury fresh corpses and diggers would chance upon older bodies that were bloated, with blood seeping out of their mouth and with an inexplicable hole in the shroud used to cover their face.
"These characteristics are all tied to the decomposition of bodies," Borrini said. "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.'"
Modern forensic science shows the bloating is caused by a buildup of gases, while fluid seeping from the mouth is pushed up by decomposing organs, Borrini said. The shroud would have been consumed by bacteria found in the mouth area, he said. 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.”
More recently the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” did an episode about the island. Just an aside we interviewed Jeff Belanger from the show on the most recent episode of The Megapods. Check it out: themegapods.com
Horror Question of the Day: Would you buy the haunted island of Poveglia if you had the money?