Today I experienced the most unnerving, creepiest thing to date. The Capuchin Monk Crypt.
Beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Just by Piazza Barbarini, lay the bones of 3700 individual monks. The capuchin monks receive their name from the hoods or capuce that they wear and the colour of their robes is where the cappuccino gets its name from.
This most disturbing thing about this crypt is that these bones are arranged into intricate, artistic patterns, separated into sections, and even hung as light decorations.
Originally the bones were moved here, via 300 cart loads when the former church was destroyed. Following that, bodies of deceased monks were buried under soil that had been transported from Jerusalem, and once they had ‘dried out’ dug up, and added to the other thousands on display.
You can see the three monks displayed in the pelvis crypt, along side the crypt of skulls and the crypt of shin and thigh bones.
There is the skeleton of a child attached to the roof, patterns of jaw bones line the walls, a clock made from foot and finger bones, and skulls pilled high along the walls.
One crypt contains a plaque that provides the quote “what you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be”, written in several different languages. Although it is said to be one of the most ‘horrifying images in all of Christendom’ apparently it isn’t designed to be a place to instil fear in visitors, but to remind us that earthy life isn’t permanent.
It is however, the most eerie thing I have ever viewed in my life.