The Most Haunted Place in the World

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“Haunted house for sale”: Pretty cool, right? How about “Most Haunted Place in the World for sale?”

According to, in April, the Italian government put Poveglia, the most haunted place in the world, up for auction in an attempt to pay off increasing debts and keep in the European Union’s good graces. The 17-square-acre island off the coast of Venice has a long, disturbing past that has awarded it the title of Most Haunted Place in the World.

Poveglia was the dumping ground for plague victims in the 17th century. Supposedly, the ghosts of all the dead still wander the grounds, driving people mad when they come to the island. The island was converted into a mental hospital in 1922, but rumors of continued hauntings and botched lobotomies only added to the site’s notoriety. Add that the mental hospital’s doctor threw himself off the roof of the building after claiming to be driven crazy by the spirits on the island, and there is no doubt that Poveglia is dangerous.

Despite being located near popular tourist destinations like Venice, Padua and Treviso, Poveglia is rarely visited. Rumors of the soil being made of human ashes, and meandering spirits ranging in the thousands, may keep people away. In the last couple of years, the Italian government has restricted visitors except for authorized officials and paranormal investigators.

In April, when the island went up for auction, Luigi Brugnaro bought it for £417,000. This lifted all government restrictions, but he has yet to open it to the public. He hasn’t stated what he plans to do with the island, though an architecture company has expressed interest in building a luxury hotel in place of the abandoned mental hospital and reopening the island to the public. With its past and current rumors, Poveglia would draw adventure seekers and paranormal investigators by the truckload. It is, of course, the most haunted place in the world.