Paranormal Rock Stars

Sightings of specters, cryptids and interplanetary interlopers abound on this planet, but who are the biggest stars of the unexplained? Aaron Sagers picks some of his favorites -- real or not.

Photos

Capuchin Catacombs

Capuchin Catacombs

Down in the cold, dry basement of the Capuchin Monastery, on the outskirts of Palermo, Italy, are the remains of 8,000 people. When the monastery outgrew its original cemetery in 1599, catacombs were excavated beneath the building. In addition to friars interred here, well-known locals chose the crypts as their final resting place. The catacombs are open to the public; iron grills prevent visitors from touching or posing with those laid to rest here. 960 1280

Reuters  

Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris

A series of manholes and ladders lead visitors to the creepy catacombs of Paris. In 1786, the cemeteries of Paris churches were filled to overflowing. The government saw a solution in long-abandoned stone quarries in and around the capital. The resulting catacombs eventually became the final resting place of some 6 million people. Following a vandalism incident, the catacombs were closed to the public in September 2009, but reopened a few months later. 960 1280

Dave Shea, flickr  

Brno Ossuary

Brno Ossuary

The Brno Ossuary in the Czech Republic is estimated to hold the remains of more than 50,000 people, making it the second-largest site of its kind in Europe (behind the Paris Catacombs). The ossuary was established in the 17th century, partially under the Church of St. James. The ossuary was later forgotten, until its rediscovery in 2001. It has been open to public tours since June 2012. 960 1280

Kirk, Wikimedia Commons  

Monastery of San Francisco

Monastery of San Francisco

Below the monastery of San Francisco, in the historic center of Lima, Peru, creepy catacombs are filled with skulls and bones. The catacombs were established following the monastery’s construction (in 1774), and remained in use until 1808, when a city cemetery was founded outside of Lima. The catacombs were soon forgotten, until their discovery in 1943. An estimated 70,000 individuals’ remains fill the catacombs' narrow hallways and deep holes. 960 1280

Ray_from_LA, flickr  

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Light peeks through the darkness at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Following its consecration in 1147 A.D., the cathedral's grounds gave way to cemeteries – a result of the high honor that believers placed on being buried near a church. Interments began in 1735 and continued until 1783, when a new law forbade most burials within the city. Today, the cathedral’s catacombs house the remains of more than 11,000 persons. 960 1280

Neil Girling, flickr  

St. Paul’s Catacombs

St. Paul’s Catacombs

St. Paul’s Catacombs, outside of Mdina, Malta, are a series of underground galleries and tombs that date from the fourth to the ninth centuries A.D. Intriguingly, the 24 catacombs, which cradle the tombs of more than 1,000 dead, show evidence of pagan, Jewish and Christian burials side-by-side, with no clear divisions. The excavation of the catacombs began in the late 1800s, under the guidance of a Maltese archaeologist and author. The site is now managed by a national agency, with 2 catacombs open to the public. 960 1280

Ian Lloyd, flickr   

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (“Mound of Shards”) are a series of tombs in Alexandria, Egypt, that reach a depth of 100 feet. In the 2nd century A.D., they were built for a wealthy family … then forgotten until 1900, when a donkey fell into the access shaft. Human and animal remains have since been found, along with 3 sarcophagi. The catacombs’ name derives from visitors who used to visit the tombs and bring food in terra cotta jars to eat while there. They didn’t wish to bring the containers back home from this place of death, so they would break them … leaving shards behind. 960 1280

thecrawfordsphotos, flickr  

Sedlec Ossuary

Sedlec Ossuary

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small chapel in the Czech Republic that happens to have a whole lot of skeletons -- between 40,000 and 70,000, in fact. Some bones are arranged to form decorations in the chapel, including this chandelier of bones. The ghoulish designs are the handiwork of a 19th-century woodcarver who had been hired by an aristocratic family to arrange the bones, which had been interred in the ossuary since 1511. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hallstatt Bone House

Hallstatt Bone House

Some visitors find the Bone House in Hallstatt, Austria, unexpectedly beautiful. We just find it creepy. The small chapel is home to a ghoulish display of 1,200 skulls. It came about in the 12th century, when the neighboring cemetery became filled to capacity. Cremation was forbidden, so bodies would be buried for about 15 years, then exhumed and placed in the chapel. Here, skulls are painted with a floral crown – a practice that began around 1720, in a gesture akin to placing flowers on a grave. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Skull Chapel

Skull Chapel

The Skull Chapel in Czerma, Poland, was built in 1776 by a local priest. The chapel serves as the mass grave for nearly 25,000 people who died during the Thirty Years War, 3 Silesian Wars (between Prussia and Austria), as well as from cholera outbreaks and hunger. The priest led the effort to collect the remains and put them in the chapel. The walls and basement are filled with skulls and bones; the remains of those who built the chapel are placed in the center of the church and on the altar. 960 1280

Merlin, Wikimedia Commons  

Capela dos Ossos

Capela dos Ossos

The Capela dos Ossos, or Chapel of Bones, in Évora, Portugal, gets its name from the human skulls and bones that cover its interior walls. The chapel was built in the 1500s by a Franciscan monk, who wanted his fellow monks to meditate hard on life’s transient nature. That message is driven home by some 5,000 skeletons, collected from nearby churches, as well as the words by the chapel’s entrance: “We, the bones that are here, await yours.” 960 1280

ceg, flickr  

Skull Tower

Skull Tower

In the early 1800s, Serbian rebels stood up to the Ottoman Empire. The Skull Tower was later built using the skulls of Serbs killed during a battle in 1809. In all, 952 skulls were collected and mounted on a tower as a warning to whoever opposed the empire. The tower stood in the open air until liberation of the area in southern Serbia in 1878. By then, much of the tower had eroded. In 1892, donations from all over Serbia led to the construction of a chapel, built around 58 skulls that still remained. 960 1280

Magalie L'Abbe, flickr  

13 Photos
Toronto Zombie Walk

Toronto Zombie Walk

A participant in Toronto’s annual Zombie Walk enjoys a tasty hand sandwich. This year the walking dead attempted to break a world record and learn to save a life with CPR training by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As they put it, “zombies need to plan for the future too!” 960 1280

JWJensen through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

Pittsburgh Zombie Fest

Pittsburgh Zombie Fest

The West End Village is flooded with the undead on “World Zombie Day.” Free to the public, zombies were asked to donate non-perishable food items for the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. In 2007, Pittsburgh had a Guinness World Record-breaking attendance of 1,028 attendants. 960 1280

Angela Rocco Photography c/o Clownhouse Productions  

San Francisco Zombie Walk

San Francisco Zombie Walk

An innocent “victim” is set upon by bloodthirsty zombies during San Francisco’s annual zombie walk. Each year the community has one goal: “Absolute zombie domination.” 960 1280

Brian Schulman through the Flickr Creative Commons  

Chicago Zombie March

Chicago Zombie March

These zombie walkers in Chicago’s annual parade seem pretty cheerful for undead people. Over the summer, the fifth annual zombie march took place in Millenium Park starting at The Bean. 960 1280

Eric Ingram through the Flickr Creative Commons  

Zombie Walk Detroit

Zombie Walk Detroit

“World Zombie Day” takes place every October in Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood. The fifth annual Walk Against Hunger returns to Grant Park in Royal Oak, thanks to the “bloody-the-lawn-all-you-want” policy. 960 1280

Technochick through the Flickr Creative Commons  

London Pub Crawl

London Pub Crawl

For the Brits, celebrating World Zombie Day takes place in the form of a pub crawl through central London ending with a midnight screening of “Shaun of the Dead” at the Leicester Square theater. 960 1280
Philly Zombie Prom

Philly Zombie Prom

This handsome couple found true zombie love at Philadelphia’s 2009 zombie walk. Looks like they should be vying for the title of Zombie King and Queen at the annual Halloween prom. 960 1280

SapphireBlue through the Flickr Creative Commons  

Seattle’s Red, White & Dead

Seattle’s Red, White & Dead

Seattle’s annual zombie walk has become one of the world’s largest, with over 2,405 participating in the Fremont flash mob this past July. 960 1280

Russel Bernice through the Flickr Creative Commons  

Stiges Zombie Walk

Stiges Zombie Walk

Sponsored by Jack Daniels, this event has become a highlight of the Stiges Film Festival in Spain. 960 1280

Rumikel through the Flickr Creative Commons  

Stockholm Zombie Walk

Stockholm Zombie Walk

Zombie walks have become a worldwide phenomenon. The Swedish capital’s streets are flooded with blood and guts during the annual zombie walk. 960 1280

Pelle Sten, flickr   

Mexico’s Zombie Walk

Mexico’s Zombie Walk

Mexico City broke the world record for the largest zombie gathering in 2011, when Guinness officially counted 9,806 participants, surpassing the previous record-holder Asbury Park, NJ. 960 1280

Munir Hamdan, flickr  

New Jersey Zombie Walk

New Jersey Zombie Walk

“Rise and walk” to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the apocalypse in Asbury Park, NJ. Since its inception in 2008, the event has nearly tripled in size. 960 1280

Bob Jagendorf, flickr  

Brisbane Zombie Walk

Brisbane Zombie Walk

Trying to top past success, this year’s event will be a Zombie Festival in Victoria Park in Spring Hill, Queensland and hopes to raise more than $24,000 for Brain Foundation. 960 1280

Mark C-F, flickr  

18 Photos
Photo courtesy of Andrew Zimmern

Photo courtesy of Andrew Zimmern

Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern shows off his feminine side for this Halloween celebration. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Anthony Melchorri

Anthony Melchorri

It looks as though Anthony Melchiorri of Hotel Impossible has his work cut out for him with this gruesome staff. 960 1280

Anthony Melchorri  

Bert Kreischer

Bert Kreischer

Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer gets back to his Florida roots with this full-length gator costume. 960 1280

Bert Kreischer  

Don Wildman

Don Wildman

"Sometimes, even a chip bowl can be used as a Halloween costume," says Mysteries at the Museum host Don Wildman. We’d love to know the mystery behind this story, Don. 960 1280

Don Wildman  

Kinga Philipps

Kinga Philipps

Kinga Philipps shows off her own Wild Side as a 1-woman wolf pack on this Halloween night. Watch Kinga’s wild adventures in the video web series The Wild Side With Kinga Philipps. 960 1280

Kinga Philipps  

Marianela Pereyra

Marianela Pereyra

When she’s not scoping out the world’s best beaches for Travel Channel, host Marianela Pereyra prepares for the always-impending zombie apocalypse. 960 1280

Marianela Pereyra  

Shane Reynolds

Shane Reynolds

Top 10 Locals List host Shane O really got into the spirit at the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. 960 1280

Shane Reynolds  

You don't want to mess with “Shaun of the Dead,” aka Aaron Sagers, host of Paranormal Paparazzi. 960 1280

  

Halloween is a family affair for Summer Hull (Mommy Points), TravelChannel.com's family travel deals guru. 960 1280

  

Who is this lovely geisha? Our very own Samantha Brown. 960 1280

  

Andrew models his new look at the World Body Painting Festival in Austria. 960 1280

  

Nick dresses up as the exact thing he hunts for -- a ghoulish ghost. 960 1280

  

Even at a young age, Aaron had a fondness for all things ghastly, including Dracula. 960 1280

  

Sam Brown proves once again that she'll do anything for a laugh. 960 1280

  

Don Wildman

Don Wildman

Don Wildman channels his inner hippie for this groovy Halloween costume. 960 1280

Don Wildman  

Amy Allen

Amy Allen

The Dead Files' Amy Allan, and her husband Matt, transformed into a vampire and skeleton for this Halloween bash. 960 1280

Amy Allan  

Jack Maxwell

Jack Maxwell

Can you guess which one of these ghoulish figures is Booze Traveler host Jack Maxwell? 960 1280

Jack Maxwell  

Jack Maxwell

Jack Maxwell

If you guessed the middle one, you were right! You’re not so scary without the mask, Jack! 960 1280