The Bone-Chilling Catacombs Capuchin Monks [Pix]

Submitted by: ferdyfred 2 years ago in Weird

Although it"s not the slightest bit rational, we humans possess the primal urge to be terrified. We love it. Why else would we pay money to watch horror films? Why visit haunted houses, or tell ghost stories? And in Palermo, a city of gorgeous churches and fascinating history, why should one of the top tourist attractions be the corpse-filled dungeon of theCatacombe dei Capuccini? Whats wrong with us?

3 Dead Kids Palermo Sicily

Found on the outer limits of the city, the Capuchin catacombs hold the remains of over 8000 souls, their disembodied shells propped up against the walls or resting in open caskets. Down in the cold, dry basement of the monastery, the relentless march of decomposition takes its sweet time. It"s a gruesome display. Though some bodies have been reduced to skulls and bones, the majority of corpses are still rotting, and their half-decomposed husks are the stuff of nightmares.

Face skin slowly peeling off skulls. Corpses striking ghoulish poses as their bodies slowly fall apart. Hollowed-out faces with grotesque grimaces, teeth and even mustaches still intact. An infant in a tiny coffin, its face reduced to a pile of crinkled skin, like dry, crushed leaves. Monks dressed in hooded robes, staring at you from their eternal perch, and an entire army of the baby-undead. It isn"t the kind of horror which jumps out at you, and you scream and then laugh about it. No, the catacombs provide the long-lasting sense of dread which worsens with each step. Which becomes more unbearable the longer you remain.

Cute Monks

The first monk was interred here in 1599, and his 400-year-old corpse is still on hand to greet visitors upon entrance. For centuries, the catacombs were strictly for the monks, but eventually opened to well-paying members of the public. For reasons that can only be understood as macabre, families actually wanted the corpses of their loved ones preserved and displayed, so that they could come to visit.

The standard method of preservation was to open up the corpse shortly after death and remove all the vital organs. Then the body would be stuffed with hay, and left in the sun to dry up. Many of the corpses have hay poking through their necks and falling out of holes in their skin. We can only pray that a herd of horses never finds its way to the catacombs, because that would be a truly unholy feeding frenzy.

The final soul to be interred here was the benefactor of a special conservation process designed by a specialist named Solafia. Baby Rosalia Lombardo died in 1920 at the age of two. Her body, which rests in a special room of the catacombs, resembles a life-size doll, complete with eyelashes and hair. Far from being sweet or a miracle of science, she might be the most horrendous resident of all. The one who, you just know, is going to open her eyes the moment you turn your back. Luckily for all of us, the good Doctor Solafia died before he could pass on his preservation method.

Because it"s such a unique and interesting place, the Capuchin Catacombs definitely warrant a visit. But those who are easily terrified might want to stay away. We brought Jurgen"s cousin, a sensible girl who normally refuses to visit even cemeteries. I"m not sure she"ll ever forgive us.

Photos and videos are strictly prohibited in the Catacombs, and we had to purchase permission at a rather hefty rate. Hence the watermarks. If youd like to use these images, pleaseget in touch.

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Bodies left on show, How death looks like - here
Credits: source
There are 9 comments:
Male 712
This is where we`re all headed. Every one of us.
Male 2,669
Now I know where to hide during the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Male 13,630
Great work Mods, thank you
Male 696
... i thought that "Capuchins" were monkeys...

bad, evil monkeys
Male 191
Something tells me they own stock in Febreeze...
Male 7,031

Fascinating photographs and a great post.

But whoever wrote the text is too timid. Keeping the deceased visible is just a means of recognizing mortality for some religious-minded groups. It may seem bizarre to many people, but it`s no big deal. What`s more natural, one of these cadavers (even if it`s stuffed with straw), or the waxy-skinned embalmed "deceased" you see at funeral homes with their faces full of makeup?
Female 8,115
I`m okay with that- death happens to us all, and there is a strange beauty in it.
Male 7,123
On the whole I think I`d prefer the Pencil Museum in Keswick.
Male 13,630
Link: The Bone-Chilling Catacombs Capuchin Monks [Pix] [Rate Link] - Bodies left on show, How death looks like - here