Last Look

Inside Skull and Bones

Rare photos of the interior of Yale’s most storied “tomb.”

These photos, of unknown date, are likely from a long-ago break-in at the Skull and Bones hall. They appear to show rooms in the rear block of the tomb, which was added in 1883. Though the interior is kept very secret today, it wasn’t always so. The Denver Tribune-Republican described this new wing on April 25, 1886: “It is nicely fitted up, the walls are appropriately frescoed in lavender, maroon, and chrome tints with skulls and cross-bones in the panels.”


  • Joseph McCabe
    Joseph McCabe, 11:49am May 08 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate


  • Robert Parker
    Robert Parker, 12:09pm May 08 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Even having never been inside it, officially or unofficially, I dispute the validity of these; I do not know that the tomb has the floorspace much less the floor plan to house such things. I've been around it, in the back yard, on the roof in broad daylight even, and those are pictures of a much bigger facility; by my assessments, anyway.

    And I have seen pictures taken in a 1980's break-in, and what I saw looked *nothing* like this. More German, more human skulls and bones, no prong after prong of antlered deer. What we see here is basically a hunting lodge; the tomb (at least in the 80's) was significantly more homoerotic. And necro-erotic, frankly.

  • Doctor Who
    Doctor Who, 7:13pm May 08 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Robert Parker,

    It's bigger on the inside.


  • Mark Branch
    Mark Branch, 5:29pm May 09 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    The tomb is actually surprisingly large. The rear wing, where these photos were apparently taken, is actually wider than the two wings that compose the street fa├žade,and it is quite deep. Check out this bird's eye view:

  • Alex Clayton
    Alex Clayton , 11:43am May 10 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I hate to douse everyone's excitement, but these are photos from Deer Island. The main hall burned back in the 50's. My father and grandfather worked there for years and have many photos from the interior of the buildings. Most of what is there now is burned or abandoned, but in it's hey day it was pretty opulent.

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