The Allegedly Haunted Island of Poveglia

A bed in the abandoned hospital of Poveglia, 2011 Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images

This uninhabited Italian island that has come to be called all manner of scary things, including, “plague island,” “island of ghosts,” and “the Venetian island of no return,” among others. What's the real story on Poveglia?

Holly's Research:

  • The Island of Povegila, with British Naval Officers Embarking, sketch by Giacomo Guardi:
  • Riggs, Ransom. “SOLD! The Happy, Haunted Island of Poveglia.” Mental Floss. May 14, 2014.
  • Agence France-Presse. “How much? Haunted island near Venice Lido sells for €513,000.” The Guardian. May 13, 2014.
  • Kington, Tom. “'World's most haunted island' up for auction.” The Telegraph. April 15, 2014.
  • Sironi, Francesca. “Poveglia, the jeweled islet of the lagoon will not be sold off.” L’Espresso. June 11, 2014.
  • Poveglia x Tutti.
  • Geramb, Ferdinand. “A pilgrimage to Palestine, Egypt and Syria.” London. Henry Colburn. 1840. Accessed online:
  • Mollison, James. “Treasured island: How Venetians are saving Poveglia.” The Telegraph. December 19, 2015.
  • Miranda, Charles. “A night on the haunted Poveglia Island in Italy.” News Corp Australia. June 1. 2014.
  • “The Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries.” UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • “Poveglia Plague Island.” Atlas Obscura.
  • Bittenbinder, Franz and Che Liu. “Oasis Poveglia.”

Topics in this Podcast: European history, plague, hauntings, Italian history, Venice, Halloween episodes