▶ The real Haunted Catacombs, Paris, France
As the great city of Paris grew in centuries past, it became more then just necessary to provide more space for the living. To do so, engineers and planners decided to move the mass of humanity least likely to protest: in this case, the dead. Millions of Parisian dead were quietly disinterred in one of the largest engineering feats in history and their remains were deposited along the walls of the chilly, dank passageways lying beneath the City of Light. They lie there to this day, in the eternal darkness, an Empire of the truly Dead.
Many ghosts and strange paranormal encounters are said to occur here on a regular basis. From the actual appearance in many videos of spectral lights, Ghostly orbs, ecto mists and sometimes shadow specters are seen walking the long corridors and moving amongst the piles of bones. The strange EVP sounds that many record or often very disturbing to hear.
The Paris Catacombs are infamous and much has been written about their history and purpose. more then just a million visitors a year are said to walk the dank corridors. Ghost Photos and erie feelings or often reported through out the internet from the many visitors to the locations. Ghost are often said to be felt more the witnessed eye to eye. Many have reported to us that they have been grabbed or have felt ghost touching them even grabbing their hands and clothes. And some of the many visitors are often said to be overcome and often pass out from fear or the presence of actual ghosts that attach themselves to those that walk it’s halls just in search of something strange to see and a little history.
Several report seeing a group of shadows in one area of the catacombs; as the living walk along, the dead follow in complete silence. To some the experience is completely overwhelming and tours have been cut short by the growing sense of unease. Photos have revealed orbs and ghostly apparitions, and EVP’s have been recorded throughout the vaults. And many, many ghost photos happen all the time.
The catacombs were first cleared in Roman times, with succeeding generations of Gauls and Frenchmen perfecting the Roman engineering. Now the catacombs are a veritable rabbit’s warren, and though many boldly enter without a guide, to do so puts one at risk of being lost there forever. There have been many reports of rash individuals who wandered into the catacombs for a laugh and who have never been seen again.
The Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris are a famous underground ossuary in Paris, France. Its entrance is located near the Denfert-Rochereau station of the Paris Métro. Organized in a renovated section of the city’s vast network of subterranean tunnels and caverns towards the end of the 18th century, it became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century and has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1867. The official name for the catacombs is l’Ossuaire Municipal.
This cemetery covers a portion of Paris’ former mines near the Left Bank’s Place Denfert-Rochereau, in a location that was just outside the city gates before Paris expanded in 1860. Although this cemetery covers only a small section of underground tunnels comprising “les carrières de Paris” (“the quarries of Paris”), Parisians today popularly refer to the entire network as “the catacombs”.
Most of Paris’s larger churches once had their own cemeteries, but city growth and generations of dead began to overwhelm them. From the late seventeenth century, Paris’ largest Les Innocents cemetery (near the Les Halles district in the middle of the city) was saturated to a point where its neighbours were suffering from disease, due to contamination caused by improper burials, open mass graves, and earth charged with decomposing organic matter.
After almost a century of ineffective decrees condemning the cemetery, it was finally decided to create three new large-scale suburban cemeteries and to condemn all existing within the city limits; the remains of all condemned cemeteries would be moved discreetly to a renovated section of Paris’s abandoned quarries. The use of the depleted quarries for the storage of bones, based on the idea of Police Lieutenant General Alexandre Lenoir, was established in 1786 by his successor, M. Thiroux de Crosne, under the direction of Charles Axel Guillaumot, Inspector General of Quarries, and following him, by Louis-Étienne Héricart de Thury.
Remains from the cemetery of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs were among the first to be moved. Bodies of the dead from the riots in the Place de Grève, the Hotel de Brienne, and Rue Meslee were put in the catacombs on 28 and 29 August 1788.
2009 Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp in the Catacombs of Paris. Paris Catacomb ghost photo sent to us by J. Jolls.
The catacomb walls are covered in graffiti dating from the eighteenth century onwards. Victor Hugo used his knowledge about the tunnel system in Les Misérables. In 1871, communards killed a group of monarchists in one chamber. During World War II, Parisian members of the French Resistance used the tunnel system. Also during this period, German soldiers established an underground bunker in the catacombs below Lycée Montaigne, a high school in the 6th arrondissement.
The underground tunnels and chambers have long posed safety problems for construction in Paris. Quarries sometimes cave in, occasionally resulting in a hole in the ground above and causing damage to buildings. To prevent this, the IGC, Inspection générale des Carrières (General Inspection of the Quarries), was established in 1777 by the government to monitor the current quarries and prohibit the digging of new quarries. The IGC did, however, dig observation tunnels to provide themselves with better access to the quarries so that they might better monitor, repair, and map the consolidated quarries.
The monitoring and consolidation work has continued to this day. Because of the number of quarries, subway, train, and sewer tunnels that have been dug underneath Paris, as well as the softness of the stone involved, extra caution is taken when new construction is attempted or new tunnels are dug. However, this did not prevent problems during the digging of Paris Métro Line 14.
- (English) Catacombs of Paris Museum - The Catacombes de Paris official site, in English
- (English) L’Empire de la Mort - Ghosts and History of the Catacombs of Paris - L’Empire de la Mort - Ghosts and History of the Catacombs of Paris, in English
- (English) “A tour of the dark world beneath the city of lights” by Murray Battle