Long ago, as the city of Paris grew, it became necessary to provide more space for the living. To do so, engineers and planners decided to move the mass of humanity least likely to protest: in this case, the dead. Millions of Parisian dead were quietly disinterred in one of the largest engineering feats in history and their remains were deposited along the walls of the chilly, dank passageways lying beneath the City of Light. They lie there to this day, in the eternal darkness, an Empire of the Dead. The Paris Catacombs are infamous and much has been written about their history and purpose. A million visitors a year are said to walk the dank corridors and to stare at the bones and gaze fixedly into the empty eye-sockets of the long dead. Many of these same visitors, and some of their guides, have encountered more than just the silence in the catacombs: they have had encounters with ghostly inhabitants that roam the empty passageways and mutely follow the tour groups around. Several report seeing a group of shadows in one area of the catacombs; as the living walk along, the dead follow in complete silence. To some the experience is completely overwhelming and tours have been cut short by the growing sense of unease. Photos have revealed orbs and ghostly apparitions, and EVPs have been recorded throughout the vaults. The catacombs were first cleared in Roman times, with succeeding generations of Gauls and Frenchmen perfecting the Roman engineering. Now the catacombs are a veritable rabbit’s warren, and though many boldly enter without a guide, to do so puts one at risk of being lost there forever. There have been many reports of rash individuals who wandered into the catacombs for a laugh and who have never been seen again. This, and many chilling tales of experiences in this Empire of the Dead, put the Paris Catacombs on our list of most creepiest places. The Catacombs of Paris, a network of tunnels and caves that run for more than 300 kilometers under the city of Paris. But to build a city, materials are needed. The Romans were the first to quarry the limestone in the area around 60 B.C.. However, those quarries were open pits and not underground tunnels–as the Romans only dug exposed rock and easy to get to. As the city grew and covered the landscape, tunneling was required to get more of the building materials out. By 1180 A.D., Philippe-Auguste became the King of France and was a major proponent of tunneling deep into quarry in order to have the material required to build the ramparts around the city for protection. It was under his rule that tunnel network would truly be realized as another location for burial in an already crowding city. The quarries grew in size and complexity and produced building materials for centuries. Quarrying continued with reckless abandon until geological issues began to occur. In the eighteenth century, the city of Paris (and the weight of all its huge buildings) continued to grow over the caverns, and the ground became unable more unstable to the massive weight above. Some buildings began to collapse and fall into the hollowed out earth that had been opened up below them. On April 4, 1777, the Inspection Générale des Carrières was formed to manage a major fill-in project, and close sections of the tunnels that were deemed too dangerous. Ironically, it was also during the eighteenth century that another problem arose for Parisians –  the graveyards were beginning to exceed capacities...and became quite extreme. The Cimetière des Innocents (Cemetery of the Innocent) alone held more than thirty generations of human remains. Families even had to bribe the local parish priest in order to bury their dead in local cemeteries on the hallowed ground of the cemetery; with the church grounds. The priests in those days were not one to refuse hard cash, of course to it, regardless of the fact that there was no place left to put the newly deceased. So several of the parish priests decided to structure to house the dead, a 'charnier,'  meaning, ‘mass grave.’ The dead were accumulated therein.’ It was actually the precursor of the modern-day mausoleum. As the emerging city began to enclosed all around the cemeteries, there was no place left to go but up. It was now evident, the Cemetery of the Innocent could no longer be used, and it wasn’t alone in the problem, as nearly all of them had now swelled with the new technique of burial, that the ground swelled in some had swelled to more than ten feet above the road outside their walls, and the stench nearly toxic. So bad was the stench that it tormenting those living in close proximity to any of the major the graveyards. Some of the cemetery higher walls used to hold back the extra earth, broke open, spilling rotting and decaying bodies onto the street. Soon thereafter, disease overtook those that could not leave, and continued to live in the vicinity of the graveyard only to begin dying from the pestilence spread by the corpses often to foul to move until dried. The only decision left, was to begin the process of emptying the cemeteries of the problem and relocate the bodies. The decision was made take the skeletal remains, bone by bone, and place them into the network of tunnels under the city of Paris. The first quarry that received any of the remains is called 'Carrière de la Tombe Issoire.'  By the end of1785, most of the bones had been moved to the underground network en masse and the old stone quarries became known as the Catacombs of Paris. Although disturbing the dead is considered universally taboo. It is also understood across many cultures that one should leave the dead alone, and many people went through great care to perform the proper rituals and ceremonies to see that their departed loved ones were sent to the afterlife in peace. However, in the case of necessity, the living will always take precedence. As the bones in the Paris Catacombs were stacked with dignity, As seen in this wall of bones.
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