Island of Death: Poveglia

By Kris M

Island of Death: Poveglia

Poveglia, Italy is literally the island of death. This very illegal place to explore sits just off the coast of northern Italy near Venice. This haunted island once housed thousands of refugee black plague victims, many of which were quarantined in undesirable conditions. The history of this island dates as far back to the Roman Empire and Medieval time periods. Due to the uncontrollable amount of plague deaths, bodies were dumped in large mass graves and forgotten about. Because of the insane amount of deceased bodies, the soil has turned rotten. More than 50% of the island’s soil is said to be made up of human ash. Despite the human remains, harvesters still visit the island to obtain the grapes growing amongst the ashy soil.

The island would again become the home for ill patients in 1922. The desolation made it the perfect spot for a mental hospital and it would quickly gain a grime reputation. Doctors and scientists were said to do as they pleased with the patients. Reports of wide spread abuse and wicked experiments were the talk of the town back on the mainland. The worst acts were committed by a demented doctor who was notorious for performing lobotomies on patients against their will. Not only were the procedures painful, they were incredibly heinous too. He reportedly used hammers, chisels and drills without any concern for proper sanitation or the use of anesthetic. He saved his favorite and more infamous experiments for the bell tower. The screams of his tortured patients haunted the staff and other patients for years. The doctor eventually developed a mental illness of his own and flung himself off the top of the bell tower. After torturing thousands upon thousands of innocent souls, it comes to no surprise he went insane.

100,000 plague victims and mental patients buried on the small island of Poveglia seems to be too much for it to handle. Human bones continue to wash up on its shores and even fishermen refuse to get anywhere near to avoid picking up bones in their nets. Visitors have reported being pushed and scratched and others were severely creeped out by the island's remaining aesthetic.

Urban explorers and other thrill seekers who have found a way to access Poveglia say they have no desire to ever return. 

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