In 14th century,a great plaque (Black Death Pandemic)that occured in Europe caused death of so many residents of Venzone,a village in Italy.There was no room in the cemetery to bury all of them.42 bodies were Put in coffins and stacked up in the basement of a church (Michael Chapel).


In 1647,the church was being enlarged and the bodies had to be moved.When the coffins were opened,to the shock of the residents,the bodies were naturally mummified.They therefore believed that God had sent their ancestors back to protect their village as they had never seen mummified bodies.They took the corpses home and started living with them .They treated them specially.They sat with them at dining tables and even took them out for fresh air.


In 1950s,an American photographer was lost in the Alpine mountains and needed a place to rest for the night .He entered Venzone village and came across this tradition .He took pictures of the villagers with the mummies.

In 1976,a catastrophic earthquake occured in Friuli and destroyed some of the mummies.Only 15 of them remained undestroyed .They are kept in the crypt of the Cemetery Chapel of Saint Michael.

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