Paris, France’s capital, a city that’s known for its love of fashion, romance, and culture, hides a dark secret under its streets. The Catacombs, where six million dead Parisians are resting underground.
The Dark History Behind The Catacombs Of Paris:
Ossuaries—there’s something inherently hair-raising about them, and to many, they’re some of the creepiest and most taboo places on the planet. And the Catacombs of Paris is prominently one of them.
The Catacombs are a bone-chilling labyrinth of haunted tunnels that sit beneath the streets of Paris and are considered to be one of the most haunted and eerie places on Earth.
In the 17th century, at the end of the second wave from the Black Death pandemic, Paris’ cemeteries were overflowing to the point corpses were uncovered from overcrowding.
Business owners in the city started to complain about the strong smell of rotting flesh, however, nothing was done until 1780 when rainfall caused one of the walls to collapse, spilling corpses into a neighbouring property.
With nowhere to put all the bodies, Paris resulted in moving the bodies to a maze of the 13th-century tunnel that sat beneath the streets of the capital city.
After moving skeletal remains down into the catacombs, the cemeteries began to empty out, but it took the city twelve years to move all the bones into the former quarry tunnels.
How Big It Is?
There are said to be over six million bones that were moved there with some of the skeletal remains dating back as far as 1,200 years. Paris was moving bones into the catacombs until 1860.
The remains of six million people are scattered throughout the tunnels, most were laid within burial chambers known as ossuaries, in which tours are often held. Tunnels surround the Catacombs were made by Parisian quarry miners before some were used as cemeteries.
While it’s estimated that there are around 320 kilometres of tunnels, not all of them have been mapped, and the rest is uncharted territory. It really makes you wonder what else is lurking down in those tunnels. Only a small portion of the tunnels is open to visitors.
The Most Decorative Bones Display:
the bones of the dead were first being taken down into the tunnels via carts in the 1780s, they were simply placed in the tunnels―after a priest said a prayer to keep the dead at peace.
Workers began arranging the old bones into shapes and decorations, such as hearts and circles, and lined the walls with skulls and various other ghastly remains.
One of the most iconic displays is known as the Barrel. It consists of a large, circular pillar surrounded by skulls and tibiae which also acts as a support for the roof of the area in which it’s housed, which is referred to as the Crypt of the Passion or the Tibia Rotunda.
The Catacombs Of Paris – One Of The Most Haunted Places In The World:
Catacombs of Paris is open for guided tours and is listed as one of the top 10 most haunted places in the world. Visitors have claimed that they were “touched by unseen hands,” others claim to have had the sensation of being followed, cold spots in certain areas a few cases of hysterical breakdowns, a few others have claimed to have been strangled.
The Catacombs Tour:
The catacombs are open to the public now with about a mile of explorable tunnels that takes about 45 minutes to walk through. The entrance is located in Paris’ 14th arrondissement, at 1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy.