A Trip to The Haunted Island of Poveglia: Part One

This weekend I went on an overnight “camping” trip to Poveglia Island.  I say “camping” because I didn’t bother to bring a sleeping bag or tent since I knew we would be walking around most of the night.  I did end up closing my eyes for a couple of hours before dawn, but I am not sure I would call it sleeping.  Although I did wake up with drool on my blow-up pillow, so I guess it counts as sleeping.

I have a lot to say (and show) about my trip so I will break this topic into multiple posts.

First for some background:

Rumor has it that Poveglia is haunted by the “hundreds of thousands” of people who died on the island throughout its centuries of use.  This was a place of quarantine, a place to burn plague victims, an insane asylum run by a murderous doctor, and a nursing home/hospital.  Mental Floss has a great article about Poveglia here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/55234

  • One thing I don’t agree with in this article is the description of the chapel as being something needed only if the inhabitants were not leaving the island.  There are small chapels everywhere in Italy.  Every villa has its own private chapel, every town has tiny chapels or shrines along country roads.  The fact that this island had its own chapel does not mean people were sent there to die.

Have you ever seen the episode of Ghost Adventures filmed on Poveglia?  http://www.extremeghosthunters.com/blog/?p=482

It is worth watching just to see some live video of the place, but I think it is a little bit ridiculous with all yelling and hysteria.  Also, while we were investigating one of the buildings we ran across a lot of debris marked in English with labels like “Cam Power”, which makes me think the film crew left their crap behind, which sucks.

I won’t bore you with the 500 or so pictures I took, but I do have a few I would like to share.  First, a few with some interesting abnormalities:

This is the tower the mad doctor allegedly threw himself from.  When I first saw this picture on my screen I thought the blotch at the bottom was a smudge or mist, but after zooming in it looks like exposed stone from the base of the tower.

This could be a reflection of someone’s light, although it was the middle of the day so I am not sure anyone brought a light with them.  I have asked the other people I was with to confirm if they brought a light inside the buildings with them during our daytime walkabout.

This could be a dust speck, or it could be a ghost following us around as we wandered through the woods in the middle of the night.

The jury is still out on this one.  Could be an illusion caused by the sun bouncing off the camera lens just right.  We have multiple pictures of this orange thing from two cameras and several angles.

I have so much more to tell you about this place, including a few things that I think debunks a lot of what the guys from Ghost Adventures were claiming on air!

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22 Responses to A Trip to The Haunted Island of Poveglia: Part One

  1. JennyO says:

    VERY cool!! I hadn’t heard of it… lol love yourdescription of “Camping” was it as hard to getto the islandas the article on mentalfloss? Wish I’dknow about this when we went toVenice.


    • Erica says:

      Someone else did the heavy lifting as far as figuring out how we would get to the island so for me it was super simple, just show up and get on the boat 😉 I am not sure how much luck someone would have if they just showed up to Venice and started trying to get a ride to Poveglia, but I don’t think locals are as scared of the island as people make them out to be.

  2. Joel Booth says:

    it’s like the real Harper’s Island!

  3. Pingback: A Trip to The Haunted Island of Poveglia: Part Two | much more muchier

  4. Elise says:

    Erica! I like the abnormality pics. The orb in the woods looks real. Also, call me crazy but the blueish light you captured in the dark room looks like a face or something manifesting… creepy!!!!

  5. Elise says:

    Erica. Seriously. Zoom in on the picture. That is a face!!!! You should show this to GAC! I’m going to send you a screen shot of this. Even Theron says this looks like a face. WOW!

    • Erica says:

      I didn’t even notice the detail until you sent me the zoomed in screen shot! How do I show this to GAC???

    • nickey says:

      It looks like a child holding a tissue to its mouth. Maybe to prevent spread of germs from the plague

    • Caitlin says:


    • Renimous says:

      Classic Pareidolia, and the following responses are perfect examples of how it works and how it effects paranormal evidence and a reason why such circumstantial evidence is or at least should be thrown out by those so called ghost hunting groups on tv.

      If you look at the window frame, you can see broken glass with light shining through. Many of those shards are reflecting a blue tint to it, mostly due to the glass being cloudy from dirt and dust buildup.

      I would be more interested in the anomaly located in the same picture. Look to the bottom left corner of the doorway. There is an odd shape that does not match the rest of the picture and I can’t see a source but the picture is also very dark.

      To point things out, I took the moment to adjust the levels in the picture to bring out the shapes of these anomaly.

      The first one which was pointed out can be seen more clearly now in terms of making out the shape…It actually eerily somewhat resembles a bubonic plague doctor’s mask…but let’s not forget that we are already under impression that the island is haunted by victims of the plague itself. Had this been just some random island without any haunting affiliation or affiliation with anything plague related what so ever, it is pretty doubtful that my mind would have recognized the image as a plague doctor. Would you have seen a plague doctor had this not been pointed out, most likely not since the idea that it was a child was already in your minds but now do you see it since I have pointed it out? Pareidolia, my friends!

      To be honest, when I saw this image, the first thing I thought was an anthropomorphic ant mutant… Upon closer inspection, it becomes easier to believe at least from my standpoint, that it really is just caused by the glass. The shape that could be seen as a “hand” has flaring to it and even in the rest, you can make out some flare to it. I think it would be safe to assume that it is a simple trick of the eyes (and mind) and not anything paranormal. (that and that would have been one short doc!)

      Now the next anomaly which I have pointed out in the doorway is also included below the first. Again, after adjusting the levels you can make out the shape. For me, I can’t really pinpoint what could be causing it especially since I was not there and don’t know whats thrown about the rooms. It would have to be rather small, but likely to just be a cloud of dust being kicked up or something similar. Looking at it briefly brought me a bit of anxiety because at first it resembled a little person, skeletal in structure, peering around the corner. Then i began to see it as being a bit alienish. It appears that there is some kind of light reflecting on it, as if it is a physical object so that leads me to wonder what is sitting there that I can’t make out in the picture or if there is a play on some of the stuff laying on the floor that is causing the odd shape. Taking the pareidolia effect into consideration, I will just assume that there is a compsognathus haunting the island.

      I am not trying to rain on anyone parade, the paranormal fascinates me a lot, and I would love to one day go to the island for myself to look for it’s hidden secrets. Great article!

  6. Elise says:

    Ok. There are also hands. Look at the face. It almost looks like the person has their hands classed in front of their body. WOW

  7. At least I’m not the only person who drools.

    I say all those orbs are totally ghosts!

  8. Pingback: A Trip to The Haunted Island of Poveglia: Part Three | much more muchier

  9. sarah keith says:

    Hi there! How did you get to go to the island? My husband and I are going to be in Venice for Halloween and are looking for something exactly like this to do! Please shoot me an email if you have a second with how I can plan this out! Thank you so SO much!!!!

  10. Daniel Richardson says:

    Hi I have stumbled across the topic of poveglia so I decided to investigate I think this is amazing, creepy and mind blowing all in one, would you recommend a trip here or isn’t it all it’s cracked up to be? Thanks

  11. Lisa Hynes says:

    It is absolutely a face with a hand up almost as if in shame at what has happened, and his other hand extends to his waist and it seems like his back is hunched.. wow- I am paying a visit to this island!

  12. Marko Marin says:

    yelow circle is orb 😉 i have them on most of the pictures i have taken

  13. Sofia says:

    Is it allowed to visit the Island? How did you do? Do I need permission to enter? 🙂
    So many questions!
    Thanks in advance.
    // Sofia – Sweden

  14. Katie Jaydee says:

    That DOES look like a face. But I don’t think it’s a child. Looks more adult to me. And if you zoom in on it, there’s also a silhouette around it, like it’s body. A pale, blue line. It looks as if the ghost is kind of looking back over her shoulder.

    Now. I must warn you guys, I don’t know how you will all get on that island. I’m in Venice right now. I asked about getting on there today and the information desk lady said no boats go there. And it’s all closed off to the public. A water taxi will take you there, but it will cost you 150 euro one way (I asked). I’d appreciate if somebody told me how they got onto the island? I still want to go.

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