A 17-acre island in Italy with a petrifying past is up for sale and the government hopes a creepy abandoned hospital will be turned into a luxury hotel.
The island of Poveglia, or "the island of madness" in the Venetian lagoon is known as one of the most haunted places on Earth.
According to Time, Italy is auctioning off the island, which is located near Venice and has been deserted for the past fifty years, to pay off its public debt and appease European Union budget guidelines.
The island's reputation for being haunted is based on the historical events that took place there.
The trouble started back in the late 19th century when Poveglia served as a checkpoint for ships going to Venice. After a pair of ships carrying plague victims arrived in 1793, the island was sealed off and turned into a quarantine zone for people with infectious diseases, a role it served for over a century. It goes without saying that many of these people died on the island during this time, leading to the widespread belief that Poveglia is haunted.
In 1922, the island became the location of a mental institution and rumor has it that one of the doctors performed crude lobotomies on patients after going crazy because of the ghosts.
As MentalFloss reports, according to island legend, "a psychiatrist who ran the mental hospital was a butcher and torturer who went mad from guilt and threw himself from the island's bell tower, only to survive the fall and be strangled by a 'ghostly mist' that emerged from the ground."
Although it is closed to visitors, the spooky status of the island makes it is a popular destination for ghost hunters. One report states an American TV host who visited the island and entered the abandoned hospital for the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures claimed to have been briefly possessed by a ghost.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, a spokeswoman for Italy’s state sales agency declined to put a possible price on Poveglia but Aol Money reports the island could fetch the Italian government around $841 million. The auction is to start May 7 with no guide prices.