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Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Edition!!!!- Haunted Williamsburg!!

A nice spooky picture to get this Halloween edition blog off to a good start! This is a recent photo of me(Jessica Waddell),
taken by photographer Anna Marie Keenan of AMK Photography. You can check her and I out on facebook.

Perhaps you've heard about the many hauntings in Williamsburg, VA? Or perhaps you just think of Bush Gardens, Williamsburg Winery and other attractions that Williamsburg has to offer? There is a history of hauntings from before the 17th century up until now, with research supporting these claims. Colonial Williamsburg is really the most haunted area of Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is like a live museum, made up of 160 renovated buildings, on 175 acres of land.  It is protected by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and allows visitors to explore the town, much as it was in the early 1600's.  They wear colonial costumes, and have demonstrations.

Colonial Williamsburg actors

Map of Colonial Williamsburg

There are numerous haunted places in Colonial Williamsburg, such as the Wren building, the George Wythe house, Peyton Randolph house, College of William and Mary, Nicholson House, The Ludwell Paradise house, and there are Indian burial grounds and there were also witch trials. There are other haunted places there as well. Williamsburg was also the birthplace of the American Revolution, so there are supposedly a lot of ghosts from the War. There are several ghost tours that will take you to these places and others as well. Probably the most well known and well reviewed ghost tour company is called Williamburg Ghost Tours.  They take you to the College of William and Mary, the Brafferton House, Market house, Bruton Parish Church, Merchant's Square, Matthew Whaley Elementary School, Fort Magruder, Peyton Randolph house, George Wythe house and the Kimball Theater.  That is a lot for one blog so I picked a few of the most haunted ones to write about this time. But stay tuned, because I fully intend to visit Williamsburg and go on the ghost tour as soon as possible and will write about all of the places that I went to!

Lantern Ghost tour

Wythe House

We are starting with the George Wythe House, which is 1 of 5 original structures of the Williamsburg, VA. It is located on the Gloucester Street West side of the Palace Green, built during 1700s. In 1755, the George Wythe House was designed to be a wedding gift for the newly wed George Wythe, a dedicated patriot, also America's first law professor, teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson.  He was also the first Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence. Sir Peyton and Lady Ann Skipwith would come and stay for extended periods of time, up until 1779. Here is where the stories vary. Some say, that Ann Skipwith died in childbirth in 1779, some say she took her own life, in the room she would share with her husband, after hearing about her husband and her sister (Jean Miller) having an affair. The fact that they were wed soon after Lady Ann Skipwith's death, did little to put to rest the rumors. Continuing on with the history of the Wythe House, it makes sense it could be haunted. After the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780, the Wythes moved there as well. George suffered a painful death by poisoning in 1806.  A greedy relative did it, hoping for a large inheritance. George's grandnephew, George Wythe Sweeney was suspected but not charged. However, George Wythe did change his will quickly before he died, knowing that he was dying.

George Wythe

Lady Ann Skipwith

There have been many paranormal investigations of the house, revealing as many as 3 ghosts who reside there. A strong aroma of perfume has its place among the Wythe House's files. In 1986, or around that time, an employee keeping track of visiting groups was sitting in a chair at the back of the hallway when she smelled perfume and concluded that someone in a current group of visitors had been wearing it. But her clipboard notes showed that the last group had left twenty minutes before. It was, as she said, as if someone wearing strong perfume had leaned over her shoulder to read the clipboard. Perhaps it was Lady Ann Skipwith, seeing if she was being written about? A second perfume sensing was reported in March 1999, when an evening interpreter said she heard chairs being dragged about in the empty parlor and smelled perfume as she stood in the open front doorway. Other occurrences have been reported, such as an incident in 1987, where someone reported seeing blue lights inside the house after closing. They wished to remain annonymous to avoid ridicule. Another told of a scowling gentleman in 18th century clothes, walking up and down the hall outside of Mr. Wythe's library. One woman actually fainted upon seeing the ghost of a woman pass through the bedchamber, over the parlor and leave through the wall by the closet. That would be pretty scary for your average person. There have also currently, been candlesticks moved from the windows, other objects moving about, doors closing and strange noises.

Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin

Something supernatural caught on camera at the Wythe house perhaps?

There was a Doctor W.A.R. Goodwin who believed in Williamsburg's ghosts and did not care if other people didn't. He thought there to be possibly as many as 3 ghosts haunting the Wythe house. He once told newspaper columnist Ernie Pyle, "I wouldn't give a hoot for anybody who doesn't believe in ghosts." That was in 1936, while Pyle was visiting Williamsburg's Restoration. Goodwin was actually credited for the idea of Colonial Williamsburg. He spoke often of Williamsburg's ghosts as he served the restoration as local director in the 1920's and 1930's. Goodwin's ghosts were not the stereotypical chain clanging type. They were benign enough for him to write to ten year old Joan Scott of Norfolk, that you can, "Shut your eyes and see the gladsome ghosts who once made these places their home. You can learn to call them back," he said. "You can train yourself to hear what they have to say." That was in 1927, but his beliefs went much further back. In 1905 he had taken on a restoration of Bruton Parish Church that led to replacement of the floor and explorations among the graves beneath it. His daughter Evelyn recalled "digging down to the coffins" as his partner "in this archaeological work. Many years later, he finally decided to accept an invitation to sit in Wythe's house office at midnight to wait for something supernatural to occur. "Tonight," Goodwin wrote in 1935, "I am in the Wythe House waiting for the hour to strike for the midnight Christmas Eve service... One is not alone here. The Ghosts of the past are my gladsome companions in the near midnight silence."

Wythe house as it appears today

Now, here is where it gets spooky!  One apparition seen in the house, has been heard making a peculiar clicking rhythm going up the main staircase, around midnight. It is thought to be Ann Skipwith, dashing up the stairs, after a huge fight with her husband at the Governor's Palace.  This was most likely when she confronted him about his affair with her sister. On her way home, she lost one of her shoes, and the strange click was from her one dress shoe clicking up the stairs. She has also been spotted coming out of the bedroom in a satin gown and red shoes. She was also seen sitting at her dressing table, combing her hair.  We may never know the whole story, how she really died, so I say use your imagination to fill in the blanks! One evening, a custodian saw a very life-like apparition of a woman in a colonial evening dress, standing on the staircase. At first, he thought she was a tour guide. When he went to speak to her, she disappeared before his very eyes!

George Wythe grave

Dr Goodwin and John Rockafeller in front of Wythe house prior to restoration

The air on the second floor landing at the top of the stairs,  has unexplainable cold spots, often, even on hot days. A hostess was walking through this frightfully cold stop one day and suddenly felt a pressure try and push her back.  Other hostesses there have had creepy experiences as well. Some have been tapped on the shoulder, by an invisible hand, or heard furniture moving around when no one else was in the house.  This is how common hauntings are at the Wythe house! Other employees there have even heard what sounded like an argument, between two people, when no one was there. Imagine, being so angry with someone, that you were to continue arguing even in death. Some people have also seen a small group of "spectral gentlemen" as they were described, sitting together in wing back chairs by the unlit fireplace in the study. Would you be able to work in such a haunted place? I feel that they should pay "hazard" pay. Haha.

Many orbs like this have been caught on camera at the Peyton Randolph house

Now we are moving on the the also very haunted, Peyton Randolph house. This is another one of the original structures. It is a two story colonial mansion, build in 1715 by Sir Jon Randolph. His family lived there throughout the 1700's.  Then the mansion was eventually sold to someone outside of the family. In 1824, Mrs. Mary Monrow Peachy began as new owner of the home. Then her tragic story began. One of her children died after falling from a tree, then several more of her children died from various diseases and illnesses. This was unfortunately common in these times for people to die from simple illnesses that can be easily cured today. Then a male relative killed himself in the drawing room. After the civil war, a young orphaned solider stayed with the Peachy family while he went to William and Mary. Unfortunately, he came down with the deadly disease, Tuberculosis. He suffered a long and excruciating death. Many families lived there before the house became part of the historical living museum.

Image caught on camera at Peyton Randolph house

With all of the deaths at the Peyton Randolph house, it isn't terribly surprising that there would be manifestations there. There have been ghost sightings for over 200 years.  There is only speculation about who the spirits may be. Many think that a young girl had fallen down the stairs and still resides there. People have heard shattering of a mirror and the sound of heavy stomping of boots going across the polished floor. There is a room upstairs where residents had been woken up in the middle of the night to see a white "shimmering" translucent male apparition, standing in the corner of the room. That would probably make most leave!  Psychics who have visited the Randolph house have felt uneasy vibes on the stairs and in some of the rooms. Employees have seen life like apparition of perhaps the same young man in a colonial outfit. Could it be the young man who succumbed to tuberculosis? He looks like an employee, as far as his clothes are concerned, then disappears.

A "face" at the Peyton Randolph house, when no one was there

One female employee has a particularly terrifying experience.  I personally would have had a hard time staying there after this happened, even as much as I like haunted places and a good scare. She met an angry, seemingly evil, presence on the top of the staircase on the second floor, that tried to push her down the stairs. She fortunately was able to grab hold of the banister and held on tightly until the attack stopped. There was a mentally disturbed man who killed himself in the parlor, but this also could have been another ghost, since there were several sightings of male apparitions. Because of this presence, several hostesses are afraid, understandably, and will not go upstairs or work in the house at all, alone.

More apparitions at Peyton Randolph house

There is also supposed to be a grieving old lady's spirit there, who is very polite apparently. She also lived upstairs, in the small, oak panelled read bedroom on the second floor, many guests over the years at first enjoyed the warmth and coziness of the room.  It had a nice, corner fireplace and two narrow windows that faced north. Her low post bed was next to one of the windows. The most common occurrence is when the very gaunt old lady's spirit, dressed in a flowing gown and laced night cap on her head, would wake up guests, very politely by calling them by their first name and then would go into mourning, wringing her hands. The moonlight would shine through the window and through her apparition, "polishing the bones on her skeletal face," as they say. Perhaps she was trying to warn people not to stay in the house? Or did she lose a loved one in a war?

Entrance to cellar at Peyton Randolph house

Basements are already creepy.  They say that another suicide took place in the house, in the basement. This is due to all of the creepy occurrences there. But it hasn't been confirmed. The entity seems to be very unhappy and disturbed. I suppose I would be too, if I were a ghost. 
In the 1970's, just as a security guard, Mr. Jones, was about to go home one night. Then he heard moans and groans coming from the house's basement. When the brave security guard entered the basement to see what was making the sounds, something, or someone slammed the door shut and locked from the outside! Imagine how terrifying that must have been! Mr. Jones found himself paralyzed, he could not make himself move at all. Was it just fear, or something more? But when his boss knocked on the front door of the house, the basement door unlocked itself and Mr. Jones was able to move again. He ran out, left his job, and found another, less spooky job. There have been a ton of orbs photographed there by tourists.

gravestones in Williamsburg

What haunted town would be complete without haunted burial grounds? There are burial grounds scattered all over Williamsburg, which really isn't surprising considering Williamsburg's history of wars and the Spanish flu. There is also Indian burial ground! About 6,000 Virginians died from the Spanish flue in October 1918, during the big epidemic of the 20th century. Many bodies were sent home for burial, but others were just buried on a piece of land near William and Mary College that is partially paved over now. There were two graves found in the Merchant Square parking lot as well, where the tombstones had actually been paved over. There are said to be British soldiers buried under the Palace Green in front of the Governors Palace as well. French soldiers were buried at the Bucktrout Cottage. Eight bodies have been confirmed to be buried at the Public Gaol under the wall. But the most interesting find was discovered on accident. Construction workers found an ancient Indian burial ground while they were building the National Park Services National Colonial Parkway tunnel that runs under Colonial Williamsburg. The grave site had to be moved. With all of these disturbed and forgotten burial sites, it's no wonder that restless spirits wonder about at night. They can't be happy about their graves being covered, paved over without a care or notice, or relocated. Blackbeard and his crew were actually held in Williamsburg's Gaol, which only traces still exist. It was thought that they were hung and buried there originally, but that actually is untrue. They were hanged and buried in Hampton actually. They do claim that Blackbeard's ghost haunts Williamsburg still, but that is probably just another story.  But there were a lot of hangings in the gallows, the bodies were dumped in a nearby ravine. I'll bet their spirits are a little more than agitated.

re-enactment of hanging at the Gaol Gallows
orbs seen at the Stocks

Colonial did not celebrate Halloween as thought by some. They didnt' have jack o lanterns, costumes or go trick or treating for candy as they do now. There were actually witch trials there, so perhaps the Episcopalian population wasn't keen on celebrating a dark holiday as Halloween. They did however have pumpkins, a lot of pumpkins, large and small, in a variety of colors they used to decorate and consume. Our use of pumpkins would be frowned upon by the colonials. They would have been confused by the waste of a food that was so vital to their survival in the harsh winter months. But they sure do celebrate it now! Williamsburg lights up for Halloween celebrations, ghost tours, trick or treating, storytelling, costume contests and much more. With such a spooky history and their awesome Halloween celebration now, what better time to go visit and go on a ghost tour there?

Is Williamsburg really haunted? It sure seems like it is and the history lends itself to such speculation. Visit, go on a ghost tour and see for yourself! A lot of times it seems that groups of people in ghost tours don't always have the best of luck having ghostly experiences, but it seems different with these tours. People have ghostly encounters, and captured pictures of orbs, and some spirits as well. I can't wait to go and check it out as soon as I have a chance, and I will of course report my findings in full detail.

Ghostly images in Williamsburg, area unknown

Lots of orb activity at the church cemetery

"ghosts" of a time long since passed

Another Halloween photo from my latest shoot with AMK Photography /Anna Marie Keenan

Thank you for checking out my newest blog and please feel free to share it, and follow for future blogs! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Haunted Paris Catacombs, the City of Bones- Explore at your own risk!

     The City of the Dead awaits you, ironically below the City of Lights, Paris. Paris, France is a beautiful and thriving city.  It wasn't always that way.  It, like most places, has it's own history, dark past and many stories. I have always been fascinated by the Paris Catacombs, or the "L'Empire de la Mort," meaning "Empire of the Dead," as it is called. That seems to be a fitting name. They claim, like a multitude of other places, all over the world, to be among the top haunted places in the world. Upon seeing the labyrinth of human bones, it's not hard to believe that there could be restless spirits, wandering the catacombs, lost within the mazes.  Officials began placing the remains of the dead French people there in the late 18th century.  Over time, they have been rearranged into what is regarded now as an incredible metaphorical work of art. There are even dozens of you tube videos claiming to have captured ghosts that roam the labyrinth of bones.  There are countless articles on the ghost legends, and I'm going to explore them with you!  This is a place that will satisfy your spookiest cravings.  There is even a Pere Lachaise walking tour that runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Entrance sign for Catacombs

     The Catacombs of Paris are a network of tunnels and caves that run for more than 190 miles (300 km) under the city, making it a bad, even dreadful, place to ever get lost, to say the least.  The Romans were actually the first to quarry the limestone in the area in 60 B.C.F., however, they were the open air quarries-they just dug out the rock that was exposed.  As the city grew and covered the landscape, tunneling would be necessary to acquire more building materials. In 1180 C.E., Philippe Auguste became King and was the major proponent of tunneling to quarry in order to build ramparts to protect the city.  It was under his rule that this tunnel network would be born.

     The quarries expanded in size and complexity and produced building materials for centuries to come. Though, as this continued, it wasn't thought through.  In the 18th century, the city of Paris, with the weight of it's buildings, continued to grow was the ground became for hollow underneath.  Then the problems began. There were too many buildings combined with too much greed and too little thinking ahead. Some of the buildings began to collapse and fall into the earth that was opening up below them.  On April 4, 1777, the Inspection Generale des Carmes was formed to manage, fill in, or close sections of the tunnels that were unmistakably dangerous.

Map of the Catacombs

     The second problem arose for the Parisians during the 18th century.  The graveyards were getting extremely full. The Cimetiere des Innocents (Cemetery of the Innocent) alone held more than thirty generations of human remains.  People would pay the parish priest to bury their dead there. The priests didn't want to refuse money.  Offering burial in their cemeteries was a source of income for churches.  As a result, they would take in more bodies than they had room for.  Large pits were dug for those who couldn't afford a proper grave, to make room for well paying customers.  When these mass graves were full, they would fill them up and open another. 

Bodies in the streets

Mass grave

     The emerging, quickly growing city had closed in around cemeteries and there was no place to go but up. Near the end of the "life" of several of the cemeteries, the ground swelled more than 10 feet above the road.  The pungent odor was overwhelming to those who lived near the graveyard or passed by.  Some cemetery walls actually broke open, spilling rotting bodies onto the street.  Soon after, epidemics spread and people started dying from the pestilence spread by the corpses.  Something had to be done, the disease  was spreading and the smell was horrid.  Finally, mass burial in the city was banned all together.  The decision was made to start emptying the cemetery and to place the bones into the network of tunnels under the city.  In 1785, when the bones were moved to the underground network, the quarries became the Catacombs.  The first quarry to receive bones was called, "Carriere de la tombe Issoire."

depiction of arranging the bones in Catacombs

      As you are probably more than away, especially if you are a fan of ghosts and the supernatural, disturbing the dead tends to be a bit universally taboo.  Most cultures believe that you should just leave the dead alone, for countless reasons.  There are a ton of ceremonies and rituals to help loved ones pass onto the afterlife, all over the world. These bodies weren't exactly "laid the rest" respectfully.  They were heaped into overflowing cemeteries, many just tossed into mass graves with no regard or respect. When their corpses fell out onto the streets, again they were disturbed. Then, they were all moved to the Catacombs. Bones were later rearranged into a macabre work of art. I'd say there are probably a lot of souls that are a bit irked to say the least.  

bones, bones, bones

graffiti probably doesn't make the ghosts any happier

     In the Catacomb museum, in the Montparnasse section of Paris, you will go in and walk 130 stairs down a spiral staircase, 20 meters below the surface.  There are rooms with photographs containing images of ancient graffiti photographs containing images of ancient graffiti from within the catacombs, as well as some of the below-ground structures.  Then, you step into the actual Catacombs.  The ceiling varies in height from as low as 6 feet to as high as 12 feet high, with dim lighting, as I'd expect.  Ambiance! There is a sign at the entryway that reads, "Arrete! C'est ici L'Empire de la Mort," meaning, "Stop! Here is the Empire of the Dead."  Large stacks of human bones and skulls greet those who enter with hollow, foreboding stares.  Within the entire Paris Catacombs, there are more than six million bodies stored- only bones now of course. 

     In different sections of the Catacombs, there are ornate patterns formed by skulls, leg and arm bones.  Skulls form patterns within stacks such as crosses, hearts, arcs, and others.  It is impressive, intricate, symmetrical and very macabre. I wonder how it felt stacking all of those bones.  Seeing as dumbing millions of dead people's remains down a 20 meter hole is pretty darn disrespectful, they say the arrangements were a way to give some dignity to the deceased.   In other sections of the Catacombs, you have to crawl across stacks of bones.  What a bizarre feeling that must be. A lot of the Catacombs is closed off the the public now but there are ways around it.  

another "arrangement" 

A security guard non-identified had said, "Some people go down and are very afraid after seeing the bones.  Some say they hear things. Voices." I don't blame them!

     These souls sacrificed their eternal resting ground so than the city of Paris could grow, flourish and prosper, which it did. Noblemen's bones are intertwined with peasants, families and skeletal remains may be crushed with their ancestors' bones, and you can walk through this.  What a fascinating history! 30 generations speak to each passerby, in one collective voice.  Some people argue that the Catacombs are not haunted because there were no actual deaths there, so there cannot be ghosts.  I don't believe this to be entirely true after doing more research. There are a lot of different stories of occurrences in the catacombs that challenge that theory. Many believe that because over 6 million Parisians remains were disturbed in their resting places and put in what is now "The Catacombs" there may be ghosts roaming the ancient subterranean stone quarries of Paris.  

a ghostly image?

     Over the centuries, the catacombs have been visited by many, including both French and German soldiers during World War II.  There are tales of death and murders that have taken place deep within the hidden catacombs of Paris.  Many visitors claim to have "felt" strange things when they have been in the catacombs.  Feelings like they were being followed and in some cases, even touched by some unseen force.  Other visitors have reported seeing shadow figures or spectors deep within the stacks and rows of skulls and bones.  Undoubtedly, the disturbance of all those souls to be brought there has left many spirits unsettled.  

     Paranormal researchers, such as the Ghost Adventures, visiting the Catacombs of Paris have captured strange EVP recordings, as well as photographs of strange, unexplained lights or orbs as well as misty images appearing on film. Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans, the lead paranormal investigator, did a special on the Paris Catacombs called "The NetherWorld." They explored the "off limits" sections, with the help of a Cataphile.  A Cataphile is a person who goes to the Catacombs, illegally.  They do enjoy giving "off-limits" tours to those daring enough to go. They explored, trying to verify any truths behind certain stories, such as the lost cameraman in the catacombs, whose footage was found later on, perhaps of his last breaths.  Also, there was a doorkeeper of the Val-de-Grace hospital during the French revolution, who was found dead, 11 years after he disappeared. It is unknown how Philibert Aspairt met his demise in the Catacombs in November 1793, after venturing into them through a staircase in the hospital. The monks used to store liquor there and some say he might have been trying to steal some and was killed. No one really knows.  His body was discovered in 1804 in one of the quarry gallows, and was buried where it was found.  It is said he still walks the Catacombs. Maybe he is still in search of that last drink he didn't get. 

such design precision

     Zak and the team of Ghost Adventures experienced all kinds of interesting phenomena. They went into some small chambers, some where they had to crawl over bones.  They had heavy feelings of sadness, heard noises and felt strong energy.  Zak called is one of the most emotional places he had been in and had to get out, because he felt so overwhelmed. They had rigged a few cameras to keep recording in the direction they walked, to catch any paranormal occurrences if they occurred while they explored. When they went to leave, the 2 cameras were gone. Did random Cataphiles take them? Or were their curious ghosts that "spirited" the cameras away? They were able to capture some images on the camera they used while exploring though. It captured the ghost of a seemingly old saint or someone else wearing a black hooded robe. Zach even saw a hand that disappeared when he tried to touch it.  

Zack with Ghost Adventures

     Zack and his crew examined the footage left behind by the missing cameraman from the early 1990's. No one knows what really happened to this man and it's really hard to find information about him. I could not locate a name or records. The infamous YouTube video shows the man exploring the Catacombs alone, with only a camera as a companion. Then it shows what appear to be his last moments alive, like he was knocked down and dragged off perhaps. Getting lost in the dark labyrinth of the Paris Catacombs would no doubt be terrifying as well as dangerous and potentially fatal.  But this cameraman decided to take the risk and explore solo.  He descended into the subterranean world below the busy Paris streets, never to be seen again.  He walked deeper and deeper, filming every step and turn.  He seemed to panic and get lost in the maze of bones.  The camera continued to film even when he appears to have fallen or dropped it, until it ran out of film.  The footage was found by some urban explorers who went down into the Catacombs and found the camcorder laying on the ground.  The battery was discharged and the tape was full. There was no body to be found. What happened to this mystery man? Was he the victim of foul play? Or was he overcome with vertigo and injured himself ? Does his spirit still wander the tunnels, lost?

Here is the video that the lost man took, and you can decide.Click below:
The Lost Man Footage

Bones like what Zack and his team had to crawl over

In 2011, 3 french youth were rescued there after 2 days of being lost.  They left notes for their rescuers as they sought an escape route.  They got lost while exploring the Catacombs with friends. The tunnels are too deep for cell phone coverage, so they got lucky.  How many people have gotten lost and not been so lucky?  

very cool and macabre arrangement 

     Ghost photos and eerie feelings are often reported from many visitors.  Ghosts are often said to be felt more than witnessed eye to eye. Many people have been grabbed or have felt a ghost touching them, even grabbing their hands and clothes.  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 the halls. 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, even paralyzing, and tours have been cut short by the growing sense of unease.  Photos have revealed orbs and ghostly apparitions, and EVPs have been recorded throughout the vaults. And there are many ghost photos. 

tunnel of bones

     The Catacombs were also featured on "The Scariest Places on Earth" on the Sci fy channel.  There's more of a dark history than some even realize. I had to do some digging. I do believe that the Paris Catacombs could be a very haunted place. It fits the bill. Back during the French revolution, people were actually buried directly in the Catacombs, including members of the Swiss guard killed in the storming of the Tuileries Palace on August 10, 1792, as well as the victims of the massacres on September 1792.  The remains of victims of the guillotine transferred there from their original burial plots as well, along with the remains of several famous writers in that time period- all mixed together. 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 Lycee Montaigne, a high school in the 6th arrondissment. 

graffiti artist

Unfortunately, because of health concerns over hazardous conditions of the tunnels, almost all of the tunnels are closed off to tourists.  There are also many Cataphiles, which visit, tour and hang out in the tunnels illegally. Let's not forget about the random party goers who have underground raves in the Catacombs. They've discovered many abandoned "party spots" through the years. 


It seems that the Paris Catacombs have a dark enough history to be pretty darn haunted. To those who'd argue otherwise, let them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is mine. The Catacombs are now on my list of one of the most haunted places in the world that I'd love to visit. You should visit as well if you get the chance. Who knows what you may see, hear or feel? Be careful, you don't want to become a permanent visitor, don't get lost....

A supposed spirit picture

"Only with the constant reminder of death can we appreciate life," some believe.