There are some really beautiful, peaceful and artistic cemeteries in the world, but there are also some that are downright creepy or strange. If you have a strong constitution, you can visit these places and see whether they live up to the hype. Here are six macabre spots that will probably give you goose bumps.
Walking the charming streets of Paris, you might never realize that over 6 million people are buried in hidden caves and tunnels below the pavement. In fact, the Paris catacombs are often considered the world's largest mass grave. In the winding caverns and tunnels mountains of unorganized old bones line the walls, sometimes in decorative fashion. Entry to the crypt is marked "Stop! Here lies the Empire of Death."
Visitors can take guided tours of the catacombs, which were also used as hiding places during the French Revolution and bunkers for the Nazis during World War II. You will want a tour guide to keep you from getting lost among the miles and miles of unmapped graves. Wander off and you may not be found for a very, very long time.
Anyone who has seen Interview with a Vampire knows about how creepy New Orleans can be. The city is full of ghost stories, and their famous and unique above-ground cemeteries are no different. Saint Louis Cemetery #1 is particularly well known as the burial place of the famous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. Superstitious visitors draw Xs on her grave or leave small offerings, believing she can still grant wishes. Others believe Laveau haunts the cemetery, and her figure has been seen wandering among the tombs at night.
The monks who built the elaborate bone dioramas in the Capuchin Crypt would be disappointed to learn how creepy visitors find their work, but the scenes are undeniably macabre. For nearly 500 years, the bones of deceased monks were used to create several rooms full of elaborate designs, meant to demystify the link between life and death. The result is thousands of bones arranged into religious imagery in spaces like the Crypt of the Pelvises and the Crypt of the Skulls. In the Crypt of the Three Skeletons a placard reads, "What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be..."
Not many visit La Noria, an abandoned town in Northern Chile, but those who do come only for La Noria Cemetery, one of the strangest and most frightening places in South America. In the 1800's La Noria was a booming mining town built on the back of slave labor. The used-up workers (sometimes children) were buried in a makeshift cemetery outside of town. Now, a hundred years after the town shut down, many of the graves have been vandalized and left open, with fully clothed skeletons visible and bones scattered everywhere. It's no wonder that the spirits are restless here and are said to wander the town at night. Nearby residents refuse to even come close to the haunted town and cemetery.
The Chicago area has several allegedly haunted cemeteries, but this small abandoned graveyard in Bremen Township might be the creepiest. In the 1920's and 30's the cemetery's pond was reportedly a dumping ground for bodies murdered by Chicago's organized crime families. Now the area is reportedly haunted by numerous ghosts, including a lady in white holding an infant, a black dog and strangely, a phantom farmhouse.
While most "haunted" cemeteries have a variety of ghosts and weird phenomenon, Greyfriar's has one, rather angry spirit. The Mackenzie Poltergeist was apparently awoken when a homeless man broke into the Mackenzie tomb in 1998. Since then it has become one of the most frequently documented paranormal phenomenon in the world. Mackenzie primarily attacks visitors, and hundreds of visitors to the graveyard report cuts, bruises and blackouts. In 2000 an exorcist attempted to remove the angry spirit, and promptly died of a heart attack. There have been so many incidents that this part of the cemetery is locked and can only be visited via tour. Of course, the tours only take place in the dark of night.
What is the creepiest cemetery youve ever visited?
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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.
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