By Rebecca Drew
HORRIFYING pictures and video footage showing the moment an urban explorer came across human corpses left to rot in an underground mausoleum have come to light.
The creepy images reveal a series of empty and inhabited caskets, a map of the underground structure and the chapel room where families would lay their loved ones to rest. One shot even shows cupboards still stocked with embalming powder whilst another shows the yellowish skeleton remains.
The pictures were taken at the Memorial Mound, Bessemer, Alabama, USA which was opened by former gravedigger, Clyde Booth in 1992 as an alternative to graveyards which he witnessed were often neglected and left to deteriorate.
An urban explorer known only as Bullet captured the incredible scenes using a Nikon 7000, a camera he’s used for four years now.
“Clyde Booth used to dig graves as a teenager in Kentucky with his uncle. He witnessed first hand the neglect that occurred at graveyards, from deteriorating caskets to unkempt grounds,” said Bullet.
“Since 1969, Booth studied ancient burial sites such as mounds and the catacombs of Rome. The fact that the mounds and catacombs still existed today amazed Booth. He wanted to create a burial site that integrated both these concepts.
“In 1992, he opened Memorial Mound in Bessemer, Alabama. Built on sixteen-acres, the foundation rests eight feet below the ground. Instead of being buried in the ground as in conventional cemeteries, caskets were placed on metal racks in a vast, warehouse-like room, and stacked up to eight levels high.
“Grieving visitors couldn’t enter the room where the caskets were stored, but were allowed to lay flowers on the large earthen mound, place a bronze memorial on a marble wall inside the structure or even call up a biography of the deceased on a computer.
“Booth died in 2009 at the age of 89 of a heart attack, leaving his estate in the hands of his guardian.
“It wasn’t long before the building was ransacked, including a skull which had become missing from one of the bodies.
“In January 2015, AL.com became aware of the facility, and reported it to the authorities. The remains of one infant and seven adults were removed by the Bessemer Police Department, and the building secured.
“It still amazes me that something like this could occur. This type of stuff happens here in the US, which many people find it hard to believe.
“For example, The Morning Glory Scandal happened in Jacksonville in 1988, which involved ‘burying’ bodies by stacking them in closets inside of the funeral home. While this led to more regulation in the funeral industry, stuff like this still happens.”
It was pitch black inside the mound when Bullet and his friends went to explore and the biggest problem they had was manoeuvring with their flashlights.
“People can’t believe that bodies can be left behind in an abandoned building, especially in the United States,” he added.
“There were more bodies up in the caskets above but we could not reach them. Some friends and I tried reporting it to the local police but they never responded.
“It wasn’t until another friend of mine reported it to the FBI citing graverobbers that something was finally done. By then, someone had stolen the skull from the human remains you see in the photos.”
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