Poveglia - Island of No Return
People often ask us at Alius Sanctus what our dream haunted destination would be if I could go anywhere in the world to conduct a paranormal investigation. We've all had the same answer for the past 5 years: The Island of Poveglia in Northern Italy.
Now we are making this dream a reality!!
Event Date: 27th - 29th April 2018
Accommodation: We will be staying at the Hotel Ducale and now have just 3 twin rooms left for 6 other guests to join us. Not inclusive of meals etc
Total cost £400 exclusive of flights & insurance.
£100 non refundable deposit secures place and there will be a payment plan for remainder of balance at £60 per month to be paid no later than 29.12.17
You will be accompanied by 4 experienced team leaders and our Resident Medium.
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Warning: "Some visitors are so shaken by what they’ve experienced on Poveglia that they vow never to return."
N.B For us as a company, anyone wishing to join us must be aware that we require 100% respect whilst we visit the island. This is probably be one of the most important investigations we ever do and we require trust and confidence in our guests that they will do this.
Completely abandoned and isolated from the public, the island once served as a dumping ground for over 160,000 plague sufferers. It may not be everyone’s idea of an ideal vacation, but for the ghost hunters who have visited the island, it’s considered one of the most paranormally-active locations in the world.
Poveglia was constructed on a permanent fortification built by the Venetian government, and from 1793-1814 was used as a plague quarantine station, or “lazaretto”—one of many in the Venetian lagoon.
The tiny island is said to have hosted over 160,000 infected souls living out their final days and hours there—so many that there are whispers that 50 percent of the soil consists of human remains. Recently, mass graves have been found on the nearby islands of Lazaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio containing the remains of thousands of plague victims. Poveglia has yet to be fully investigated.
Finding the location of Poveglia to be small and easily missed, Napoleon also used the island for a darker purpose, and stored weapons there. The location was discovered, and many small battles took place as the island claimed even more lives.
In 1922, a mental hospital was opened on Poveglia. Local legend says that one doctor at the hospital tortured and killed many of his patients, butchering them horribly only to later die by falling from, or possibly being thrown off of, its bell tower. The hospital closed in 1968, and the ruins are still there, slowly being reclaimed by greenery. And while it is professed to be a former retirement home, evidence that it housed mental patients is still evident.
Elsewhere in the lagoon, the remains of the Insane Asylum on San Servolo Island are preserved as a museum dedicated to the history of Venice’s plague islands and asylums.
For the sick who traveled to Poveglia, the gondola ride to the island was a one-way ticket. No one ever got better on the island of Poveglia. The distance from the mainland meant that sufferers would not only be out of sight and out of mind, but a safe distance away from those who had yet to contract the Black Plague, the fatal disease that left its victims with puss covered boils and rotting black tissue. For those who look carefully, there are still a number of plague pits littered all over the island, giant graves where bodies were dumped quickly after death with the hopes of keeping the disease from spreading to the doctors and nurses.
The Black Death was easily one of the most destructive pandemics to ever hit humankind, and resulted in the death tolls that may have reached as high as 200 million people, most of them in Europe in the years 1346–53. It’s long been thought that the plague was carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that stowed away on merchant ships, though a relatively new theory says that gerbils may have been to blame. In the end, The Black Plague is thought to have killed 30-60% of Europe’s population.
To give you a morbidly visual idea about the number of people who died on the island of Poveglia, a longstanding rumor about the property is that the topsoil consists of nearly 50% human ash. The island has never been properly investigated or excavated, so there’s no real way to guess exactly how many people’s remains are still there. However, judging by the islands monumentally dark past, we’ve only just yet begun to scratch the surface.
As if having been the dumping ground for so many doomed souls wasn’t enough, in the late 1800s, Italy again turned to the island of Poveglia for another dark purpose. With nowhere to house their mentally ill, the island was transformed into a makeshift asylum where the highly disturbed could be kept isolated from the mainland.
As if out of a horror movie, rumors began to spread about the head doctor’s twisted experiments, in which he’d allegedly been using the countless patients on the island as human guinea pigs. By the 1930s, crippled by the guilt of his actions, the mad doctor committed suicide by throwing himself off the bell tower, which still stands at the entrance to the island today. According to locals, it’s not uncommon to hear the sound of a bell chime echoing from the island late at night, even though it was removed many years ago.
By the mid 1970s the island and hospital had been completely abandoned, and the buildings began to slowly be taken back by nature. For obvious reasons, many of the mainlanders do not like to travel near the island. In fact, many of the local boat owners refuse to ferry curious thrill-seekers to Poveglia, choosing to steer clear of the island that they believe wholeheartedly is cursed.
Over the years many who have visited Poveglia return having experienced some of the most intense paranormal activity ever reported. The overwhelming feeling of being watched tends to be the first indicator that something strange is about to happen to visitors, and shortly thereafter, ghost hunters begin to report being scratched by invisible entities, pushed into walls, and even chased by the disembodied sounds of moaning that echoes all across the island. Visitors have documented countless experiences with the island’s ghosts, including the mad doctor, who is one of the most violent entities.
In 2016 five people from Colorado were rescued by Italian firefighters after they decided to spend the night on the famous haunted island of Poveglia, the location of the upcoming movie The Plague Doctor. They reached the island through a water taxi and decided to stay for the night, but as soon the darkness took over a presence started to haunt them, making them scream for help. A sailboat in the area overheard them and called the Italian authorities that came to their rescue.�
With a past like this, it’s not surprising that Poveglia is believed to be haunted, attracting the attention of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators alike including ourselves.
Needless to say, Poveglia is not for the faint of heart!!
Are you ready to join us at the final restless place of thousands of diseased, murderous and insane people, Poveglia is the convergence of everything we know about evil?