6 haunted islands and their spine tingling tales

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Haunted islands: What secrets do they hold?

Why do we find haunted islands so interesting? Maybe it’s because these secluded spots hold stories of past lives, mysterious events and — sometimes — spirits that haven’t quite moved on.

From the tales of ancient warriors still guarding their land to the whispers of lost souls in the wind, each of these haunted islands offers a peek into the unknown.

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1. Poveglia Island, Italy

Poveglia Island, off the coast of Venice, Italy, carries a history that’s as haunting as the tales that surround it.

Originally used as a quarantine station during the bubonic plague outbreaks, it became the final stop for many. The island served as a barrier, attempting to prevent the spread of devastating diseases to the mainland.

This contributed to its first layer of haunting stories, with many believing the island itself was created from the remains of those who did not survive — making it part of the island’s very composition​​​​.

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The island’s spooky history doesn’t end there. In the 20th century, it was repurposed as an asylum, where it’s said a doctor performed experiments on patients.

The tales suggest these were horrifying attempts at understanding the human mind, often at the expense of the patient’s sanity and well-being.

Perhaps the most popular legend of Poveglia involves the bell tower. Despite the bell being removed decades ago, locals and visitors claim to still hear its tolling.

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Ghost Hunters Season 3, Episode 2 features Poveglia Island

2. Isle of Wight, UK

The Isle of Wight, located off the southern coast of the UK, is not just known for its scenic beauty but also for its haunted locales.

Among these, the Botanic Gardens and the old manor house at Knighton Gorges stand out for their reported paranormal activities and apparitions.

The Botanic Gardens, once the Royal Hospital for Chest Diseases, are reputed to be haunted by the phantoms of past patients.

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Visitors and workers have reported hearing inexplicable sounds of men weeping and groaning, as if the pain and suffering from the hospital’s days linger on​​.

Knighton Gorges, on the other hand, no longer stands but its legacy continues.

The manor house was demolished in the 1800s, but it is said to reappear every New Year at midnight, complete with ghostly celebrations that vanish as quickly as they appear.

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3. Gaiola Island, Italy

Gaiola Island, located in the picturesque Gulf of Naples, carries a story that sounds more like the plot from a thriller than it does real life.

This small island is as famous for its natural beauty as it is for the curse that seems to follow its owners.

Over the years, a series of unfortunate and sometimes mysterious events have led to the belief that the island is jinxed. One pattern in particular that has been observed is the death of the island’s owners, typically under unusual or tragic circumstances.

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This history of misfortune began in the 1920s when the body of the then-owner was found wrapped inside a carpet. Following this tragic event, a string of owners faced untimely deaths or severe misfortunes.

One owner was found dead under mysterious conditions, another suffered a fatal heart attack soon after acquiring the island, and another took his own life.

A subsequent owner died from a rare disease, and another was kidnapped shortly after purchasing Isola La Gaiola.

These incidents have left the haunted island with a reputation that has made it difficult to sell, despite its breathtaking views and enviable location​​.

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4. Daksa Island, Croatia

Daksa Island, situated near Dubrovnik, Croatia, has a chilling history that dates back to the aftermath of World War II. In 1944, the island became the setting for a series of mass executions.

Reports indicate that 53 people, suspected of collaborating with the Nazi regime, were executed without trial by partisans. The bodies were left unburied, creating a legacy that has lasted to this day​​.

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In 2009, the discovery of mass graves added a tangible proof to the stories that had circulated for decades. Despite its picturesque setting, the haunted island has struggled to attract buyers or visitors, with many locals and tourists avoiding it due to its past and the dark atmosphere that is said to linger there​​.

Paranormal sightings and a general feeling of unease have been reported by the few who dare to visit, with some claiming to feel the presence of those lost souls, unable to find peace.

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5. Spike Island, County Cork, Ireland

Spike Island, located in County Cork, Ireland, has a long history that stretches back over 1,300 years.

Originally the site of a monastic settlement in the 7th century, the island has transformed through the ages — serving as a strategic military fortification, a prison, and now a tourist attraction​​.

The island’s military and penal history is particularly notable. By the 18th century, it had evolved into a fort and subsequently became known as “Ireland’s Alcatraz” due to its use as a prison.

Throughout the years, it housed a mix of prisoners, including those awaiting transportation to Australia and, later, Irish nationalists. The fortifications and prison buildings, some of which still stand today, bear silent testimony to the haunted island’s past​​.

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Visitors and staff have recounted eerie sightings and experiences, including encounters with the “White Woman” — a ghostly figure that roams the island.

Another spectral resident is a phantom soldier seen guarding the perimeter walls, his eyes hollow, watching over a place where he once served.

In addition to these stories, there are also accounts of ghostly officers and an unnerving atmosphere within the old prison cells on this haunted island​​.

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6. Ellis Island, New York, USA

Ellis Island in New York once served as the gateway for over 12 million immigrants seeking a new life in the United States from 1892 to 1954.

This island is famous for its role in shaping the demographics of the country. It is also known for having a haunted history, tied to the many souls who passed through its doors.

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There are stories of people smelling burning candles, even when none are lit, and hearing the sounds of children crying for their parents — a stark reminder of the anxiety and hope that filled the space​​.

In the Great Hall, staff and visitors have reported hearing voices in languages from around the world, as if the past inhabitants are still lingering, waiting to be admitted into America.

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What are your haunted island stories?

Have you ever visited one of these haunted island locations and felt the chill of the unseen? Do you have a story of a haunted place that calls to you?

Please comment below with your experiences, or any thoughts you might have on haunted islands!

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