Creepy Crypts and Catacombs Worldwide

A chandelier made of bones, skulls on altars, hanging skeletons -- enter the creepy world of crypts and catacombs for a look into burial practices of the past. Warning: Images not for the squeamish.

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Alleged burial site of Vlad the Impaler
Snagov Monastery

Snagov Monastery

On a tiny islet, surrounded by a lake, stands Snagov Monastery. Vlad enthusiasts have been claiming since the 19th century that Vlad himself is buried inside this monastery, more than 300 miles from Bucharest. While there’s no definitive proof of it, it sure makes for an intriguing story. 960 1280

fusion-of-horizons, flickr  

Count Dracula Club

Count Dracula Club

Inside this 19th-century house in Bucharest, visitors encounter a Dracula-inspired restaurant with some, um, newfangled twists. Dine on menu options like “Count Dracula’s Beefsteak” and the “Van Helsing Plate,” in honor of Dracula’s biggest enemy. But beware -- someone might sneak up on you, and take a bite out of your tasty neck! 960 1280

Count Dracula Club   

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

The medieval fortress, about 100 miles from Bucharest, was invaded by Vlad back in the day. Perched atop a 200-foot-tall rock, overlooking the village of Bran, Bran Castle yields panoramic views of the village below. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Poenari Fortress

Poenari Fortress

This weathered, cliff-side castle was Vlad’s main fortress. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries in south-central Romania by the rulers of Wallachia (a principality in what is now Romania), the castle was later abandoned and fell into ruin, until Vlad stepped in and oversaw its repairs. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com  

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

This military tower, in the Romanian city of Targoviste, was built by Vlad in the 15th century. Construction began during Vlad’s second reign (his first reign had been interrupted by a political coup and subsequent exile). Vlad came back strong with Chindia Tower, which stands at more than 88 feet. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com
  

Vlad's Old Princely Court

Vlad's Old Princely Court

This place of residence, located in Bucharest’s historic center, was built during the rule of Vlad III. But don’t let its regal arches and (1 remaining) Corinthian column fool you; the princely court was also likely a house of horrors. Local lore has it that Vlad kept his political enemies in dungeons beneath the court’s grounds. 960 1280

Nicubunu, Wikimedia Commons  

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Vlad’s gory legend was born in the Transylvania city of Sibiu. In 1459, thousands of people were impaled in the city, at Vlad’s orders, on St. Bartholomew’s Day. Vlad’s victims included women and children, along with merchants and the local aristocracy. While some justify Vlad’s gruesome acts as a defense of nationalism (many of his victims were German Saxons), his detractors note that many of his victims were also from his native Wallachia. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

See where Vlad III was born. In the winter of 1431, the future Prince of Wallachia was born in the present-day city of Sighisoara -- this yellow building is his supposed birthplace. Vlad’s father was Vlad II Dracul, who went on to become the voivode (warlord) of the area. No one really knows who Vlad III’s mother was; some speculate it was a princess from Moldavia, but Vlad’s father had several mistresses. 960 1280

Aleksandar Cocek, flickr  

Borgo Pass

Borgo Pass

This high mountain pass, roughly 309 miles northwest of Bucharest, is actually known as the Tihuta Pass. Located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, the area was made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula -- in the novel, he rechristened the area, “Borgo Pass,” depicting it as the gateway to Count Dracula’s lair of horrors.

 960 1280

Richard Mortel, flickr  

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Once you’ve checked out the Borgo Pass, settle down for the night at Hotel Coroana de Aur. The property comprises 109 rooms and 4 suites, with air-conditioning, mini-bars and free Wi-Fi among the amenities, making for a clean, streamlined environment to kick back and read up on Vlad and Dracula’s bloody exploits. 960 1280

Iván Vieito  

Snug Harbor
Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor

Zak, Nick and Aaron travel to Staten Island to investigate the infamous Sailors' Snug Harbor. 960 1280

  

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

The guys board the lightship Ambrose, docked at New York’s South Street Seaport. 960 1280

  

Lightship Ambrose

Lightship Ambrose

An artifact on the dock of the lightship Ambrose. 960 1280

  

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

The GA crew gets a dose of history at South Street Seaport. 960 1280

  

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

When the guys arrive at Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Amy Raiola, Snug Harbor's education coordinator, takes the guys on a tour of the grounds and informs them of the harbor's dark past. 960 1280

  

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

The guys are fascinated by an urban legend about a mentally-deranged child who is said to have murdered his own mother in cold blood. But legends spill into documented history … the guys also learn of a murder-suicide involving the harbor's own reverend. 960 1280

  

Staten Island

Staten Island

Located in Staten Island, NY, Sailors’ Snug Harbor is a National Historic Landmark District made up of 26 19th-century buildings that line an 83-acre city park. Established in 1833, the district was home to retired seamen who sailed under the US flag. 960 1280

  

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

Zak, Nick and Aaron tour the South Street Seaport Museum. 960 1280

  

Staten Island Botanical Garden

Staten Island Botanical Garden

The guys discuss the harbor’s history off-camera. The Sailors’ Snug Harbor site is now operated by Snug Harbor Cultural Center and the Staten Island Botanical Garden – a nonprofit, Smithsonian-affiliated organization. 960 1280

  

Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor

Those who survived the deadly oceans sought peace and solitude in this community of sailors, or "snugs" as they were commonly called. About 1,000 retired sailors lived at Snug Harbor during its prime. 960 1280

  

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

Sailors’ Snug Harbor

Sailors’ Snug Harbor is considered the “crown jewel” of Staten Island. 960 1280

  

Lightship Ambrose

Lightship Ambrose

Aaron has a laugh on the lightship Ambrose. 960 1280

  

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

Zak interviews a subject along the South Street Seaport dock. 960 1280

  

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