When I heard that there were 6 million corpses buried under the city of Paris, I couldn’t believe it. I was sent to the French capital to cover the film “As Above, So Below,” which takes place in the cavernous network of catacombs, so I had to see them for myself.
The catacombs, which date back to the 18th century and are more than 180 miles long, are a popular tourist attraction. You can take official tours during regular business hours and learn all about the history in guidebooks.
But as it turns out, beyond the skulls and bones there’s a vibrant community of cataphiles. These young adventurers like to spend their free time hanging out in the catacombs after hours — a clandestine activity which can get you busted and fined by the police. Even though they are a secretive bunch, I was able to track down a few cataphiles who agreed to let me tag along for a night. For five hours we descended deep into these subterranean tunnels…and what I saw down there was amazing. Check out the video for a glimpse of this very real, very scary underworld.