Mummies in Sicily

I wrote a blog regarding the Ghosts of Anthony Hall earlier this month that I throughly enjoyed due to my having some first hand knowledge of the story.  Thinking of this I pondered whether or not I had any other weird or spooky stories to relate.  I was reminded of our stop in Sicily during our Mediterranean Cruise of 2011.

“The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are burial catacombs in Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy,” according to Wikipedia.

palermo_rosalia_lombardoRosalia Lombardo is considered to be the best preserved corpse world wide.

The Capuchin Monastery outgrew its’ cemetery and thus began digging crypts below it.  “The bodies were dehydrated on the racks of ceramic pipes in the catacombs and sometimes later washed with vinegar.  Some of the bodies were embalmed and others enclosed in sealed glass cabinets.  Monks were preserved with their everyday clothing and sometimes with ropes they had worn as penance,” according to Wikipedia.

The experience of walking down many steps into the catacombs and then encountering dead bodies or mummies along both your left and right…and often above your head was difficult to describe.  They were close enough to reach out and touch without moving from the walking path.  Many were dressed in their finery…including wedding dresses and suits of the day.

new_corridorOne of the figures had been a proud “Don Juan” in his day and thus requested that glass eyes be inserted into his eye sockets in order that he might continue his avocation.

monks_corridorThe Catacombs of Palermo were like nothing I have ever experienced and certainly conveyed to me the short time of our existence on this Earth…our mortality.

womens_corridor“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”   Ecclesiastes 12:7   KJV



Note: All photos are from Wikipedia.

2 responses

  1. Interesting (and creepy) article. It reminded me of an ossuary in Rome that I visited – The Capuchin Crypt. After passing through rooms where bones were used to make everything from chandeliers to archways to decorative motifs on walls and ceilings, we entered the final room. There were a couple of skeletons with a sign that read, “As you are, so we were, as we are, so you shall be.” One man who was there said, “I don’t know… I don’t really see myself as a chandelier…” It made everyone laugh and was a nice way to break the tension of a rather intense experience.
    Then I visited another ossuary near Prague. They are very odd places, similar to your Capuchin Catacombs, I imagine.
    Happy Holloween!

    1. Thanks for this account, Margo. I especially like the, “As you are, so we were, as we are, so shall you be.”
      The experience is truly intense! 🎃

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