Poveglia Island is one of 166 islets in the Venice Lagoon off the eastern coast of Northern Italy. Although it has served various purposes, this place is well-known for its macabre past. Tens of thousands of dead and living Black Plague victims were brought here across centuries. Corpses piled up in pits were burned in large fires. In later years, mentally ill patients in the institution suffered heinous tortures and experiments at the hands of a mad doctor. The locals say Poveglia is an “island of ghosts,” cursed with many unhealthy spirits. Its dark reputation can be traced to a history filled with death and drama.