The Insides Of These Catacombs Will Leave You Shaking In Your Boots.

When the Capuchin monastery of Palermo, Italy outgrew its cemetery in the 16th century, they began to dig crypts below the earth’s surface to keep their dead. Originally, the crypts were meant to be for deceased monks only, but it wasn’t long before other Palermo residents wanted in. Like the monks buried before them, they would be embalmed in sealed glass cabinets while dressed in their favorite clothes.

Relatives would often visit the catacombs, but seeing your loved ones came with a price. If you wanted the body of the person you wished to see to remain on display, you’d better keep up with your payments. The preserved corpses of those with loved ones who could not afford to pay for their dead person rent were moved out of sight until they paid the keepers of the catacombs.

As disturbing as this may be to imagine, you can still visit the Capuchin Catacombs to this day. Check out what a trip below the Palermo ground is like.

Capuchin Catacombs

As you can see, not all of the bodies were mummified. Some were left to dehydrate and later washed with vinegar.

The bodies on display can be tough to look at…

…but what else did you expect to find inside of a crypt?

If you think about what little science they had access to at the time…

…it’s actually quite impressive that the bodies held up as well as they have.

It should be noted that the Capuchin Catacombs is a popular place for tourists to visit and not all of the mummies are real.

Good luck guessing which bodies are real.

(via boingboing)

I don’t think I’d be inclined to spend my vacation inside of an underground bunker of dead people. When in Rome…or Palermo, I guess.

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