A forbidden “island of ghosts” which has the remains of 160,000 cremated corpses in its soil has been left abandoned for the last 55 years.
The small Italian island of Poveglia, located between Venice and Lido in the north of the country, remains closed to visitors unless granted special permission, The Sun reports.
But only the bravest and hardest souls dare venture onto the island, which has been left vacant since 1968.
That’s when its mental hospital closed, which has now been reclaimed by the natural world following decades of abandonment.
The island is divided into two separate parts by a small canal, with one side heavily overgrown and the other full of rotting buildings.
Vines and vegetation have wrapped themselves around the base of the former mental asylum, with cracks appearing all over the walls.
Vast mass burial ground items such as old beds and baths, as well as several large containers, still remain.
Thanks to one pair of brave British urban explorers who previously ventured onto the island, fresh pictures were shared of Poveglia.
Matt Nadin, 40, and Andy Thompson, 54, shared extraordinary footage on their YouTube channel after sneaking into the most remote parts of the island.
In 1776, the island served as a check point for all goods and people coming and going from Venice.
However, following several cases of the plague on two incoming ships to the port, Poveglia became used as a quarantine station from 1793 until 1814.
Anyone who even remotely showed any signs of the disease was dragged kicking and screaming to the island.
To combat the spread of the disease, victims were burnt, with around 160,000 corpses making up the mass burial ground.
Those who were yet to be thrown into the plague pits would vomit blood as they awaited their impending fate.
This led to legends of terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island.
Experts claim that more than 50 per cent of the islands soil is made up of human ash from the cremations.
In 1922, the existing buildings were converted into a mental asylum, which holds some dark secrets within its walls.
According to legend, one of the doctors experimented on his patients with crude lobotomies, in which he tortured and killed many of them.
He’d use tools such as hand drills – which remain in the rooms to this day.
However, the sadistic man eventually threw himself off the bell tower, having claimed that he was being haunted by the spirits of those who had died on the island.
Decades later, nearby residents on the mainland claim to still hear the bell ringing, even though it was removed years ago.
According to a 2014 report by the Travel Channel, some restoration work had started begun but was “abruptly stopped without explanation”.
The island has frequently featured on paranormal shows, including Ghost Adventures and Scariest Places on Earth.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission