The 13th Floor

Teenagers Rescued After Three Terrifying Days in the Paris Catacombs

In a real-life horror story reminiscent of the film AS ABOVE SO BELOW, two teenagers had a nightmarish brush with death when they became lost and disoriented in the cold, black tunnels beneath the streets of Paris this week… surrounded for miles by the bones of the dead.

According to The Guardian, the teens — aged 16 and 17 — were rescued yesterday by a Paris fire service team after they had become lost in the seemingly endless subterranean maze, which has been prohibited from public entry for decades, apart from limited, closely-guided tours.

Image Credit: iStock/willosity

The teens were tracked down early Wednesday morning by rescue dogs, then taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated for hypothermia and dehydration. As of this writing there’s been no personal account of their experiences among the almost 200-mile network of tunnels — many of which are 100 feet below street level, and house the remains of nearly six million people.

Over the course of more than three centuries, countless numbers of people have ventured into the so-called “Empire of the Dead,” but several ill-fated adventurers — who either slipped in through the main entrance (Barrière d’Enfer, “Gate of Hell”), or one of several secret “unofficial” entry points said to connect to certain metro tunnels or city sewers — were never seen or heard from again.

Image Credit: iStock/BeccaVogt

Last year, we examined one of the most infamous tales of these explorers disappearing in the Paris Catacombs, which became the subject of a still-controversial documentary.