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Poveglia Island is the third episode of Season 3 of Ghost Adventures. Poveglia Island, off the coast of Venice, Italy, is one of the world's darkest epicenters. According to legend, the island was formed from the ashes of burned plague victims, criminals and mental patients who were exiled there.

Preliminary Investigation

Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. A small canal divides the island into two separate parts. The island is first mentioned in chronicles of 421, when people from Padua and Este fled there to escape the barbarian invasions. In the 9th century the island's population began to grow, and in the following centuries its importance grew steadily, until it was governed by a dedicated Podestà. In 1379 Venice came under attack from the Genoan fleet; the people of Poveglia were moved to the Giudecca. The island remained uninhabited in the subsequent centuries; in 1527 the doge offered the island to the Camaldolese monks, who refused the offer. From 1645 on, the Venetian government built five octagonal forts to protect and control the entrances to the lagoon. The Poveglia octagon is one of four that still survive.

In 1776 the island came under the jurisdiction of the Magistrato alla Sanità (Public Health Office), and became a check point for all goods and people coming to and going from Venice by ship. In 1793, there were several cases of the plague on two ships, and consequently the island was transformed into a temporary confinement station for the ill (lazaretto); this role became permanent in 1805, under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, who also had the old church of San Vitale destroyed; the old bell-tower was converted into a lighthouse. The lazaretto was closed in 1814. In the 20th century the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922 the existing buildings were converted into an asylum for the mentally ill and for long-term care. After 1968, when the hospital was closed, the island was briefly used for agriculture and then completely abandoned. In 2014 the Italian state auctioned a 99-year lease of Poveglia, which would remain state property, to raise revenue, hoping that the buyer would redevelop the hospital into a luxury hotel.[1] The highest bid was from Italian businessman Luigi Brugnaro but the lease did not proceed as his project was judged not to meet all the conditions.

The surviving buildings on the island consist of a cavana, a church, a hospital, an asylum, a bell-tower and housing and administrative buildings for the staff. The bell-tower is the most visible structure on the island, and dates back to the 12th century. It belonged to the church of San Vitale, which was demolished in 1806. The tower was re-used as a lighthouse. The existence of an asylum on Poveglia seems to be confirmed by a sign for "Reparto Psichiatria" (Psychiatric Department) still visible among the derelict buildings, as photographed by Ransom Riggs in his May 2010 photo-essay documenting his visit to Poveglia. However, there seems to be no evidence of an alleged prison. A bridge connects the island on which the buildings stand with the island that was given over to trees and fields. The octagonal fort is on a third, separate island, next to the island with the buildings, but unconnected to it. The fort itself today consists solely of an earthen rampart faced on the outside with brick. The island contains one or more plague pits. Some estimates suggest that 100,000 people died on the island over the centuries.


They were not locked down inside of a building this time. They were practically abandoned on the island from "Dusk until Dawn" as Zak would say.


  • Equipment Malfunction: During the day, Nick hears a girl's voice and moments later Zak's audio dies
  • Other Phenomena: Before GAC head down to the island by boat for their lockdown, in the sky, there were two vapour clouds that formed an X over the island. Zak states that it bears a resemblance to the camera's X's.

  • Identifiable Noises: Banging, Footsteps, Moaning, Thuds, Screaming
  • Disembodied Speaking: Voices, Screaming, "Zak", "no", Moaning
  • EMF Fluctuation: The EMF Detector bases at a 2 then spiked up to 3.5.
  • Physical Harm: Nick starts feeling sick at the same time Zak starts having a weird feeling.
  • Apparition: A strange anomaly manifests then slowly moves down the wall and disappears.
  • Physical Harm/Apparition: When Aaron starts feeling light headed and drained, an orb shoots into his neck and vanishes.
  • EMF Fluctuation/Apparition/Equipment Malfunction: The EMF Detector spikes up to a record 24.8 then to a 22.2 the same time a fast moving ball of light shoots into it. The anomaly must have been so powerful that it made the EMF Detector turn off and not work.
  • Possession: While helping Aaron, Zak feels a feeling of extreme anger and aggression toward Nick and Aaron, which at that point, Zak believed that he was temporarily and nearly demonically possessed by dark entity. Zak states that when he looked back at Nick, it was like seeing a red filter over his eyes, then he lost control over his thoughts and actions.
  • Other Phenomena: The GAC started smelling something burning.
  • Residual Noises/Moving Object: While in the plague fields, Nick hears rustling in the weeds behind him, and Aaron hears footsteps coming towards him. During this, an unseen entity knocks over the Tri-Pod for the infrared panel.
  • EVPs: "come here...I'm here (in Italian)", "let's fight", "hey", "bye bye"
  • Apparition/Disembodied Speaking: The static night vision camera on the bridge captures a mist that moves across the field. At the same time, you can hear disembodied voices.
  • Apparition: The X camera in the hospital captures a dark mist moving down a pillar, seconds before moaning is heard.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Nick said use my energy in Italian and his camera was drained.
  • Apparition: An orb quickly shoots into Zak in the Bad Room.
  • Physical Contact: Zak feels as if something went through him.
  • Temperature Fluctuation: A thermal reading is taken and the temperature was originally 82 and dropped to 68.
  • Moving Object: While in the bell tower, Aaron hears something fall.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Aaron's camera stops recording for no reason, for a few seconds.
  • Equipment Malfunction: After receiving an EVP, Zak's camera goes blank and shuts off.

  • Special

    A special 90-minute extended cut of the episode aired on January 22, 2010.

    Ghost Adventures: The BeginningGhost Adventures Live - The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic AsylumPoveglia Island SpecialBest EvidenceScariest MomentsValentine's Day SpecialHorror Hotels and Deadliest HospitalsWickedest Women, Houses of Terror, and Bloodiest BattlefieldsHellfire CavesFort HorstedUp Close and PersonalTransylvaniaNetherWorld: Paris Catacombs (spin-off)Celtic Demons (Halloween Special)

    Season 7 Specials
    Dead Men WalkingDeath By Wild WestClinically DeadKiller NightlifeDo Not DisturbHome Sweet HellPassport to HellDungeons and DemonsBewitched and BotheredObsessions and PossessionsArmies of DarknessFirst Timers


    • It is possible that this location was investigated after the Washoe Club, because Aaron mentions having some similar contact at Poveglia and the Washoe Club.
    • Some of the evidence above was shown on the Poveglia Island special.
    • It was revealed in the behind the scenes of the Ohio State Reformatory episode, that Zak got a tattoo of his demonic experience and possession in Poveglia.
    • The GAC was one of the first investigators ever to set foot on Poveglia Island. The Italian government has made it illegal to set foot on the island due to how dangerously haunted it is.
    • Poveglia island has since been sold for the sum of $440,000.


    Season 3 Episodes
    Pennhurst State School and HospitalPoveglia IslandOhio ReformatoryRemington ArmsWashoe Club/Chollar MineLinda Vista HospitalExecution Rocks LighthouseProspect PlaceClovis Wolfe Manor