It turns out that when you owe Europe a lot of money, you’re willing to part with any sort of strange items you can sell. Take Italy for example and their rumored auction of Poveglia, the most haunted island on the planet. From Time:
Poveglia’s sordid history serves asa good explanation for why no one wants to go there. The 17-acre island became a dumping ground for Europeans dying of the plague. And as the rumors have it, the ghosts of the plagued still haunt the island. Things took a turn for the lighter in 1922 when a hospital for the elderly—thought to be a cover for mental institution—was opened. Cue widely spread rumors of botched lobotomies and a doctor who threw himself to his death from a hospital tower. No doubt a side-effect of getting haunted by the patients he was maiming.
Other fun facts: there’s a local saying that goes “When an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia,” there are rumors that the soil is made 50% out of human ash, and talk that an American TV host was possessed during a recent visit to the island.
Sounds like a hoot. In fact, I think I saw a lot Poveglia influence in that last episode of True Detective. If there’s some sort of crazy cult involved, planting flowers and painting houses, I think I’ll stay home from the auction.
No matter the creepy history or mythology surrounding the island, the Italian government is hoping to make a killing on the sale. From The Telegraph:
The Italian state is now hoping that offers will arrive to transform the hospital into a luxury hotel under a deal giving the buyer a 99-year lease to redevelop the property, while the island remains the property of the state.
A further four properties listed for auction will be sold off rather than leased, including a monumental monastery in the crumbling old town of Taranto in Puglia, in the heel of Italy, and a 15th century castle in Gradisca d’Isonzo, near the border with Slovenia, that was built to defend against the Turks…
A spokeswoman for Italy’s state sales agency declined to put a possible price on Poveglia but noted that barracks buildings had previously been sold for up to €3.8 million. Another 148 properties are due to be auctioned off this year, with the state hoping to raise €500 million.
Yeah, let’s turn the super haunted hospital into a luxury hotel. That’s worked so well in the past and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. I’ve got to say I was a little curious about the hotel’s mandatory axe policy before I came, but who can complain with such luxury!