5 Metal-As-Hell Burial Sites You Can Actually Visit

5 Metal-As-Hell Burial Sites You Can Actually Visit

Death is a bit strange; while anyone with a functioning emotional processing network in their brain knows it’s something that’s emotionally devastating in personal experience, it’s also endlessly fascinating. There’s a reason half the best performing shows on Netflix are titled some variety of The ______ Murders, and podcasts about people getting chopped up are a dime a dozen.

Once death occurs, regardless of era, you’re naturally left with a societal question: What are we supposed to do with what is, scientifically, a pile of viscera and bone, but emotionally, the physical remnants of an important part of our life? We want to do something that combines the requisite amount of respect with the requisite amount of necessary housekeeping. You’re not leaving granny on the curb for the morning trash pickup, but you’re also hopefully not going all Ed Gein about it and propping her up in your living room like nothing happened.

Death also has a whole lot of spiritual power that fills any burial ground with a certain je ne sais ghost, and that’s intrinsically connected with the ritual of burial. Bury someone wrong? Haunted. Dig up someone who was buried right? Haunted. Achieve victory over someone who’s already a ghost but don’t follow the proper protocol for ghost-proofing their remains? Re-haunted.

Some resting places, whether it’s their location or general vibe, carry this ominous vibe in spades. To that end, here are five of the most metal burial sites you can visit…

Vatican Necropolis

Blue 439

I assume this persons wish was for a toddler to doodle all over their grave.

When you’re talking about the resting place of some of the most important, high-ranking members of the Catholic religion, a religion already known for a love of terrifying people, you know it’s gonna get spooky. Such is definitely the case with the Vatican Necropolis, an underground tomb below St. Peter’s Basilica. This necropolis has everything: the rumored burial ground of one of the original 12 apostles; being discovered accidentally while building a different tomb; being called a fucking necropolis. I feel like there’s zero chance there’s not additional Diablo 2 style levels beneath it, ending with some sort of Lich King confrontation. They literally have the alleged bones of St. Peter himself on display, which, while being Christian as hell, is also very, very metal.

Highgate Cemetery

Scott Wylie

Yeah, this seems like where you meet ghosts.

The most normal cemetery of the list, Highgate Cemetery in London is on here because it’s so quintessentially a capital C Cemetery, you’d think it was art-directed, not naturally occurring. Built in 1839 north of London, Highgate Cemetery quickly became a preferred point of internment for the recently deceased. Internationally notable people like Karl Marx were among those spilling their miasma within Highgate’s walls. Graves of all kinds dot Highgate’s landscape, showing styles of the times, including mausoleums and vaults among regular old graves. Couple this with a later bankruptcy in 1956 resulting in massive overgrowth, juicy rumors of satanists and specters, and you’ve got a real-life cemetery straight out of a Hellboy panel.

Catacombs of Paris


Good luck finding grandpa.

If there’s a textbook for proper handling of a body, the phrase “wall of skulls” probably isn’t in the index. Using any skeleton for a load-bearing portion of a structure’s architecture is generally something most people would associate with a prince of hell more than “gay paree.” Yet, once your hunger for baguettes and poor table service is sated, visitors to Paris can head down into the city’s famous catacombs — over a mile of tunnels lined with the calcium-rich remains of over six million previous Parisians. The walls of the catacombs are decorated with thousands of skulls, scapulas and everything in-between, as well as carved slabs containing poetry about the nature of death. Unsurprisingly, what resembles the world’s most macabre macaroni mosaic has been a popular tourist destination for over a century. 

Neptune Memorial Reef

Todd Murray

I dont know where I want to be buried, but it better have carved lions.

The Neptune Memorial Reef off the coast of Florida is an absolute infant compared to other cemeteries when it comes to age, created just a few years ago in 2007. What it lacks in storied history and a sufficient amount of time to build up ominous psychic energy, though, it makes back by nature of being sick as hell. It’s a location for those wishing to be buried at sea, but not in the ignominious manner of a couple Navy SEALs punting Osama bin Laden’s body off a boat in the Atlantic. Instead, newly dead admittees have their remains cremated and mixed with concrete, which is placed into the underwater cemetery, where they can be part of an aquatic landscape as filled with life as it is the dead. Don’t let that form an image of unpleasant sunken bollards in your mind though, as beauty’s given even shrift, with Florida artist Kim Brandell hired to design it. Visitors can dive down to the cemetery gates, guarded by a pair of carved lions, and observe all manner of marine life thriving among the memorials.

Sedlec Ossuary


All from Wayfair!

The Sedlec Ossuary, in the Czech Republic, makes the Catacombs of Paris look like a steward of hell’s starter home. Not in size, being a rather small chapel that wouldn’t harvest many second looks from the outside. But the interior? A demonstration of bonecraft that shows us an alternate timeline in which Martha Stewart studied necromancy. The church is filled with decorations made from carved human bones, created by woodcarver Francis Rint in 1870 in what must have been the world’s worst Fiverr post. Known as the “Church of Bones” it lives up to its name, containing everything from bone chains to bone chalices, a collection of objects reading like a satanic cult’s list of tax deductions. Most jaw-dropping of all, though, is a massive, functional chandelier made entirely of bones that contains every one of the 206 bones present in the human body.

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