Top Ten Creepiest Burial Grounds Around the World
Have you put much thought into where your body is going to end up after you die? Burial? Urn on the fireplace mantel? Compressed into a diamond to be worn as a pendant? Layered in a jar with glitter and Christmas lights so you can remain festive even in death? If you are like most people, you will probably end up buried in a graveyard somewhere with several thousand of your new closest friends. But this is so expected. There are so many other options—some of them decidedly creepier than others. Here is a list of ten of the creepiest burial grounds and final resting places in the world.
10. Kutna Hora Bone Church, Sedlec Ossuary
What happens with you have a couple thousand extra bodies and only so much time to figure out what to do with them? The most amazingly creepy yet morbidly beautiful church ever, that’s what. This is what happened at a church in Sedlec, Bohemia. In 1278 the King of Bohemia sent a representative to the Holy Land. When he returned he brought with him dirt from Golgotha, which he sprinkled on the ground around the abbey. This immediately became THE place to be buried, resulting in a cemetery that needed to be expanded many times over the next few hundred years. This was made even worse during the Black Death when thousands of bodies were added to the area. By 1511 it was necessary to exhume the bodies and stack them in a chapel. Three hundred and sixty years and even more bodies later, the Schwarzenberg family hired a woodcarver to make some sense out of the piles of bones that had built up in the chapel. The result? A church filled with statues, archways, furniture, chandeliers and coats of arms created totally out of human bones.
9. Catacombs of Rome
When you are fulfilling your dream of touring Rome it is entirely possible that you aren’t just walking on the ancient cobblestone streets. You may also be strolling along on top of a few hundred graves. This is because underneath the city of Rome is a system of complex tunnels that were used to bury and memorialize Christians during the times of persecution. When the space in the walls ran out, the bodies were simply buried in the floor of the tunnels. These catacombs were largely forgotten about until the 1500s when they were stumbled upon again and brought back into the public eye.
8. Greyfriar’s Cemetery/ Covenanter’s Prison, Ediburgh, Scotland
This small burial ground in Scotland had a dual purpose for some of its existence. Named for the grey-colored clothing that the monks who once lived there wore, the cemetery was established during a religious upheaval that had many believing bodies should not be buried in formal churchyards. Thousands of bodies were buried in the yard before land nearby was identified as a “prison” for covenanters, people who had signed covenants against the King proclaiming their loyalty instead to God. Here these people were entrapped throughout an entire winter, many of them dying of exposure and starvation. Others were brought out to be publicly executed. All the while the survivors were held right beside the cemetery to await their fate. A massive mausoleum holds the remains of a particularly brutal guard known to torture and kill the covenanters. Visitors to the graveyard have reported leaving with cuts, bruises, scrapes and bite marks after walking by this crypt.
7. The Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
Egypt may be known for burying its dead in enormous pyramids, but those wanting to pay their respects to the ancient dead of this once incredibly powerful land would be better suited visit this particular valley in which bodies were buried over the course of approximately 500 years. At least 68 tombs dot the hills and cliffs of this valley, virtually all of which show signs of being robbed hundreds of years ago. Some of these tombs are lushly appointed and honor one or two well-preserved mummies, while others indicate that bodies were piled in on top of one another when people died too close together. The opening of the tombs has been linked to many “curses”, as several deaths and grievous injuries and illnesses have occurred amongst those involved in the excavations.
6. Gladiator burial ground, York, England
“Gladiator” and “England” may not be words that you would generally link together in the same sentence, but a discovery in 2010 beneath the gardens of a former 18th century mansion have brought these two together in a very powerful way. During excavation of the area in preparation for construction of another home, a burial ground was discovered containing some 80 skeletons. Every one of these skeletons was of a substantially-sized male that did not live a normal life, nor come to a normal end. While it was first assumed that the remains, many of which were decapitated, belonged to martyrs or criminals, further investigation revealed some unusual features. The most poignant of these features was the presence of a huge bite inflicted by a carnivorous animal of some kind—most likely a tiger, bear or lion. As these were not animals that frequently roamed the streets of England 2,000 years ago but were a common presence in the gladiator amphitheater, it occurred to investigators that they had come upon a truly incredible discovery. This burial ground is thought to hold the honored remains of fighters that had been brought to Britain for entertainment purposes and who performed in an arena that has yet to be discovered. These bodies were buried with huge pieces of meat and other grave goods that show respect and honor. This is probably not what the lady of the manor thought she was walking on when she strolled through her gardens in the afternoons.
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