Secret societies have been a great source of fascination for humans for centuries. Stories of old secret societies and underground rituals are still studied by modern historians, and many people wonder not only how these societies came to be, but what ultimately happened to them. Some people say that many cults started as so-called “secret societies,” but a recent video out of the catacombs of Paris may shed some light on the modern secret society.
The City of Love is So Much More Than That
Paris is a beautiful city in France with centuries of incredible history and beautiful landmarks to explore if you feel so inclined. Many people immediately think of the Eiffel Tower when they think of landmarks to visit in the city, but for those interested in a slightly darker part of history, there’s another option.
The catacombs of Paris are a landmark that make it onto almost every tourist to-do, with good reason. They’re fascinating, and only a tiny portion of the over 200 miles of miles is available to the general public. The history behind the catacombs is definitely one to be aware of, especially in light of new information that has surfaced.
A Fascinating Beginning
The catacombs of Paris were originally built as mining tunnels between limestone quarries, going back as far as the 13th century. At the approach of the 17th century, though, Paris was facing a crisis in the form of too many dead bodies, and where to put them.
Plans were drawn up to turn the old mining tunnels into gravesites for the millions of overflowing dead in Paris. In 1774, work began more urgently after the collapse of several walls around the basement of Holy Innocents’ Cemetery. The collapses highlighted the increasing problem with too many bodies and not enough space, speeding the construction of the ossuaries.
An Urgent Solution to the Problem
The catacombs weren’t ready until 1786, but after that point, the processions to take dead bodies underneath the city occurred nightly. Millions of bodies were carried out of various cemeteries around the city and transported to the catacombs, the process of which took over two full years.
The initial transport was not the last heard of the cemetery burial grounds, either. In 1810, the director of the Paris Mine Inspection Service ordered renovations to be done on the catacombs that would turn the tunnels into a visitable mausoleum.
A Museum of Death
The bones and skulls were arranged into the patterns that can still be seen today during this renovation. The director also had stone tablets carved that informed visitors about the history of the tunnels, and were put on prominent display for anyone to read when they came to visit.
The rest of the tunnel network was eventually walled off for the safety of the public. The tunnels that are now commonly referred to as the catacombs are actually a very small portion of the original tunnels, but they’ve become famous for their history and fascinating visuals, nonetheless.
Modern History is Fascinating Too
The history of the tunnels isn’t limited to the nineteenth century. The tunnels were used as meeting points for various militaries through the course of the twentieth century, and they’ve been broken into multiple times over the years for different reasons.
A recent video out of the catacombs is making headway, though, as one of the most eerie and unnerving sights to come out of the tunnels. A big statement, given that the catacombs are a literal mausoleum. This video shows that they may be more than that, though.
The Reveal of a Secret Society…Maybe
There have been rumors of secret societies over the centuries, many of them unsubstantiated by any evidence. Historians love to study them and consider the idea, though, and a Tiktok user posted a video recently that may suggest that there is an active secret society living in the catacombs of Paris.
This Tiktok user, Amanda Rollins, recounts her experiences living in Paris, as well as details that she heard from an ex-boyfriend who used to work for the city. She informs her user base that while the catacomb museum is the public face of the tunnels, there are other entrances and maps that show you around areas that are blocked off.
Don’t Seek Out the Mole People
Amanda doesn’t reveal these details to her audience because she wants people to go exploring, though. She goes on to describe how many of these tunnels are small, flooded, and in disrepair, making it dangerous to consider exploring, and that’s before considering what might happen if you get lost.
Amanda then drops the truth bomb of her video, describing a small society of people who live in the catacombs full time. Her ex-boyfriend described stories of a group of people who are removed from the world, who know the tunnels much better than tourists might, and that the city of Paris doesn’t want explorers going down there for a reason.
A Private Society, Necessarily
Evidently, the people who live in the catacombs are extremely private. According to Amanda’s boyfriend, there have been incidents when explorers in the closed-off tunnels have stumbled upon some of the permanent residents. Upon sight of the strangers, the tunnel residents supposedly stole the explorer’s light source and map, leaving them to fend for themselves out of the catacombs.
It’s an eerie story, one that sends chills down your spine if you think too deeply on it. The catacombs of Paris are underground, meaning that any explorers who wanted to take their chance in the tunnels would do so without cell service. Losing your map and only source of light would make a fun story terrifying, giving good reason not to be too curious.
Fun to Think About, But Ultimately Something to Avoid
While the catacombs are a fascinating landmark, one drenched with history and open to the public, Amanda’s video provides some context why we should continue to treat them with caution. Visiting the museum portion is all very well and good, but it would be smart to bear in mind why the rest of the tunnels are blocked off.
Whether you believe in the idea of a secret society hiding in the tunnel system or not, it can be generally agreed upon that getting lost in collapsing tunnels without a light or map is a terrifying thought. Best to stick to the approved, maintained museum areas, and spend the rest of your trip to Paris in safety above ground.