POVEGLIA, Italy - An island deemed one of the most haunted places on Earth with soil said to consist of 50% human ash from 160,000 deaths will be put up for auction May.
Poveglia is a 17-acre island which sits in the Venetian Lagoon between Venice and Lido in northern Italy. The island has a history of being a place of exile and disease.
According to the Travel Channel, Poveglia was first inhabited by citizens fleeing invaders of mainland Italy, but was abandoned in the 14th century as the population decreased. Poveglia became a quarantine colony in 1348 after the Bubonic Plague arrived in Venice, and Venetians exhibiting symptoms of the plague were banished Poveglia and burned on pyres.
A few centuries later the island housed a psychiatric hospital, which is said to have been used more for exile than rehabilitation. In the 1930s stories started circulating about a doctor who would perform weird experiments on patients, including improvised lobotomies.
The metal hospital was closed in 1968 and turned into a home for the elderly. That center closed in 1975 and the island was abandoned.
The Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures team even visited the island, with one of them saying he was briefly possessed.
The island is off-limits to visitors, but the Italian government is offering a 99-year lease through an online auction, The Telegraphreports.
When contacted by The Telegraph, an Italian government spokesperson said she could not put a possible selling price on the island.