Macabre Vacation Destinations [Featured Site Content]
Nov 09, 2017, 07:36am
Planning to travel this winter break? If you're bored of picture-perfect tourist sights and want to go somewhere a little further off the beaten path, I've got some suggestions for you--but be warned, these destinations are not for the faint of heart! Below are five famous death-related sites for fellow fans of thanotourism:

The Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are perhaps the most famous site on this list, and no visit to the City of Lights is truly complete without a trip into its dark underbelly. Built in the 18th century, the Catacombs now hold the bones of more than six million people, stacked endlessly along the walls of the tunnel system beneath the city. Nothing makes you contemplate your own mortality quite like being deep underground with six million anonymous skulls. If you're not done with death by the time you emerge from the Catacombs' depths, I highly recommend you also check out the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison are buried.

The Torture Museum, Amsterdam

Thumb Screws

Amsterdam has become an increasingly popular tourist destination as it's gained a reputation as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities, as well as one that's particularly tolerant of weed. Few people associate the city with torture. However, if you don't know about the Torture Museum of Amsterdam, you're missing out! This quaint little museum located near the flower market houses over 40 different instruments of torture from around Europe. Each device is accompanied by engravings and illustrations from old manuscripts and an explanation of its history in eight different languages. Who doesn't love a good bit of gory history?

Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest

Kerepesi Cemetery

Kerepesi Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Hungary and contains some of the most gorgeous gravestones and statuary I've ever seen. Founded in 1847, the cemetery has served as the final resting place for many of Hungary's notable politicians, artists, actors, musicians, and more. If you go, be sure to take a stroll through the Arcades (Roman-style columned walkways) and admire the many elaborately carved weeping angels.

Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato, Mexico

Mummies of Guanajuato

The "Mummies of Guanajuato" were a group of bodies exhumed from a Mexican cemetery that were found to have naturally mummified due to the area's particular climate and soil. They were dug up between 1870 and 1958, when local law required that families pay a "grave tax" if they wanted their loved ones to stay buried. Bodies for whom no one paid this taxed were unearthed and put into storage to make room for more paying customers. When word got out that these bodies were surprisingly well-preserved, they began to draw a crowd. Thus, a museum was built to house them. The museum currently holds over 100 bodies, including one known as the world's smallest mummy. Definitely a site worth checking out!

Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

Sedlec Ossuary

An ossuary is somewhere where the bones of the dead are kept, sometimes in quite artful arrangements as in this little Roman Catholic chapel in Kútna Hora, Czech Republic. This Gothic-style structure is located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints and used to belong to a nearby Cistercian monastery. In 1274, an abbot of the monastery blessed the cemetery grounds with soil from the Holy Land, making it an incredibly popular burial place. The Black Death and a series of local wars filled the cemetery with bodies in mass graves. When a Gothic church was built in the middle of the cemetery and room was made for new burials, a great number of old bones were unearthed. Thus, an ossuary was created in the basement of the church to house them. These bones line the walls, decorate columns, and are suspended in elaborate arches from the high vaulted ceilings, even making up a little bone chandelier. The effect is stunning, and probably some of the most beautiful art made with bones anywhere in the world.

So far, I've only been to the Paris catacombs, but I hope to make my way down this list! How many have you been to? Which ones would you want to visit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Written By: TheGothicLibrarian
Nov 09, 2017, 08:50am
I'm Hungarian and I was in the Kerepesi Cemetery several times. It is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen and it is an arboretum as well. So I can totally recommend it.
- (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 11:01am
Some old Churches in germany might be interesting to visit as well.

The Lamberti church in the city I grew up in, Has 3 huge cages haning from the bell tower. They used to lock anabaptists in there. They were left to rot in there.

But they were the good guys right? nod
- (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 11:02am
Man I want to go out and travel. I wish plane tickets didn't cost an arm and a leg.
+ (6)
- (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 12:04pm
just a thing: it's Museo not Musio.
I plan one day to visit these places and more, I mean our world has some very creepy and awesome places everyone. Thanks to folklore, our world is interesting...
- (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 12:08pm
Rasputin I’m so mad I didn’t know about that place when I was in Dublin a few years ago

Veritas Haha I think I ruined my chances of making friends with the Pere Lachaise guards when they caught me red-lipped kissing Oscar Wilde’s tomb (apparently you’re not allow to do that, even though it’s been a tradition forever and there’s now a glass wall around the tomb, which is what I actually kissed)
And thanks for pointing out the typo, will try to fix.
- (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 12:47pm
Nice to see articles like this on VF keep it up.
+ (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 01:52pm
Man this stuff is dark yet beauitfyul.
I'd love to to vist some of this place but with the way the world is today,you wont see me flying on a plane,ever lol
Nov 09, 2017, 02:11pm
Would love to see those catacombs.
+ (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 02:20pm
Back in the 80s and 90s the mummies were not in glass cases, but people would steal bone fragments, so they enclosed them in glass.
+ (2)
Nov 09, 2017, 03:21pm
Stirling Castle is a really nice spot, personally. And if you're in Edinburgh, you should check out Greyfriars Graveyard and the Edinburgh Vaults. I also love to visit Balloch park - it has a forest, a castle and is right beside Loch Lomond. I also love visiting Glasgow Central Station. And if you visit in October, the clock has a spooky design. ;-)
+ (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 03:38pm
I wouldnt mind visiting the catacombs in paris
Nov 09, 2017, 03:43pm
Actually all of those you mention are quite touristic places :-D except of course Kerepesi Cemetery

I entirely recommend HR Giger´s Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland. That is a most if you love dark art ;-)
And once you´re done with the museum, just go have a glass of wine at HR Giger´s Bar ;-) And why not? Try the famous Gruyères cheese and walk around the Picturesque little medieval town ;-)

The BAR star2

+ (4)
Nov 09, 2017, 07:07pm
The cemeteries are seductively enticing. My heart fills with passion.My favorite place to go since I was twelve years old was the cemetery, ain't stopping anytime soon.
+ (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 07:12pm
Nice post
+ (1)
Nov 09, 2017, 10:36pm
"Most torture museums are tourist traps"

Literally! ;-) evil skull
Nov 10, 2017, 01:14am
I want to see Paris this summer.
Nov 10, 2017, 01:42am
I need to visit the Tortured Museum. Well, all of them if possible.
Nov 10, 2017, 02:50am
Next weekend I visit Kerepesi Cemetery, next spring the Catacombs of Paris. How beautifully creepy and gloomy my life is...mummy
+ (1)
Nov 10, 2017, 04:19am
I'd love to see these places!

The detroit comment BeholdAPaleHorse posted had me dying.....

Nov 10, 2017, 07:51am
Oh my dream to visit daydream