Heinrich took a deep breath as the boat left the dock of Venice towards Poveglia Island. Stephen Palm, his videographer, was already filming their departure while Victoria Banks, his technician, was prepping her equipment. Their proprietress Marie remained holed up beneath the deck.
Heinrich snapped his fingers and Steve turned the camera to him, focusing Heinrich in the center of the picture with the bright blue skies above Venice surrounding him. Heinrich adjusted the lavaliere mic on his lapel and cleared his throat before speaking.
“Here we are in the beautiful Venice lagoon heading towards the, allegedly, most haunted place in the world…Poveglia Island. There is no greater experience than to disprove the natural fear of ghosts and assuage people’s discomfort of places and situations. The idea of ghosts has married with religion from the beginning of time. Our early ancestors needed an explanation for why people died and for what happened to them after they did. Two very distinct ideas were born. The concept of heaven and hell, and the idea of ghosts. In the latter, the deceased would become ghosts and thus continue to be around their loved ones. More than just their memories, but a physical presence.
Heaven and Hell were also invented to assuage grief. The dead’s consciousness would continue in the afterlife. There’s no end to existence if there’s an afterlife; just a transition. If you were a good citizen you would go to heaven. If you broke natural laws you’d go to hell. This made dying easier to accept. It also created a moral focus for society.
“Poveglia has been called hell because of the horrific things that happened here. But to assume that spirits are present is just fear of an age past. Because of advances in modern science, we know that ghosts are, in actuality, just the energy.”
Stanger walked a few steps over to the bow of the boat and Steve caught a glimpse of Poveglia Island behind Heinrich. It was dark in contrast with the bright blue sky and the waters splashing up on the coast were black.
“Energies can be caught in the material world and replayed if the right conditions are present,” the abandoned asylum took up the entire picture behind Heinrich. “And here on Poveglia Island,” he winked at the camera. “There are nothing but right conditions.” He pointed to waves crashing on the rocks next to the approaching dock. Steve turned the camera to follow where Heinrich pointed. He gasped slightly and zoomed in. Through the camera lens, he could clearly see human bones floating in the surf and scattered across the rocks at the edge of the island.