A Dark Historical Chapter; Poveglia Island

The government transported the infected citizens to the island to kill them.

Poveglia Island is considered as one of the most haunted places on planet Earth. Thousands of individuals were brutally murdered there. The Black plague initially arrived in Europe in October 1347, when over 12 vessels from the Black Sea docked at the Sicilian port of Messina.

Masked Plague Doctor
A masked plague doctor. Source: Luigi Tiriticco, Flickr.

Poveglia Island was originally constructed in 1776 as a quarantine centre for the Black Plague victims. It was nothing but a hoax. The government transported the infected citizens to the island to kill them as they had to contain the virus. The Black Plague was contagious and took over 50 million lives all across the globe. It was a pandemic that jolted the world and shattered multiple families. Moreover, in 1777, Venice’s Magistrate of Health turned Poveglia Island into its main plague checkpoint. Any ship sailing to Venice had to halt at Poveglia first for inspection. If any sailor displayed signs of plague, Venice quarantined them on Poveglia Island.

Inspection on Poveglia Island.
Inspection on Poveglia Island. Source: Giacomo Guardi, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Once the pandemic was over, the island was turned into a mental asylum, which only elevated the number of deaths. The doctors were not properly qualified or trained and tortured the patients to death; they started conducting experiments on people who were present in Poveglia. The patients, unfortunately, died an agonizing death. Only a few were able to survive but had no ability to think or function afterwards; they came out as empty shells.

The Poveglia Island shut down in 1968. People of this day and age refuse to be associated with it as it is generally considered a very dark place. Moreover, over 100,000 individuals were incinerated there; the soil is mostly made up of human ashes. Hence, people call it ‘unholy’ and a ‘devil’s residence’. The devil is the doctor who conducted all sorts of brutal experiments and led numerous souls towards demise. It is said that he fell from the ‘bell tower’ of Poveglia Island. It is unknown if he attempted suicide or was pushed by some of the demented patients. The mystery remains unsolved.

Old bedframes
Old bedframes. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Since multiple people have lost their lives there, the government decided to close it altogether. People of Italy started reporting paranormal activities ever since it was closed for the patients. As stated above, it is forbidden for people to go there. Some of the old furniture is still present there. The rooms were not completely cleaned as labour refused to work there.

Final thoughts:

Poveglia Island holds a special place in my heart mainly because so many people went there in hopes to get cured but ultimately lost their lives. The island reeks of death, but it has memories of all those who were once alive and happy. The Black Plague was quite similar to what we are encountering nowadays. We are also amid a pandemic; multiple people have lost their loved ones. It is just unfortunate that there wasn’t any cure in the past, and the government of Italy decided to burn the victims altogether. Science does not really believe in paranormal activities, but a large number of people think that the said island is haunted. The island is now owned by one of the famous businessmen of Italy.

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