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For a Charming Fixer-Upper, Try Italy's 'Island of Madness'

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Poveglia, a deserted island that the Italian government is currently offering a 99-year lease on, has amassed itself an impressive level of property stigma over the last few centuries, earning colorful nicknames like "the island of madness," "Hell," and "the most haunted place in the world." That reputation began in the late eighteenth century, back when Poveglia was a checkpoint for ships headed to Venice. Two boats full of plague victims ended up there in 1793, and the island was sealed off and turned into a quarantine zone for people with infectious diseases, which it stayed for over a century. But the real Ghost Hunters fodder didn't kick off until 1922, when it was converted into a mental hospital, where rumor has it a doctor driven mad by ghosts was compelled to perform a number of slipshod lobotomies and eventually throw himself off the bell tower. A belfry which, with the right restoration, would have some serious curb appeal!

The Italian government is offering a lease on the place—one of 148 that the notoriously cash-strapped country is auctioning off this year—at an as-yet unrevealed price point to a buyer with permits to redevelop the island, ideally into a destination hotel, according to the Telegraph. Sounds like a job for the world's foremost expert on property stigma.

· The Most Haunted Place In The World Is For Sale [Gizmodo]
· All private island coverage [Curbed National]