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This Group Is Mapping Out The Plague Pits Of London...Bring Out Ya Dead!

NOVEMBER 9, 2015  —  By Mike Cahill  
Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill

Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts.

London is one of the world's greatest cities, and it's a must-see place for anyone who loves to travel. Part of London's allure comes from its rich history. This history is brought to life in the city's many beautiful buildings and attractions.

However, the darker side of London's history isn't quite as visible. Take, for example, the plague pits that are hidden underneath the city.

Back when the bubonic plague ravaged London, those who succumbed to the disease were buried in mass graves.

Most of the pits in London date back to the last major outbreak of the disease, which happened in 1665. It's estimated that in one year, this illness claimed the lives of over 100,000 Londoners. In other words, it killed a quarter of the population.

Because the streets were overrun with bodies, authorities had to do something drastic to clean up the city and keep the disease from spreading.

Their solution? The creation of mass graves.

Deep holes were dug in fallow fields, and they were filled almost as quickly as workers dug them. Despite the fact that these pits held thousands of bodies, they were usually left unmarked.

As London continued to grow, many of the plague pits were forgotten.

A group of historians is working to map out the locations of London's plague pits. Their map looks like a morbid version of what you'd find on Google.

If you visit London today, you'll see that playgrounds, parks, and other facilities that people use every day sit atop many of these pits.

As they say, the show must go on. Working around the buried bodies of plague victims is just another thing that modern Londoners have to deal with.

(via Atlas Obscura)

I wonder if having a plague pit on your property brings down the price because of the inherent creepiness, or drives it up because of the historical significance.