ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

The horrors that lurk beneath us rarely cross our minds, and that is a fatal error.

There are terrifying grottos of abominations lurking under every major city just waiting to send shivers up your spine.

Creep through our gallery of the 10 most terrifying underground odditys and discover which subterranean nightmares you've walked above.


Capuchin Crypt - Rome, Italy

Ah Rome! The home of delicious espresso, Trevi Fountain and mummified monks standing upright with their mouths open in an eternal scream!

The Capuchin Crypt is the horrifying basement dwelling child of the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, and it's been gobbling up mortal remains since 1631.

Why it's terrifying: A plaque in the room of 3 skeletons reads "What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be...". Reassuring.


Disused Underground Stations - London, England

The London underground map might be iconic, but it is not entirely truthful. There are over 40 abandoned tube stations sinisterly lurking under the streets of the UK capital.

Why it's Terrifying: Looks like Creep could actually happen...


West Norwood Cemetery - London, England

Of course, there are more traditional lairs for ghouls in London.

The vaults in West Norwood Cemetery look like the world's shabbiest vampire hotel, with its rows of severely dilapidated coffins. But somehow, I don't think anyone will be springing back to life here any time soon...

Why it's terrifying: Two words: Disintegrating coffins.


Nuclear Bunker - Berlin, Germany

If anything will make you want to sprint towards the sweet annihilation at the epicenter of a nuclear explosion, it's this horrifying nuclear bunker in West Berlin.

Constructed during the height of the Cold War, this fallout shelter was designed to harbor the masses so they could live out their last days packed together like sardines in miserable agony.

Don't worry though, the pastel green wall paint was specifically chosen by psychologists for its calming, stress-reducing qualities! Don't you feel better now?

Why it's terrifying: A staggering 3,000 people were supposed to cram into this airless hole.


The Catacombs - Paris, France

Underneath the footfalls of Paris' 12 million live residents, there are over 6 million dead ones gathering dust.

A sign reading; 'Stop! Here lies the Empire of Death' greets intrepid visitors to these claustrophobic underground passages, and it shouldn't be taken lightly.

The 400 miles of eerie subterranean tunnels in the catacombs are artfully mosaiced with human bones that were excavated from the city's over-saturated graveyards in 1790.

Why it's terrifying: There are many cases of 'urban explorers' getting hopelessly lost in the maze of passages and unintentionally adding their own bones to the pile.


The Shanghai Tunnels - Portland, U.S.A.

Portland, Oregon, might be known for its troupes of vegan, cupcake-munching hipsters, but it used to be famous for something even darker.

This sprawling network of pitch black tunnels was used for the practice of 'Shanghaiing' - a criminal activity where able-bodied men were kidnapped from inns and bars to work on the open seas. Wages not included.

Why it's terrifying: Trap doors known as "deadfalls" were used to drop unsuspecting victims into the Shanghai Tunnels. They were often never seen again.


The Labyrinths of Buda Castle, Budapest, Hungary

The labyrinth of Buda castle has a grizzly history, so a lot of screams have echoed around these eerie underground archways.

These unique cave formations were used as a torture chamber and a prison in the 15th century, and their most famous captive? Vlad Tepes, who also goes by the name of Dracula.

Why it's terrifying: Didn't you hear me when I said Dracula was imprisoned here?!


Nuremberg Dungeon - Nuremberg, Germany

The Nuremberg Dungeons are directly below the majestic Old Town Hall, lending a whole new meaning to the phrase 'skeletons in the closet.'

These compact cellar archways were whipped up in the 14th century to serve as cells for prisoners awaiting execution. Oh, and for torture of course. Those Medievals loved a good torture.

Why it's terrifying: Legend has it that some of the deep scratches in the walls were carved out by prisoners' fingernails.


The Jersey War Tunnels - St. Lawrence, Jersey

Everything about the Jersey War Tunnels is horrifying. The underground passages on this small island off the coast of England were constructed by Nazi troops when the island was taken by opposition forces.

Prisoners of war from the Eastern front were used to carve through the solid rock to create bunkers and an underground hospital for their Nazi captors.

Why it's terrifying: Rumor has it that those who died on the job were simply incorporated into the walls.


South Bridge Vaults -Edinburgh, Scotland

The South Bridge Vaults were used to store items such as beer barrels, cobblers stock and the bodies of serial killers' victims.

The infamous Burke and Hare stashed their victims here after slaughtering them to provide cadavers for medical experiments in the 1800s. The Vaults also provided housing for the city's poorest, so the walls here have seen tens of thousands of disease-ridden deaths.

Numerous ghostly voices have been recorded here including screaming children and a man reading what sounds like the last rites. How comforting!

Why it's terrifying: The South Bridge Vaults have the dubious pleasure of being the most haunted place in Scotland.


How many of these cities have you visited and strolled around, oblivious to the horrors below your feet?


Which underground location do you find the most bone chilling?


Latest from our Creators