The Creepiest Catacombs Anywhere In The World (These Will Make Your Skin Crawl)

Catacombs are manmade underground cemeteries and religious spaces, some of which have survived thousands of years relatively intact. The Catacombs of Paris, for instance, holds the remains (mostly skulls) of 6 million people throughout miles and miles of underground tunnels. Other catacombs were left to age in dark silence for centuries, forgotten by history until someone happened to stumble upon them. We've done some digging of our own to bring you our list of the world's 10 creepiest catacombs.

  • Catacombs Of The Capuchins — Palermo, Sicily

    Catacombs Of The Capuchins — Palermo, Sicily

    About 8,000 corpses and 1,200 mummies were laid to rest in the Catacombs of the Capuchins of Palermo, Sicily. Many friars and monks were buried here, and after a while, it became a status symbol to be buried in the catacombs. Some corpses here are extraordinarily well preserved thanks to a method recently rediscovered by researchers.

  • Catacombs Of Paris

    Catacombs Of Paris

    Probably the most famous catacombs in the world, the Catacombs of Paris house the remains of about 6 million people throughout a vast underground network of tunnels. Most of the remains housed here were transferred from The Cemetery of the Innocents, which had been in use for about 10 centuries until it posed a health hazard to locals in the 1700s.

  • Brno Ossuary — Brno, Czech Republic

    Kirk via Wikipedia

    Brno Ossuary — Brno, Czech Republic

    Imagine the surprise of locals in Brno, a 1600-year-old Czech town, when they discovered some 50,000 skulls and remains arranged neatly in rows and piles in tunnels underneath an old church. Researchers determined that, based on the coloration of the remains, many of the people buried here had died from disease. The ossuary opened to the public in 2012. 

  • Skull Chapel — Czerma, Poland

    Merlin via Wikipedia

    Skull Chapel — Czerma, Poland

    The remains of about 25,000 people who died during the Thirty Years War were used to make an elaborate, gravely beautiful display in this Polish chapel. Even the remains of the people who built the chapel are featured here, and prominently too — their bones comprise part of the church's altar.

  • Catacombs of Domitilla — Rome, Italy

    Catacombs of Domitilla — Rome, Italy

    Possibly the most well-preserved ancient catacombs in the world, the Catacombs of Domitilla spreads over 9 miles of caves and houses the remains of about 4 million people. It is the only catacombs to have a subterranean basilica, and you have to enter the caves through a sunken 4th-century church.

  • Monastery Of San Francisco — Lima, Peru

    Monastery Of San Francisco — Lima, Peru

    The catacombs beneath this 17th-century church in Lima, Peru were built so well that they've withstood earthquakes. Some of the skeletons and bones buried here were arranged neatly in concentric circles, and it's thought there once existed secret passageways that connected the catacombs to nearby buildings.

  • St. Stephen's Cathedral Catacombs — Vienna, Austria

    St. Stephen's Cathedral Catacombs — Vienna, Austria

    There are actually two catacombs housed underneath St. Stephen's Cathedral, arguably Vienna's most popular tourist attraction, but both are connected by tunnels. The catacombs under the cathedral are well-lit and renovated, while the catacombs under the main square are darker and more sinister-looking.

  • St. Paul's Catacombs —Mdina, Malta

    St. Paul's Catacombs —Mdina, Malta

    There are 24 connected catacombs and galleries underneath Mdina, Malta. What's interesting about these catacombs is that researchers discovered people of various religious backgrounds — pagan, Christian, Jewish — buried side-by-side with no clear division or distinction.

  • Catacombs Of Kom El Shoqafa — Alexandria, Egypt

    Catacombs Of Kom El Shoqafa — Alexandria, Egypt

    Buried 100 feet below the surface, these are the deepest catacombs on our list. The catacombs were built for a wealthy family in the 2nd century, but were forgotten about until 1902 when learned explorers used maps and echo-location to determine the precise location of the catacombs. Just kidding — the catacombs were discovered when donkey fell down into the access shaft. Seriously.

  • Hallstatt Bone House — Hallstatt, Austria

    Hallstatt Bone House — Hallstatt, Austria

    This small church displays about 1,200 skulls, all of which are adorned with painted flower crowns. Because cremation was forbidden here in the 18th century, bodies were typically buried for about 15 years, exhumed, and then the remains were placed on display in churches like this. Kind of creepy.

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