Buried below the streets of Paris, the Paris Catacombs house the bones of over 6 million people. Created due to a shortage of burial space in the city, the catacombs have become one of the eeriest sites in Paris. Many legends now surround this ossuary, luring more and more people each year to visit the darker side of the City of Light. Here are the most bone-chilling Paris Catacomb legends and myths.
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Bone-Chilling Paris Catacombs Legends and Myths
Who doesn’t love a good story? Some places naturally produce better stories than others. The final resting place of 6 million people and tourist attraction with lines wrapping around the block falls in this category. Here are a few of the most bone-chilling stories from inside the Paris Catacombs sure to inspire you in your exploration of its dark depths.
“The Uncovered Video Camera”
This, by far, is one of the creepiest Paris Catacombs legends. In the early 1990s, a group of cataphiles (people who study and explore the Paris Catacombs regularly) was walking through the dark chambers of the ossuary.
They happened upon a video camera on the ground. To their surprise, the camera had footage on it. As the group watched the footage, they heard disturbing noises.
It became apparent that the man holding the video camera was lost and had no idea how to escape. In the video, the audience understands that the man is going mad inside the underground network of tunnels.
The video ends abruptly, with the man dropping his camera to the ground. To this day, no one knows who he was or if he managed to get out alive. Many believe that the movie “As Above, So Below” was inspired by this tragedy.
“Voices at Midnight”
Possibly linked to the video camera story above, a famous Paris Catacombs legend has it that a mystifying thing occurs within the burial site after midnight.
The legend says that the walls begin to speak if you’re inside the Paris Catacombs after midnight. Disembodied voices will try to persuade you to venture deeper and deeper into the catacombs until you can’t find your way out.
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“The Ghost of Philibert Aspairt”
During the French revolution, a man named Philibert Apsairt was a doorman at the Val-de-Grâce hospital. On a mission to fetch a certain liqueur from a cellar, Philibert actually ended up entering the Paris Catacombs instead.
Walking around the pitch-black catacombs alone with just a single candle, Philibert became incredibly lost and confused. Many believe he may have been intoxicated at the time as well. Philibert’s candle blew out, turning everything black.
At this point, it was virtually impossible for him to escape the profound darkness of the catacombs. His body was not found until 11 years later when a group of cataphiles uncovered it.
They identified him by the hospital key ring hanging from his belt. Aspairt is buried in the catacombs in the exact place where he died with a tombstone describing his death. Cataphiles and Catacombs folklore tellers say that every November 3rd, Philibert’s ghost haunts the labyrinth of the catacombs.
“Secret Hideout Inside of the Paris Catacombs”
In 2004, a group of police officers was exploring a part of the Paris Catacombs restricted from public access when they began to uncover some very strange things.
First, they found a PA system with pre-recorded guard dog barking noises playing. Then, they found 3,000 square feet of galleries, wired for phones using pirated electricity.
The officers also found a bar, living area, workshop, lounge, and even a cinema with room to seat 20 people. The cinema seats had been carved into the stone of the catacombs. The creepiest part of all, though, was that they discovered cameras on the ceilings recording them.
The police squad went back to the area a few days later with a larger team to further investigate. Everything they had discovered, from the phone lines to the Paris Catacombs cinema, had vanished. The only thing they found? A note that read: “Ne cherchez pas,” meaning, “don’t search.”
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