At first glance, this run-down church in the Czech village of Lukova looks like a scene straight out of the second season of The Walking Dead. When the surviving crew stumbles upon a Church, they're shocked to see a congregation of walkers sitting still in front of a crucifix.
I get a similar feeling looking at this Czech church. Ghostly figures in shrouds line the old pews and sit with an eerie stillness with most of their heads cast down, presumably in prayer. Their veils cover any human expression, but these images reveal an unmistakably somber atmosphere.
It's a creepy setting that hides more than meets the eye, and while the story behind these ghosts is sufficiently chilling, it's also surprisingly uplifting. Here's how a community of ghosts became fixtures in this long-forgotten, abandoned church.
St. George's Church was left for ruin in 1968
When the roof collapsed during a funeral service, practitioners took this as a sign of bad luck.
Locals believed the church was cursed
And let it rot away for more than 30 years, leaving a mysterious shell of its former self.
But a young artist named Jakub Hadrava saw life after death
He wanted to remind people of all the activity that used to take place there.
Hadrava installed dozens of ghostly sculptures
The talented artist had a clear mission behind the freaky display:
I wanted to install the sculptures on the benches to remind people the church had a history and a past.
The hope is that this newly haunted attraction will drum up interest
Supposedly, hundreds of tourists have already made the trip to the remote countryside, and with enough donations, the church may be able to re-open.
Even if you're not invested in the goal, this place looks fascinating
You may know that they're statues, but they have an unearthly lifelike quality that manages to trick you into chills.
Only time will tell if their prayers will be heard
These ghosts are just waiting for you to listen.
It's really saying something that all these photos were taken in the daytime and still provide an unsettling mood. I can't imagine what being in this place, alone, at night would be like. I guess we'll have to make the trip to find out.