Straight out of one of the climatic scenes in the movie Poltergeist, human remains that were supposed to have been re-interred in the Paris catacombs were unearthed under the basement of a Paris supermarket.
On the corner of the Rue Réaumur and the Boulevard de Sébastopol is the Monoprix supermarket. In January 2015, a mass grave was discovered while the cellars were being renovated. It was lined with 316 medieval skeletons.
Nearby there was a medieval hospital called the Hôpital de la Trinité, and it's believed this was part of the cemetery where patients were buried.
Isabelle Abadie led the team who excavated the find. She said, “There are babies, there are young children, there are teenagers, there are adults, men, women, elderly people. This was a mortality crisis, that much is clear."
Some graves had 5 bodies stacked in them, and the main pit had 175 skeletons aligned head to toe. Other graves were just full of jumbled bones, indicating perhaps this took place during an epidemic when there was no time to arrange the dead.
Without the results of DNA testing or carbon dating, it 's unknown if they were the victim of plague or famine. What is known is that violence was not committed against them since they bore no trace of trauma.
During the late 1340s, Paris, like most of Europe was visited by the plague, and the city lost over a third of its population. During this time the Hôpital de la Trinité was situated outside Paris' city limits. Besides the sick, it served as a shelter for the poor and pilgrims.
In the late 18th century most medieval cemeteries were transferred to the Paris catacombs, but during the chaos of the French Revolution it's possible that when it was dismantled it was simply covered up by a new building.
Felix Potin opened a store at the site in 1860. In the 1990s, the location became the Monoprix.
After this discovery how many customers of the Monoprix store made the connection between cold shivers, feelings of being watched or even feeling sick with what lay beneath their feet as they innocently walked back and forth making purchases?
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer