Have you been somewhere that made the hairs on the back of your neck tingle? Here are three that we will chat about the Bone Church (Ossuary, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic), Paris Catacombs (Paris, France), and the Underground Vaults (Edinburgh, Scotland). Let’s take a look at each of them, then please share where you have been that was haunted, creepy, or scary to you.
Ossuary Kutna Hora, Czech Republic – also known as the Bone Church
Located about an hour from Prague, Czech Republic, the Church of All Saints with its famous Ossuary, is an easy day trip. There were a couple of tours available to choose from when we were in Prague. Look for tours to the bone church and Kutna Hora, or you may also see it called Sedlec Ossuary. But if you ask for a tour to see the Bone Church, that should work.
Ossuary means a place where the bones of the dead are deposited. This Ossuary contains the bones of an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 people, and they are ‘artfully’ arranged throughout. You are greeted with bones on display in many ways, including a large chandelier. The chandelier comprises 1,042 bones, and they say this includes one of every bone found in a human body.
The town you will travel to is called Kutna Hora and is a UNESCO World Heritage listed town. You will find several other churches there, including the famous Cathedral of St. Barbara, with its unique Baroque architecture.
This area is also famous for its silver. You can visit the Czech Museum of Silver; the museum does have a tour that goes down into the mine.
This was the first time I had been in a place where bones and skulls were on display and used as decorations. It definitely had a different feel. It made me stop and think. If you have a chance to visit Prague, I would suggest visiting this unique Bone Church.
Paris, France Catacombs
It is hard to believe, but people have been coming to see the bones in the Paris Catacombs since it opened to the public in 1809 (over 200 years!). There are an estimated 6 million people that have their final resting place in the catacombs.
Originally, this area was a stone quarry outside the Paris city limits. Now it feels like it is in the heart of the city, and it has a labyrinth of tunnels. The part you can see is about 1.5 kilometers (approximately a mile) long, and it is one way. You enter in one place, and the exit is in another. So if someone is waiting for you or you need to find your next destination keep that in mind.
Entrance – 1, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (place Denfert-Rochereau) 75014 Paris
Exit – 21 bis, Avenue René-Coty
Your walk through the catacombs will have 243 steps, 131 that go down, and 112 to climb up. The ceilings are on the low side too, but should not be a problem.
You can take pictures, but tripods are not allowed. There is nowhere to store tripods and backpacks, so don’t bring them with you. You will either need a camera that can take low-light pictures or very steady hands.
There is an audio guide available to rent in French, English, Spanish, and German for 5 Euros. They did not have this when I went, but I would think it could be beneficial. Next time we go to Paris, I want to do this again with the audio guide; I’m sure I will learn a lot.
Underground Vaults in Edinburgh
There are no bones here, but lots of ghost stories and creepy places. Several ghost-related TV shows have been filmed here, and they all agree some ghosts haunt these underground vaults.
One tour company in Edinburgh can offer tours of the vaults; it is Mercat Tours. They offer several other ‘ghost tours,’ so if you are not ready to go into the dark underground, take a look at one of their other tours.
The vaults were created when they built the South Bridge. It was completed in 1788. The bridge has 19 arches which you can no longer see (except one) because newer buildings surround the bridge. The one exposed arch is the one that stretches across Cowgate (a road below the bridge).
You will go down three flights of stairs. The tour itself is on one level, but the surface can be a bit uneven. Watch your step. The tour guides will share with you some fantastic stories of how the vaults were used over the years. You know things like storage for the stores above them, to murders and other dubious activities.
At one time, the vaults were forgotten. It was in the 1980s when they were rediscovered. In 1989, one of the tunnels was used to help a Romanian rugby player escape the Romanian secret police and seek political asylum.
It is said there are approximately 120 rooms – vaults. You will only see a few of them. It is hard to believe people lived in these vaults as it is damp and pitch black (when they lived there). This is one time I was happy to be out in the open again after the tour.
Mercat offers transcripts of the tour in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Mandarin.
Last words–per Mercat Tours–It’s one of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites, where restless spirits still tread to this day.
Tips When Taking Any Tour
- Wear good shoes – that should be obvious
- Leave things you don’t need at home, your hotel room, or …. including tripods for the Paris Catacomb’s
- Make sure your phone is charged – and have a backup power source just in case
- Know where you are going and add 15 minutes more than it says to get there (20 minutes for longer distances) – don’t be late
- Be quiet and respectful of where you are and pay attention to your guide
- Rent or download audio guides when available
- Be ready to tip your tour guide
- Buy your tickets in Advance!
Now it is your turn to share your experiences with this article – please leave comments of places you have been that are haunted, creepy, scary, or just weird. Thank you!