Posts Tagged ‘1700’s’

Hellstatt, Austria is a beautiful town area and sits on a forested mountain, with a blue lake and 19th Century Houses. There is one room some might not see that way, located behind the Catholic Church is the Hallstatt Beinhaus (a well tended cemetery), and there is a charnel house. A small building which has over 1200 skulls.

In the 1700’s the church began to dig up old graves, they needed the space for new burials. The bodies were around 10-15 years old and stacked in the charnel house, their skeletons were then bleached in the sun and family members would stack the bones next to their nearest kin.

In the 1720’s a tradition of painting the skulls with symbolic decorations started. The dates of birth and death, names and decorations helped keep their memory, if they could no longer keep their grave. The older skulls seem to have darker paint schemes and slowly the tradition died out.

Next to the cross, with a gold tooth, is the skull of a woman who died in 1983 with her last wish being to join the painted skulls. Placed in the Beinhaus in 1995 hers was the last to be added.

Hallstatt Beinhaus, an Austrian house of bones filled with hundreds of painted skulls.

https://www.hallstatt.net

 Hallstatt - Beinhaus 2a

Vancouver has an island with the HMCS anchored as a Canadian Naval Base, it’s a pretty looking island with a more sinister name, because there are tales of human sacrifice and slaughter attached to it.

Local legend has it that in the 1700’s two tribes of the North and South Salish tribe were at war, during one particularly fierce battle the Southern tribe took women, children and elders as hostages. They were marked for death, the Northern tribes had hoped for peaceful reconcile but they were cruelly slaughtered and more than 200 Northern warriors were killed.

After a while the stories were forgotten and it was a burial place for the Salish First Nations and then European settlers. John Morton was one of Vancouver’s first settlers to visit in 1862. He discovered 100’s of red cedar boxes tied up in the trees and one had fallen open, it revealed a pile of bones and a tassel of black hair.

The new settlers pushed the Salish away, they used the island and grounds for their own cemetery which meant they were disturbing native grounds. On the grounds they buried suicides, railway casualties, Chinese lepers, prostitutes and all manner of what might be unsavoury types. Victims of the Vancouver Fire and the smallpox epidemic were added there too.

Burials stopped in 1887, ghost strories did not. Tales of inhuman and blood-curdling screams being heard from the island have been recounted. Supposedly figures walking on the island in the fog, with red glowing eyes, are amongst the tales.

A01923 CVA 677 136 Deadman's Island 191.jpg
A01923 CVA 677 136 Deadman’s Island 191” by Unknown – This image is available from the City of Vancouver Archives under the reference
number CVA 677-136
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Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association fonds. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.