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9 incredibly strange islands

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 30, 2014, 10:57 a.m.
The Poveglia hospital

Photo: Chris 73/Wikimedia Commons

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Poveglia, Italy

Poveglia is an island in the Venice lagoon. Despite its location, next to one of the world's great tourist destinations, it is unpopulated. Many people think it is haunted. Its ghostly reputation comes from its use for centuries as a quarantine station for people who came to Venice by sea, some of whom reportedly suffered from the plague.

In the 20th century, the island was converted into a hospital that treated the elderly and the mentally ill. The facility was abandoned in the 1960s and has not been used since, though there are now plans to redevelop the island, perhaps turning the former hospital into a luxury hotel.