SkullStore Oddity Shop: here you can buy a human skull!

The Prehistoria Natural History Centre is one of a kind in Canada as they claim they are the only free conservation and natural history educational centre in Toronto. However, they’re better known as the SkullStore, one of the largest oddity shops in Canada. This curious and macabre oddities shop in Toronto sells dead people…at least, part of them! So, If you need a real human skull in Canada, there is a place to get it. Driving along Weston Road, a quiet area northwest of downtown Toronto, you’ll see so many…

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Skulls and bones at San Francisco Monastery catacombs in Lima, Peru

We are in Lima, Peru. Franciscan Monateries depend a lot on donations made by the well-to-do patrons and the San Franciso Monastery is no exception. It is located near the Plaza Mayor (main square) in Lima. There are lot of paintings along the inside corridors of the monastery, and interestingly enough, some of the faces on the paintings have been erased or removed. According to a local source, the figures in the paintings are those of generous patrons and donors. If the patron stops his donation to the monastery, his…

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Rome: Here lies the head of the patron saint of lovers, St. Valentine.

We are in Rome again, and even in the Italian capital there are some singular “oddities”. After the doll hospital, I talk you about a skull that resides in a glass reliquary in a small basilica, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, surrounded by flowers. Lettering painted across the forehead identify the owner as none other than of the patron saint of lovers, St. Valentine. However, knowing just exactly whose skull it is, of course, is complicated. First off, there was more than one Catholic saint known as Saint…

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Matera, Italy: Chiesa del Purgatorio

We are in Matera, the capital of culture 2019: skulls and skeletons are omnipresent in this church dedicated to souls trapped in purgatory. The Church of Purgatory, in italian “Chiesa del Purgatorio” was built between 1725 and 1747 and It, like other “purgatory churches,” was constructed as a place for people to pray for the souls trapped in limbo between heaven and hell. Located just outside the iconic Sassi di Matera, this 18th-century baroque church is curiously adorned with numerous skulls, skeletons, and other death-related decor. On the upper part…

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The Neapolitan Cult of the Dead at the ossuary of Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco.

In 1274 Purgatory was formally accepted as Catholic doctrine and defined by the Church as the place of purification through which souls pass on their way to paradise. Some decades later, the Council of Florence added that the suffrages of the faithful still living were efficacious in bringing souls in purgatory relief from such punishment, and in 1476 Pope Sixtus IV confirmed that indulgences might be earned by the living for souls in purgatory, thus shortening individual souls’ time there. At the beginning of 1600 a group of Neapolitan noblemen…

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Switzerland: Leuk’s secret Charnel House~

Can you imagine? For centuries no one knew there were hundreds of bones and precious artwork hidden beneath this church in Switzerland! The quiet streets of the village of Leuk reveal little of its history, but a walk inside its medieval structures is an interesting step into a mysterious past. Leuk is a small town in Switzerland’s Rhone Valley mostly known for the thermal spa to the north, but the town’s history dates back around a very, very long time ago. It seems that the first church was built around…

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

The town of Hallstatt it’s the typical Austrian town, located on a beautiful forested mountain, next to a beautiful blue lake, with nice houses dated back 19th-century. All nice, but the room filled with skulls it’s definitely creepy. Behind the Hallstatt’s Catholic parish Church, near the 12th-century St.Micheal’s Chapel, in a small and lovely cared cemetery there is the Hallstatt Beinhaus (or Charnel House). A small chapel has been filled with over 1,200 skulls. Skull painting was carried out especially during the 19th century and belonged to a cultural area…

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