These 5 Creepy Churches Are Decorated With Human Bones

By: Reuben Westmaas

Halloween is here, which means now is the time to explore the creepiest places in the world. What we weren't quite prepared for, though, was just how many terrifying churches made from human remains there were out there. These five sacred buildings are straight out of a doom-metal video.

5. Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

There are churches with a major skeletal theme, and then there are bone churches. Sedlec Ossuary is definitely the latter. It's got two massive chalices of bone, obviously. It's got four baroque candelabras of bone, because of course it does. But then it's got some distinctly church-y skeletal elements as well. Embedded in the walls, you'll find two monstrances. Those are vessels to display the Eucharistic host — picture a skull with a display of femurs radiating out from the center. It's a striking image, but you might not even notice them. Hanging above the morbid nave is an enormous chandelier composed of nearly every bone in the human body.

4. Capuchin Crypts in Rome, Italy

We took you inside the crypts at Santa Maria della Concezione once before. But if there's any place that's worth revisiting in the spookiest season of all, it's the crypt that features a skeleton in the image of the Grim Reaper, complete with a scale and scythe — also made of bones, of course. Despite the macabre decor, this crypt was adorned with the remains of Capuchin friars who died between 1528 and 1870 when the order relocated to Rome so that all of the monks, living and dead, could be kept in the same place.

3. Hallstatt Karner in Hallstatt, Austria

Many bone churches and ossuaries are decorated with femurs and pelvises, but at Hallstatt Karner, the skulls themselves are decorated. More than 600 of the skulls on display in this beinhaus (bone house, in English) bear their former owners' names, professions, and the date of their death. Many are also adorned with decorative garlands and flowers. But perhaps what makes this bone church stand out the most is the fact that the most recent remains to be interred here belong to a woman who passed away in 1983, after having requested the beinhaus as her final resting place. What's more, she might not be the last — the church is still open to receiving similar requests.

2. Wamba Ossuary in Wamba, Spain

Unlike Sedlec and the Capuchin crypts, Wamba Ossuary isn't so much decorated with bones as much as packed to the gills with them. These remains weren't placed here for religious or sentimental reasons. They were stacked here out of necessity, as the local cemetery became overcrowded between the 12th and 18th centuries. There are thousands of bodies here. And the wall you see upon entering the space might take you a moment to resolve into what it really is: a densely packed wall of bones, studded with more than 3,000 human skulls.

1. Skull Chapel in Czermna, Poland

The bones and skulls of more than 21,000 people fill Skull Chapel. This isn't like Sedlec, where all of the furnishings of the church are made of bone. Here, the walls themselves are lined with bones and skulls instead of drywall. It was created by a local priest, Vaclav Tomasek, who between the years of 1776 and 1804 gathered and cleaned the remains from the shallow graves left behind after the Thirty Years' War, Silesian Wars, and cholera outbreaks. He placed what he deemed significant bones on the altar, including the skull of the local mayor, skulls with bullet holes, a skull deformed by syphilis, and the bones of a supposed giant. When Tomasek died, his skull was placed on the altar as well.

This article first appeared on Curiosity.com. Click here to read the original article.

Next Up

Colin O'Brady is Taking on the Drake Passage in The Impossible Row

Discovery will follow the epic journey through the Drake Passage this December.

Can Coach John Calipari Survive the Alaskan Frontier? The Kilchers Put Him to the Test!

Earlier this year, the Kentucky Wildcats’ head coach claimed he had the chops to go off-grid, so the Kilchers quizzed him on his survival skills.

Climb England’s Stomach-Churning Iron Way

Adventure into Victorian England with rickety bridges and vertical climbs across a 19th-century mine.

Retrace the Hikes of Pilgrims in the Basque Country

Discovering shepherd’s huts and Spanish vineyards in the Basque Country.

Scaling Wales’ Highest Mountain

Britain isn’t famous for its hiking but one mountain every climber should summit is Mt. Snowdon for extreme weather and breathtaking views.

Tanzania: Beyond the Wildlife

Most people know that Tanzania is home of the Serengeti and an amazing diversity of wildlife. The country is made up of 430 species of wildlife and 17 national parks. But did you know that it’s where 51 million people call home as well?

Colin O’Brady Becomes the First Person to Cross Antarctica Unaided and Unsupported

After 54 long days battling subzero temperatures, wind storms, and complete white-outs, Colin O’Brady has become the first person to cross Antarctica alone, unaided without support or supply drops.

Discovering Europe’s Last Wild Rivers

Rivers in the Balkans are largely free-flowing, unlike other bodies of water on the continent. They are home to endemic species of fish, provide habitats for birds, and a playground for watersport daredevils.

This Spooky Coastal Town Inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula"

There's more to the coastal town of Whitby that meets the eye. Hidden in Whitby's cottages and cobblestone streets lie legends and tales that inspired the famous story of Dracula. This led to the largest and spookiest festival around. Goths, ghosts, vampires, and ruins: Whitby has them all.