a while back my auntie mary sent me a fascinating clipping of an article from national geographic about the paris underground. below the city lies a highly sophisticated network of all kinds of tunnels and caves that are frequented by people who enjoy that sort of creepy thing. one of these tunnels with great interest: the catacombs. supposedly these catacombs are just tunnels full of human bones, and apparently you can actually take a tour of these tunnels. sound kinda creepy? yes. did we decided to do it today? yes. am i glad we did? yes.
we got to the catacombs and found ourselves at the back of a nice long line.
luckily i had my camera and snake on my cell phone to keep me occupied. naturally i took some single shots. i used black and white in preparation for what lied ahead.
one last taste of spring before descending into the dreary depths.
after we made it through the line, we took the hundred plus stair plunge into the depths of the underground and walked through dimly lit, creepy passageways. here is a series of blurry photos to show you just how creepy it really was.
allison traipsed through the tunnels carrying a suspicious violin case. what could possibly be inside?
back in the days of no electricity, those crawling around in these underground tunnels would lift up their candles and follow these lines marked on the ceilings in order to stay on track.
when you are dead and in the catacombs, you are just another number.
a bottomless well. there were several coins tossed around it and in it (okay so i guess it did have a bottom) but i don't think i'd consider it a wishing well.
another single shot amidst the drear.
finally we made it to the most important and the most creepy segment of our journey: the winding halls of bones. human bones. bones that had been exhumed from overflowing cemeteries of the city and dumped here during the night. literally. no big deal. monks then organized the bones into neat little patterns and rows. i am not sure what is creepier, bones tossed in piles or bones stacked neatly. (probably the latter)
piles and piles and piles of BONES.
i really took these pictures. they are not stock footage.
it doesn't get much creepier than this.
we kept on thinking about how each one of these skulls was a real person, had a real life story hundreds of years ago. and yet here they are now, in almost monotonous lines. it is strange how you get used to being surrounded by skulls as you wander the almost neverending tunnels. bizarre.
oh you know, just a nice line of skulls.
skull and crossbones, the real deal.
neverending. masses. of. bones.
they were stacked and stacked and stacked.
occasionally someone with a fashlight would come by and shine their light; the piles of bones would just go on forever and ever. six million people (plus) lie in these underground tunnels, dissembled and decaying.
bullet hole skull, column shrine
funny story: allsion happened to be carrying a suspicious violin case throughout our underground journey. actually not so suspicious considering there was a real violin inside. i convinced her to take it out for a picture, and since a crowd started gathering we got her to play a little creepy tune. how many people can say they have violin-ed in catacombs under paris. one. allison brown.
creeped out roommates.
jamie was the master bone identifier.
she taught us all about femurs and tibias and ulnas etc. only miss james could get a thrill out of seeing a complete radius or humerus or tell us if a hip bone belonged to a man or woman. i definitely heard others repeating what she was telling us to their friends. nice.
bone artwork perhaps?
the bones literally went on for ever. we were down wandering winding tunnels for about an hour. and still there were places where more tunnels and more bones branched out every which way. the whole experience was a little surreal
three bullet hole head
once we made it out of the oussary, the name for the creepy bone piles and tunnels, we found ourselves in some more creepy hallways
finally making our way back up to the street - so many winding stairs - we all felt a little bit grimy. partly due to the fact that some of us might have sneaked and touched a bone or two, partly due to the fact that who knows what was dripping on us from the ceilings as we walked through.
we headed to the byu apartment for a little snack break and headed back on the town. after much indecision and lots of walking, we ended the night at a random little cafe on a corner.
we all got a little something and sat outside watching the skies drizzle down a light rain on the city streets, while we ate protected under a cozy canopy.
loved our cute waiter
can't wait for hot chocolate at angelinacatacombs were creepy, cafe was fun. i would recommend both. i am glad i got to experience paris' strange underworld. it was absolutely an adventure.