Churches are generally places of worship, faith, prayer and religion. However, every so often a church becomes something that can only be described as creepy. This list doesn’t necessarily contain only haunted locations, yet there is something a miss and a little off about each of the places featured below. Here are the world’s creepiest churches.
5. Museum of Purgatory
Our first creepy church brings us to Rome, Italy. An incredibly ancient city with history on every corner. Standing proud along one of Rome’s most prominent rivers is the Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, an ornate gothic church with a dark hidden secret.
Located in the bowels of this church is the Museum of Purgatory. This small exhibit contains artifacts that have been touched and therefore marked by souls trapped in Purgatory. Purgatory is an old Catholic belief where the soul becomes stuck in a limbo state after death because it must atone for its sins before moving on to the next journey. Supposedly, those stuck in purgatory had returned to their loved ones for assistance and left behind burned handprints on clothing, bibles and other household items. These are now all kept on display.
This location is a truly unsettling place and a reminder of the great unknown that awaits us all at death.
4. Snagov Monastery
Now on to Romania to find our next creepy church, the Snagov Monastery. This island-bound church at first glance seems picture-perfect, yet it does have a dark side. This church is the final resting place for one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty rulers of all time. Founded back in the 14th century, more than just one church has stood upon this island. The original wooden structure was doomed, eventually sinking into the surrounding lake, causing locals to believe the island was cursed.
Eventually, this island was to become the resting place of Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler of the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Vlad is said to be buried at the entrance to the church. There was a belief that Vlad had committed more atrocities in his life than any individual ever should, so he was placed at the church’s entry so anyone walking over his grave would have to take some of his sins upon themselves.
There remains some mystery and debate whether Vlad is actually even buried at the Snagov Monastery and an excavation in the 1930s seems to support that he may be buried elsewhere. The Monastery is still said to have ties to Vlad regardless, who had fortifications surrounding the island and a jail and torture chamber on the island itself.
3. Wolseley Church
In a remote part of South Australia lies an artificial ghost town known as Old Tailem Town. This attraction consists of many buildings, most of which are over 100 years old, that had been abandoned and then relocated to this town. There’s a massive mix of history and dark events tied to many of these buildings and some of them are considered to be haunted.
One of the buildings that has gained a reputation for being, possibly the most haunted building in Old Tailem Town, is its church. The Wolseley Methodist Church is feared by many. Countless visitors to the building have claimed to have had weird experiences. These include strange sensations, sighting shadow people and even interacting with a young boy, who is thought to have drowned on the property many years ago. This formidable church certainly has given many the creeps and truly earned its place on this list through its reputation.
If you are ever in the area and want to take a nighttime ghost tour, you must check out Adelaide’s Haunted Horizons. They also run paranormal investigation nights at Old Tailem Town.
2. Carta Monastery
This next creepy church location brings us back to Romania. In the Transylvanian countryside rests the quaint Carta Monastery. Most would recognize this location as its name ties it to the hit film, The Nun. It was used as the location for the horror flick, which portrayed the abbey as being haunted by a demonic nun. Although the real-life monastery doesn’t have any such hauntings, it does have a few others of its own.
Supposedly the ghosts of a number of monks who lived within the monastery during medieval times are still present. They are often seen roaming the churchyard of the monastery where their graves still sit. In addition to this, two large male skeletons were recently uncovered buried in the underground cellar of the church. Ever since, poltergeist activity has plagued the cellar and the church.
1. Sedlec Ossuary
The final creepy church destination on this list brings us to the small town, Kutna Hora of the Czech Republic. Here exists a church so creepy it has been dubbed the Bone Church. The Sedlec Ossuary contains elaborate designs that are constructed solely out of real human bones. It is estimated to contain somewhere between 40-70,000 people’s remains.
The story of the ossuary dates back to the 13th century when an abbot made the pilgrimage to the holy land of Jerusalem. Upon his return, he sprinkled some soil he had taken from the holy land over the local cemetery. This caused the cemetery to be a very sought after burial place.
As more and more bodies were buried, the cemetery began to overflow. To counteract this issue, bodies were exhumed and stored in a purpose-built church. The intricate designs seen today were put together later in the 1800s and are what has led to this location gaining the number one spot on this creepy church list.
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