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6 Creepiest Catacombs Not for the Claustrophobic (Slideshow)

6 Creepiest Catacombs Not for the Claustrophobic (Slideshow)



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These catacombs are all dark, narrow, located entirely underground, and probably full of skeletons; we hope you enjoy your visit

Built in the second century, it is believed that this burial chamber was initially meant for a single family but eventually expanded to include other bodies up until the fourth century. Unlike many of the other catacombs around the world, this one remained a secret for some time, only being rediscovered in 1900 after some quarry worker’s dumb ass accidentally fell into the access shaft. The donkey likely didn’t survive the plunge, but its death would not have been in vain. Archeologists found heaps of broken pottery (hence the name, which translates to “Mound of Shards”), the makings of a pulley system for lowering bodies, a number of human and animal remains, multiple sarcophagi, a funeral banquet hall (known as the “Triclinium”), and architecture and artwork that wonderfully blends Egyptian, Greek, and Roman styles. The eeriest part, however, is the area filled with numerous lifelike sculptures in various poses. Visitors can check this out, along with the Hall of Caracalla, which contains the bones of humans and horses that were likely killed in the year 215 by Emperor Caracalla.

Here are five things you need to know about food in Egypt.

Catacombs of Kon el Shoqafa, Egypt

Built in the second century, it is believed that this burial chamber was initially meant for a single family but eventually expanded to include other bodies up until the fourth century. Visitors can check this out, along with the Hall of Caracalla, which contains the bones of humans and horses that were likely killed in the year 215 by Emperor Caracalla.

Here are five things you need to know about food in Egypt.

Monastery of San Francisco, Peru

The church and monastery of San Francisco in Lima, Peru, was completed in 1774 and contains a library boasting 25,000 antique texts. Underneath, there’s also a network of catacombs that contain the remains of 25,000 bodies. (Some estimates say the number could be as large as 75,000!) As if that wasn’t creepy enough, many of the skulls and bones interred there have been neatly arranged into a series of geometric figures and elaborate works of art — because what else would you do with a ton of old bones, throw them in a box? Interestingly, these crypts were remarkably well built and have withstood numerous major earthquakes. One-hour tours are conducted daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., with an entrance fee of only about $2.

Click here for a list of the 101 best restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2016.

Odessa Catacombs, Ukraine

The creepiest parts of the extensive Odessa Catacombs underneath Odessa, Ukraine, aren’t the things we know, but the things we don’t know. They were built sometime in the 1800s for stone mining, but were later used for smuggling. Because the tunnels are considered unsafe and have not been fully mapped, only a small portion is open to the public. However, that hasn’t stopped thrill-seeking tourists from entering the catacombs without authorization, which has led to incidents of people becoming lost in the tunnel network and, in some cases, dying of falls or dehydration.

Paris Catacombs

Ah, Paris. So lovely. So romantic. So creepy. Don’t believe us? Then consider the fact that under your feet there’s a whole network of corridors and passageways that hold the bodies of 6 million people. These ossuaries were set up in the late eighteenth century after the city’s cemeteries filled up and a series of cave-ins began to occur around Paris. To remedy this, the remains were moved to reinforced tunnels, with more additions in the following years. At first a haphazard underground mess, in 1810, the head of the Paris Mine Inspection Service undertook renovations that turned the catacombs into a visitable mausoleum, which led to the skull stacking and intricate bone patterns seen today. Not only are there regular tours of this underground world, but the catacombs even have their own website. Closed on Mondays, they are open from Tuesday until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the last admission at 7:30 p.m. (Tours take approximately 45 minutes.) Admission is about 12 euros ($13), but various discounts are available, and guests under age 17 are free. You can enter at the western pavilion of the former Barrière d’Enfer (“Gate of Hell”), because creepiness.

Centuries ago, these catacombs were considered an impressive Parisian invention. Today, an impressive invention from the city is this meat-dispensing vending machine.

Rome Catacombs

Italy has catacombs in Palermo, Naples, and numerous other cities, but the best (whatever that means) are in Rome. First excavated back in the second century, these underground corridors were actually built into the soft volcanic rock outside of the city walls, as Roman law forbade burial places within city limits. There are now 60 known subterranean burial chambers in Rome. The passages cover a whopping 590 acres of land and consist of as many as four levels on top of one another, with some extending as far down as 62 feet below the surface. Burial niches (called loculi) are carved into the walls, with fresco paintings and other early Christian art. Although once quite popular for burials of all kinds, the catacombs were all but abandoned by the tenth century. Today, the papacy is responsible for maintaining the passages, and brave guests are allowed to tour certain sites.

Speaking of ancient Roman findings, check out what archeologists discovered at the site of an old farm in Rome.

To illustrate how creepy they are, here’s a story based on personal experience. When I and a few friends visited one of the entry points to the catacombs in 2008, we (as English-speaking American tourists) conducted our whole admission transaction with a nun who basically only spoke Italian. When we managed to ask where the tour guide was, instead of telling us to wait, the nun simply pointed down the open door into the catacombs. She didn’t want us to wait for the tour guide to arrive; ­she wanted us to descend into the catacombs by ourselves to find the guide. And it’s not like the guide was even nearby at the time. I know this because I pseudo-bravely walked down the stairs and into the cramped corridors about 10 feet, and, finding no one, loudly exclaimed, “nope!” and went back upstairs to wait for our guide with the rest of the living.

Znojmo Catacombs, Czech Republic

Unlike the other sites on this list, the vast labyrinth of underground passageways, cellars, and subcellars under the Czech city of Znojmo weren’t primarily built for the storage of dead bodies. If you think this takes out the creepiness factor, you thought wrong. In fact, if the thought of catacombs brings about a fear of getting trapped inside and perishing, then this is probably the worst site, as parts of it were specifically designed to kill people. Built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the catacombs were created to protect the city’s inhabitants from invading forces, and thus included trapdoors and hidden slippery slides that would drop enemy soldiers into deep wells from which they could not escape. Interestingly, the catacombs afforded locals the ability to still do a number of useful things such as searching the city for food undetected, gathering and disposing of water via a drainage system, and even using fireplaces, as they were designed to ventilate through house chimneys on the surface. Because of this last fact, enemy forces would often see smoke eerily rising from otherwise empty homes all around the city. Portions of the Znojmo Catacombs are open to tourists from April to October.

Click here to check out some usual wines from the Czech Republic.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Those not familiar with the film directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by brother Drew Dowdle might find it equal parts The Descent and Paris, je t'aime. OK, we probably got our recipe wrong there, but in any case here is the trailer for the horror flick:

The stunning part about the movie’s production is the Dowdles chose to film a majority of it in the actual catacombs that sit beneath Paris, France.

Meredith Woerner of iO9 had a chance to speak with the filmmakers on their decision and the difficulties in shooting in such a cramped location.

Drew offered, “In the beginning of the movie when you first enter the catacombs, the space is just so creepy and claustrophobic.”

John furthered that sentiment with an anecdote as scary as the movie itself:

“I mean it is genuinely scary down there. Our first location scout, we went through a tiny hole like the size a raccoon would climb through in the tunnels. We were in waders, we had water up to our chests with a stone ceiling at our heads. We went for close to five hours, and there were sections where we had to climb under giant rocks. It was genuinely scary. We got maybe as far away from the exit. There's no cell reception there's no walkies that work. There were moments where the voice inside of me was screaming, ‘Run!’ One of the people in our initial scout totally lost his mind down there. He went crazy. It was scary. He was screaming, ‘We need to get out of here.’ And it just echoes.”

Putting a visual spin on the confined shoot, Legendary Pictures posted this behind-the-scenes video to YouTube, illustrating just how difficult producing a movie was in such an extraordinary location.

As John remarks, shooting the film mandated putting a forearm in front of his face so that walls and overhanging walls wouldn’t actually hit his face.

And then there was the toll the mind takes in shooting in such a space. Drew explained, “and psychologically I have to say after more than 20 days people start to lose it a little bit, because the air is strange down here the quality of sound is very strange down here.” Drew continued, “It really starts to wear on you.”

Now if that sounds like your idea of fun, seek help…or take a trip down into the catacombs yourself—whatever floats that rocky boat of yours.

Les Catacombes de Paris offers tours of a section of the famed tunnels, but warns, “the tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children.”

In 2011, National Geographic profiled those brave enough to search for openings not available to the public an endeavor the publication warns has been illegal since 1955.

The recommendation is to get your cataphile fix the safe and legal way or watch the movie that promises all the frights you can cram into 90 minutes.


Watch the video: 6 Of The Scariest Catacombs In The World