Venetians Try To Save 'Scariest Place On Earth' From Developers

Venetians Try To Save 'Scariest Place On Earth' From Developers

If they don't, Poveglia will become just another resort.

It's supposed to be one of the planet's paranormal hot-spots, at least according to Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures and Fox's reality TV show Scariest Places on Earth. Plague victims were confined on the island, and over 100,000 of them are supposed to be buried there; nobody knows exactly where, as the location of the plague pits was never recorded. For much of the 20th Century it housed an insane asylum, but it's been abandoned for half a century. Now the 17 acre island of Poveglia, between Venice and the Lido in the glorious Venetian Lagoon, is getting interest of an altogether different kind: investors want to turn it into a luxury resort, and the locals don't like that idea at all.

"This Anglo-Saxon tradition of ghosts is una cazzata (bullshit)," says Lorenzo Pesola, one of the founding members of Poveglia Per Tutti (Poveglia for All). He and many other Venetians have fond memories of illicit childhood expeditions to the abandoned island, to steal peaches, dive in the lagoon, and fish for squid. The island's been abandoned since the closure of the asylum in 1968, which helps to build atmosphere - few things are spookier than the remains of an abandoned mental hospital at night - but it also made it better than Disneyland for generations of kids. They don't want it to become yet another luxury destination, but the state - its current owner - intends to auction off its 99-year lease on May 7th.

So they're stepping up and putting in their own bids. None of them could afford Poveglia's lease on their own, but if they band together at €99 ($137) a shot, they hope their combined effort will seal the deal. If it works, the group intends to turn two thirds of the island into a campsite, while the remaining third will - under the conditions of the lease bid - be used for entrepreneurial activity. It already has the €20,000 it needs to take part in the auction in May; with luck it will have enough cash in its war chest to see off the other bidders.

"The chance of visiting a real Venice ten years from now, rather than just a crystal image of it," says Pesola. "That's what they would be supporting."

Source: Guardian

Images: Strange Geographies

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Christ, don't any of these CEOs know the Shining? You don't build hotels in places like that.

I hope they manage to save it. I personally love creepy places, I would certainly be more interested in visiting an abandoned mental hospital than some boring resort.

I know I'd rather live near a haunted asylum and plague victim burial ground than a resort filled with dumbass tourists.

Exterminas:
Christ, don't any of these CEOs know the Shining? You don't build hotels in places like that.

This implies that CEO's know about anything other than thier balance sheets.

Genocidicles:
I know I'd rather live near a haunted asylum and plague victim burial ground than a resort filled with dumbass tourists.

This, a million times this.

At least with the dead and possible ghosts you don't have to put up with them at all hours drunk and doing stupid crap on the shores. I love creepy places like this and would hate to have it all torn down for a bunch of dumbass tourists getting smashed there.

TLDNR, but the pictures seem like a pretty sweet place for some fantasy/gothic cosplay photo's.
Some are beautiful looking with nature contrasting with old architecture.

Plus, any place with grafiti is NOT as scary anymore.
The punks messing it up cleary where not insta-killed by ghosts/loonies/monsters, so .... :P

Wow, it's beautiful. Those pics were great

Land Developers. There kinda like loansharks. Except instead of busting your kneecaps for missing a payment, they buy land near your town or even your house for chump change and sell it off making enough to do it over again 10 times. You don't owe them money and they still screw you over by bringing in tourists who might not bring you revenue, Homeowner's Associations that make dictatorships look like free for alls, and drive up taxes around the land they bought.

Building a resort may[1] create jobs for constructing a resort. But that's just for a couple years at most. And they need plenty of staff after it's built. Tax revenue will also bolster whichever jurisdiction the island falls under.

But, I'm definitely with the Venetians on this one. Whatever they might put on that island could go bankrupt after less than 10 or even 5 years. And they could run out of money half-way through construction. (A bowling alley not far from my house got as far as finishing the plumbing and electrical when the investors just stopped supporting it. It's sat for 5 years fenced in, with no one seen even looking at it.) Leaving another abandoned building on the island.[2] Then if anyone wanted to use the land, they would have to get rid of an incomplete facility that will quickly weather and become dangerous. And it ruins their local culture and scenery with a big hotel taking up most of the island. That asylum doesn't look very big with the overgrowth. Take away the wild trees and plop a 5 story resort and the view will change drastically.

[1] Keyword: may. At least in the US now they like to bring in people from another part of the country the construction company already employed and knows what their skills are. Two different jobs offered me to travel the US repairing new cars or installing probe systems in CNC machines.
[2] Also with no reward for the risk of exposing workers and the environment to hazards like lead paint and asbestoes.

- Article title says 'Scariest Place On Earth'.

- Article contains photos of what looks to be an absolutely gorgeous, old rundown, abandoned set of buildings.

Yeah, sorry. The utterly ridiculous, idiotic, and unrealistic notion of "ghosts" aside, there is absolutely nothing scary about that place. Not that I can see. It looks beautiful. I'd love visit.

Even so I think if the land can be put to use instead of being allowed to 'fester', then maybe it should be developed.

That said, I think I'm with the Venetians on this one. At least if the cost/benefit ratio of building the resort wasn't good enough.

Still, perhaps they should turn the area into a museum. They could generate revenue that could be used to support the community and keep the place 'safe'.

Entrepreneurial Activity: Guided tours of the asylum.

Please.

PLEASE.

I'LL PAY ALL OF THE MONEY

ALL OF IT

To be fair I think those investors just don't think the island is horrifying enough and want to take it to the next level.

Man that place does look beautiful though.
I've got a soft spot for architecture and man made things in general that has been claimed by nature.
It's one of the many reasons I love The Last of Us so much.

Exterminas:
Christ, don't any of these CEOs know the Shining? You don't build hotels in places like that.

This assumes the CEOs are dumbasses who believe in supernatural BS.

More than ghosts I'd be worried about someone digging up those old plague burial sites: you never know when someone may accidentally reintroduce a fatal illness to the world. Would you want to drink from a well dug under a plague burial ground?

They should shoot a horror movie there before the land devs move in and disney up the place. Don't get me wrong, I think they'd be better off leaving it alone for its historical value, but once land devs smell blood in the water there's no stopping them. They could market the place as a creepy historical destination rather than just another luxury resort; then they could preserve the history while still making some money off some prime real estate.

Is it just me, or does building a luxury resort on top of a former mental institution/mass plague victim grave sound like the beginning to some sort of horror movie?

Vigormortis:
- Article title says 'Scariest Place On Earth'.

- Article contains photos of what looks to be an absolutely gorgeous, old rundown, abandoned set of buildings.

Yeah, sorry. The utterly ridiculous, idiotic, and unrealistic notion of "ghosts" aside, there is absolutely nothing scary about that place. Not that I can see. It looks beautiful. I'd love visit.

Even so I think if the land can be put to use instead of being allowed to 'fester', then maybe it should be developed.

That said, I think I'm with the Venetians on this one. At least if the cost/benefit ratio of building the resort wasn't good enough.

Still, perhaps they should turn the area into a museum. They could generate revenue that could be used to support the community and keep the place 'safe'.

Yeah, it should be noted that the 'scary' part mostly comes from a slew of completely baseless myths that have been running rampant for as long as anyone can remember.

For example, it is commonly believed that the place served as a leper colony under the Roman empire, and that victims of the Black Plague were later gathered there and burned on gigantic bonfires - often while still alive. Those who tell these stories will often note that a considerable bulk of Poveglia's landmass is actually made up from nothing but human remains, and that local fishermen routinely have to pick charred bones out of their nets.

And all that was established in local folklore for generations before the mental asylum was built, so the classic story which, in one form or another, is attributed to pretty much every abandoned mental asylum ever (warden goes insane, tortures inmates to death and is terrorized into suicide by their ghosts) added a whole NEW layer to it all.

The Poveglia version typically has the mad warden leap to his death from the top of the clock tower to escape the vengeful spirits. In some versions, he actually survives the fall, but is immediately choked to death by a seemingly sentient mist that suddenly seeps out of the very soil itself.

It's pretty much all bullshit from start to finish - but try telling yourself that when you're alone out there, the sun has just set, darkness falls, the leaves start rustling and it starts getting colder...

Yup. Neglect the island, maintain the myths. Occasional guided tours of the ruins, sale of 'history' books - THAT'S how you turn a place like Poveglia into a lasting tourist attraction!

Ieyke:

Exterminas:
Christ, don't any of these CEOs know the Shining? You don't build hotels in places like that.

This assumes the CEOs are dumbasses who believe in supernatural BS.

Let's be honest, if they did build a resort there any construction accidents would be blamed on ghosts and they would also lose business from dumb asses who believe in supernatural BS, which is actually a lot of people. In either case I think it would become a PR nightmare.

busterkeatonrules:

Vigormortis:
- Article title says 'Scariest Place On Earth'.

- Article contains photos of what looks to be an absolutely gorgeous, old rundown, abandoned set of buildings.

Yeah, sorry. The utterly ridiculous, idiotic, and unrealistic notion of "ghosts" aside, there is absolutely nothing scary about that place. Not that I can see. It looks beautiful. I'd love visit.

Even so I think if the land can be put to use instead of being allowed to 'fester', then maybe it should be developed.

That said, I think I'm with the Venetians on this one. At least if the cost/benefit ratio of building the resort wasn't good enough.

Still, perhaps they should turn the area into a museum. They could generate revenue that could be used to support the community and keep the place 'safe'.

Yeah, it should be noted that the 'scary' part mostly comes from a slew of completely baseless myths that have been running rampant for as long as anyone can remember.

Oh, I know. But the look of a place helps lend some "credence" to the myths. Insofar as peoples irrational imaginings cause them to perceive the place as such. And to me the place looks incredible - not scary in the least.

It's pretty much all bullshit from start to finish - but try telling yourself that when you're alone out there, the sun has just set, darkness falls, the leaves start rustling and it starts getting colder...

I don't want to make myself sound like some self-proclaimed 'badass', but to me a place like the hospital in the article doesn't get 'scary' at night. It just adds a sense of character in my eyes. It makes the place ooze a storied past. It makes me ponder what really happened 'back then'.

I suppose if I even remotely assumed the possibility of ghosts I might find such a place frightening at night. But as it is, I'd be more afraid of a rat biting my ankle or a bat flying into my face.

Or more realistically, falling through a floor or deteriorated stair and being impaled on something.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the remains of an insane asylum built on the graves of a hundred thousand plague victims is possibly the worst place to build a resort, or anything for that matter.

huh, a bit of a "ghosts are dumb" attitude in here? While not everyone may agree, Ghosts are fun. They get to be like an adult version of Santa. If you're looking and you find something you think, just maybe be a ghost, your heart races, you're excited, and if you don't ? You're still hoping just perhaps will might actually see one. Ghosts, as an idea, I find amazing. The different theories behind them, why they exist, what they are/mean, and the atmosphere they provide I find powerful. Ghost stories, ghost movies, tv shows, games, spook me, they keep me up at night, and I love it. Being somewhere alone, in the dark, I find scary, it's spooky, it's unnerving, add to that the ability to suspend disbelief enough to allow the thought of ghosts to enter your mind? They just add to it, they build on top of it all.

As for the place being the Scariest Place on Earth, I think of that town in Russia(?) right away, from Destination Truth. A whole town, empty, buildings falling apart, no one around for miles, and the whole thing soaked in nuclear fallout with ghost stories abound.

ChristopherT:
huh, a bit of a "ghosts are dumb" attitude in here?
*snip*
As for the place being the Scariest Place on Earth, I think of that town in Russia(?) right away, from Destination Truth. A whole town, empty, buildings falling apart, no one around for miles, and the whole thing soaked in nuclear fallout with ghost stories abound.

That's because ghosts ARE dumb. There's just no such thing.

You're thinking of Chernobyl.

Incidentally, the reason Ghost Hunters is fucking retarded and Destination Truth ISN'T, is because the Ghost Hunters flip out about every creak, and squeak, and rustle, and mote of dust, and fly, and lens artifact they hear/see, and they try their hardest to prove it's something that it clearly isn't.
Destination Truth's Josh Gates, on the other hand, goes into everything dead set on trying to prove what it REALLY is, and prove that people are freakin' out about something with a logical explanation. And most of the time his team is hunting something that COULD feasibly be SOMETHING real. Sea monster could be a huge fish or giant eel, dragon monster could be a huge bat or bird, etc etc.
Don't get me wrong, the rest of his team are mostly morons. They do the Ghost Hunter thing and freak out about every little thing and try and prove it's something, but Gates himself won't let any of that shit fly on his show.
THAT is why, when they find something tangible that they can't begin to explain, it's so much crazier and more interesting. When Gates is like "We found...SOMETHING, but I have no idea how to explain it logically" it means soooo much compared to the Ghost Hunters jumping at their own shadows for the thousandth time and claiming they're haunted.
When Destination Truth disproves something by figuring out the more likely explanation, it's STILL interesting. Then you get to see the simple things that people freak out about.
When they find nothing and can't disprove something it can be uneventful, obviously.
When they can't explain something they DO find....well....yeti footprints?

When I saw the "developers" in the title, I thought that it meant that some gaming devs were trying to make a survival horror game set in the place and the locals were none too happy.

*thinking*

Great, now I want a good survival horror game set in the place. Damn it.

Hmm, shitty ghost spot or shitty luxury resort?

Can't they build something useful?

Ieyke:
That's because ghosts ARE dumb. There's just no such thing.

Are you one of those kids, that when they found out Santa wasn't real had to run around telling all the other kids how dumb they were for still believing in Santa? =P Either way, I like the idea of ghosts, if you think I'm dumb for it I can live with that. I'll never claim ghosts are real, I'm talking about the idea of them, and how that idea can change how someone might deal with unexpected noises and sights. I love the fiction, the lore, the tales, and I started being a fan of Ghostbusters when I was 3, I'm 29 now, and I haven't stopped loving Ghostbusters since, I don't think that's going away any time soon.

You're thinking of Chernobyl.

Thank you

Incidentally, the reason Ghost Hunters is fucking retarded and Destination Truth ISN'T, *ect ect

Which is why I like and mentioned Destination Truth and not Ghost Hunters. I can enjoy some Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, but they are dumb, and on a few rare occasions that's part of the fun. But Destination Truth at least tries, especially Josh Gates, and is so much better, and I agree with the rest.

Yup! Let's build on Murder-Death-BloodPact Flats! Great idea! I can see it now. A big skyscraper overlooking everything, zombies on the prowl, and in the man office...Goldman is waiting for the AMS to make their move!

FalloutJack:
Yup! Let's build on Murder-Death-BloodPact Flats! Great idea! I can see it now. A big skyscraper overlooking everything, zombies on the prowl, and in the man office...Goldman is waiting for the AMS to make their move!

Hey leave your pessimism out of this, or I'll make you suffer, like G did.

ChristopherT:

Ieyke:
That's because ghosts ARE dumb. There's just no such thing.

Are you one of those kids, that when they found out Santa wasn't real had to run around telling all the other kids how dumb they were for still believing in Santa? =P Either way, I like the idea of ghosts, if you think I'm dumb for it I can live with that. I'll never claim ghosts are real, I'm talking about the idea of them, and how that idea can change how someone might deal with unexpected noises and sights. I love the fiction, the lore, the tales, and I started being a fan of Ghostbusters when I was 3, I'm 29 now, and I haven't stopped loving Ghostbusters since, I don't think that's going away any time soon.

I devour mythologies, sci-fi, fantasy, and other fiction at insane rates. Coincidentally, I literally rewatched both Ghostbusters movies yesterday.

Anyhow, there's a huge difference between enjoying supernatural fiction and letting it phase your perception of reality.
For kids it's all well and good, but adults need to've learned to require substantial evidence of something to believe in it, and to challenge that which defies reason. If you see something in the dark and it scares you, and your instinct says it's a chupacabra, go find a damn flashlight and point it at said lurking figure in the dark. When it turns out to be a rabbit, good job. If you don't find it again, all you've learned is there was something in the dark, not "I saw a chupacabra once".
That's all I'm saying.
Jumpy superstition was all well and good back in the stone age, where a fear of the unknown is what kept us alive. But nowadays we are equipped to intelligently explore the unknown in search of the truth, and (for those of us in modernised countries where we might be sitting on The Escapist talking about Ghostbusters) to do otherwise is simply a failure to advance knowledge. Your own, and possibly the world's - on the off-chance you actually do stumble across something of note.

"So we've got a beautifully creepy abandoned mental asylum on a pretty island with a history of being a quarantine zone for plague victims in medieval times. Local folklore says it's haunted. What should we do with it?"

"Ah, turn it into a luxury resort. No one cares about that history crap anyways."

*facedesk*

Hope the locals win and turn the place into a museum with guided tours. I'd fly halfway across the world for that.

 

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