Black Death

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Ruined kitchen equipment is spread at the now abandoned hospital. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

Ruined kitchen equipment is spread at the now abandoned hospital. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The Haunting Of Poveglia Island

Things That Go Bump In the Night

It?s been called ?the Island of madness?, ?Hell?, ?the most haunted place on Earth?. Locals have a saying that goes: ?when an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia?.

Poveglia Island is a secluded little piece of land that even the most macho of Italians stay away from. The final restless place of thousands of diseased, murderous, and insane people, Poveglia is the convergence of everything we know about evil. So what’s the deal with this island of spooky terror?

Back when the bubonic plague ate up most of the world’s population, the Romans had a clever idea to keep the healthiest separated from the sickest. The plagued people were shipped off to Poveglia Island, a small, secluded land mass that floats between Venice and Lido.

There, people lived out the last of their desolate lives together until they died. Since the island already reeked of death, the next time an epidemic came along; barely alive bodies were dumped there and burned in mass graves. In the 1920s, a mental hospital was built to welcome the island’s newest “guests,” or anybody that showed symptoms of any sort of sickness, physical or mental.

Basically, if you had an itch, away you went to Poveglia where you’d sink your feet into the soil half dirt, half human ash. The dark history of Poveglia Island began during the Roman Era when it was used to isolate plague victims from the general population. Centuries later, when the Black Death rolled through Europe it served that purpose again. The dead were dumped into large pits and buried or burned.? As the plague tightened its grip, the population began to panic and those residents showing the slightest sign of sickness were taken from their homes and to the island of Poveglia kicking and screaming and pleading.? They were thrown onto piles of rotting corpses and set ablaze.

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Have we got an ambassador to Madagascar?

If we haven’t perhaps Murray McCully might like to put Trevor Mallard’s name forward as Ambassador to Madagascar.

His expertise in dealing with the feral animals?in Labour could prove invaluable.

Madagascar?is at risk of a major outbreak of?bubonic plague?unless it can clean up its rat-infested jails, health experts have warned.

The Indian Ocean island became the most severely affected country in the world last year, with 256 cases and 60 fatalities from the disease known as the “black death” when it swept through Europe in the 14th century.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Malagasy prison authorities have?launched a campaign against rodents?in Antanimora prison in the capital, Antananarivo, where 3,000 inmates are behind bars.

Christoph Vogt, head of the ICRC delegation in Madagascar, said: “The chronic overcrowding and the unhygienic conditions in prisons can bring on new cases of the disease. That’s dangerous not only for the inmates but also for the population in general.”? Read more »