If you're considering a trip into Paris' catacombs — don't. That's what TikToker Amanda Rollins (@americanrille) recommends in a viral clip detailing a singular, truly horrifying reason why ever venturing into the underground cemetery beneath the City of Light is a very, very bad idea.
It's worth clarifying that Amanda is specifically talking about folks who go into the "unofficial" section of the catacombs, i.e. the area closed to tourists. If you want to take a gander at what it looks like in person, then by all means check out the reinforced structures as part of an official tour that lets you see the famous ossuaries.
Rollins isn't the first person to advise against ever going into the catacombs — she even highlights another popular video from a fellow TikToker on the platform who explained why doing this is a bad idea.
However, Rollins explains that while the aforementioned social media user's reasoning for not going into the catacombs is sound, she left out a very important detail about the area that would probably keep most folks from sneaking out.
And it's that there are people who live down there. People who don't like it when outsiders come and visit.
"Let's talk about the catacombs and why she is 100% correct. You should never do that. So the entire city of Paris is sitting on top of an entire catacomb network. And the part that you visit for the museum is just one small little portion of the catacombs. That's the part that you're allowed to go in. That's the part that's reinforced."
She went on explaining why it's all right for folks to go into the tourist/visitor approved portion of the catacombs and why going off and venturing on your own is a very, very bad idea: "That's the part you go in with a tour guide it's safe you're allowed to do that. But there are catacombs under the entire city. And if you move to Paris, it will not take you very long to find somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody where the entrances are, how to get in."
She goes on to say that she knows where the entrances are herself. "And for me, for a long time I was like I wanna go in there I wanna go in there that was my plan. I literally bought a head lamp for that, like I bought a head lamp for the purpose of going into the catacombs and turns out, great purchase cause I use it all the time. But that's what I bought it for."
Amanda then re-focuses her attention back to the video warning from the fellow social media user and why it's such sound advice: "The reasons that the gives are they're huge, they span for literal miles, people get lost in there, like it's literally happened where people get lost and they die in there. It's not safe. You don't know where it's reinforced, it's just a risky thing to do and it's kind of stupid. Good reasons."
However, Amanda says that has even "better reasons" as to why people should avoid going into the catacombs: "So I dated a guy, a Parisian guy who grew up here and he's the type of guy who enjoys breaking the rules so he's definitely gone in there and he has friends who go in there and I had said to him I want to go in there and he's like I mean we could go but you can't go without me."
Amanda asked him why, "Here's what he explained to me so please for the love of God listen to this and don't ever try going in there. There's people that live in there. Full time. There's a community of people that live in the catacombs. Okay and they don't want tourists going in there whether it's tourists like Americans, tourists like French people, they don't want people going in there period."
Why he told me was there are people down there when you go in with your map, cause obviously you need your map to figure out where you're going because it's winding little corridors, you're gonna climb through water you're gonna get disgusting by the way, there's parts where you have to crawl, it's very confusing down there, right? And there's no cell service and it's just a risky situation."
She says all of this to highlight the importance of having your map on you at all times: "You need your map with you to know where the hell you're going. He said to me that there's people that live down there and what they will do is when they see you coming in with your map with your flashlights, here's what they'll do."
Amanda describes something that's straight out of a horror movie: "[They will] run up to you, grab your flashlight and grab your map and then run away. Do you understand what I'm saying to you? You go down with your little me with my little headlamp and my little map and I'm like whoo we're going on an adventure, which is illegal by the way, and then someone runs up to me, imagine, grabs my map out of my hand and my headlamp and I'm...just sat there going oh my God where do I go?"
She says as terrifying as it is to say and even think about, this sort of thing happens all the time: "It's horrible but like that happens. And that is horrifying. So that's why he said to me if we ever go you have to go with me because you need to go with someone who knows what they're doing and also like I know some of the people who, he's very indirect, I know people so like maybe he's friends with the snatchers I have no idea."
Amanda says that after learning about this snatch and grab technique employed by folks of who purportedly live in the catacombs, she didn't need to hear any more arguments as to why she should never traverse the literal underbelly of Paris in her life, ever.
"You're gonna get disgusting, you could die like just please don't ever do it. Please don't ever do it and no I will not...tell you where the entrances are. No. Never. There are other ways to have fun adventures in Paris. Go to Pere-Lachaise cemetery and try to summon the ghosts that live there that's way more fun I promise."