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We have learned of a tragic and disturbing development involving a U.K. church (that doubles as a tourist attraction). Kent Online reports that thieves absconded with 21 skulls stored in the basement of St. Leonard’s Church.
The craniums were on display in the church’s ossuary (which is a nice word for bone chamber). Similar to the Paris Catacombs, the house of worship holds a surplus of unburied human remains from the distant past. Thousands of skulls have been peacefully resting there for hundreds of years.
The remnants are believed to have been disrupted when the church grounds were dug up during a renovation about 700 years ago. At that time, they were set aside and stored in the basement for safekeeping (and ultimately forgotten). There, they have remained for centuries.
In the years since the bones were stored in the basement, the ossuary has become something of a modern-day tourist attraction.
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What makes this development particularly disturbing is that the motivation behind the theft appears to be more than just run-of-the-mill mischief. Reverend Andrew Sweeney told Kent Online that he believes these were professional thieves with designs on selling the remains to ‘collectors’ on the black market.
“These people came with the right equipment to break the gate,” Sweeney said. “We believe they came specifically for the skulls. They didn’t take money from inside, and there was no vandalism. They just took the human skulls and left.”
Sweeney’s assumption was informed by what the vandals didn’t take.
“We believe they came specifically for the skulls, they didn’t take money from inside, and there was no vandalism,” Sweeney said. “They just took the human skulls and left.”
Stay tuned to the site for more Horror IRL as it develops.
Tags: Horror IRL