Friday, July 19, 2024

Island Market

Italy: World’s Most Haunted Private Island Goes Up For Sale

The cash-strapped Italian Government has placed Isola Poveglia up for auction – a private island so spooky that no tourist has set foot on it for years.

Isola Poveglia - Courtesy of

Isola Poveglia – Courtesy of

Looking to book an unforgettable private island vacation? We’re willing to bet that an ultra-spooky, plague-stricken private island doesn’t figure highly in your plans. Yet this gruesome vision could well become a reality, with news breaking that the world’s most haunted island – Isola Poveglia – is set to be transformed into an exclusive hotel complex.

Currently owned by the Italian Government, Isola Poveglia has been touted for a radical development ever since news broke that Italian officials are offering a 99-year-long leasehold deal for the seventeen-acre island in exchange for a much-needed injection of cash.

Set to go to auction next month, Private Island News has discovered that one daring hotelier is already preparing an audacious bid for the Isola Poveglia’s leasehold; seemingly willing to overlook the island’s macabre reputation in favour of its breathtaking location, just minutes away from St. Mark’s Square, at the heart of the Venetian Lagoon.

Formerly a quarantine station for ships arriving in Venice, the innocent-appearing Isola Poveglia gained its spine-tingling reputation as far back at the 14th century, when, during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, thousands of bodies – both dead and alive – were dumped on the island to be buried, burned, or in many cases, simply left to rot.

The horror doesn’t stop there, however, with investigators since reporting unnaturally high levels of paranormal activity on the island, including blood-chilling rumours of a gruesome ghost known only as “Little Maria”. Said to be the tortured spirit of a young plague victim, there have been countless reports of an eerie apparition of a girl crying out for her parents along the water’s edge. Spooky!

The island’s creepy curse struck again in the early 20th century, when – in events that resemble the storyline of a famous Steven King novel – an evil hospital director carried out cruel  experiments on the mentally ill until 1968, when, driven mad by the ghosts of his victims, he threw himself to his watery grave, never to be seen again.

Since then, no tourist has dared to set foot on the island, with the ruins of the former mental hospital and plague pits all left abandoned to nature. Certain that history won’t repeat itself again,tThe Italian Government hopes to turn Isola Poveglia’s fortunes around, however, and is reported to favour the construction of a luxury development as the perfect antidote to the island’s spooky past.

A spokesman for Italy’s state sales agency was unable to provide Private Island News with a possible price for the island, explaining that the sale of the island formed only a small part of a broader plan to raise revenue. A total of 150 properties will be going to auction this year alone, with the state hoping to generate well over USD 738 million.

Have your say: Could you be tempted to stay overnight on a private island plague colony? Drop us a line on the Private Island News Facebook page to let us know your thoughts!


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