As I said... Catholics invented it.
Well, they didn't invent the macabre or scary - they celebrated it, they enshrined it, in a sense. "O death! Where is thy sting?"
Nothing to be afraid of then my pretty ...
Museum of the Holy Souls.
Fr. Z always writes about this one - but if you don't know what it's about, go here.
Perhaps the most famous ossuary chapel in the world is in Rome.
The Capuchin Crypt is a small space comprising several tiny chapels located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, Italy. It contains the skeletal remains of 3,700 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their order.[ The Catholic order insists that the display is not meant to be macabre, but a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth and our own mortality.
Described by Frommer's as "one of the most horrifying images in all of Christendom", large numbers of the bones are nailed to the walls in intricate patterns, many are piled high among countless others, while others hang from the ceiling as light fixtures.
St. Catherine of Bologna
Body parts and incorrupt corpses.
I have a rather large collection of first class relics of saints and blessed - most are small pieces of bone. The hearts of saints, the heads and other body parts of saints have been enshrined in ornate reliquaries for centuries. Their bodies 'uncorrupt' or not, rest under altars for veneration. All altars in Catholic churches contain relics of the saints - this goes back to the days of the first martyrs.
Some corpses appear mummified - like St. Catherine's shown above. Age has done that. At one time she was as fresh looking and pretty as the day when they first exhumed her body. Even some Catholics get freaked out by things like this. I don't - but some people do.
Heart of St. John Vianney
The head of St. Catherine of Siena.
(The Dominicans in Rome have her body.)
See how fun it is to be Catholic?
Now capes are scary.