If you’ve been playing World of Warcraft for long enough, you’ve probably heard stories about datamined and cut content over the years – much of which has been repurposed eventually. Take the Dragon Isles, for instance, which were a zone originally cut from the game way back in the original game’s alpha, but which are now the elaborate setting for the most recent Dragonflight expansion. And now, Blizzard may have just teased the canonization of one of its most notorious, creepy pieces of cut content: the Karazhan Crypts.
The Karazhan Crypts were a badly-kept secret from way back in original WoW. It was a massive, hidden area behind the Karazhan tower that, while gated off, could be easily accessed by players back in the day who were savvy enough to clip their way in. The crypt included areas with creepy names like the Well of the Forgotten and the Pit of Criminals, and was full of piles of bones and dreary scenery. The area was most notorious for a massive water-filled cavern known as the Upside-Down Sinners, which featured dozens of dead bodies chained by their feet to the floor and floating, upside down, in the pool.
Dozens of articles and videos have catalogued the bizarre area over the years, but it was never officially opened, nor was its purpose ever fully explained by the developers. The crypt was eventually officially opened to players pursuing an extremely obscure and complex optional puzzle in World of Warcraft: Legion, but apart from picking up a quest reward, there wasn’t much else going on there. That may soon be about to change, though.
During a deep dive into upcoming changes to World of Warcraft: Classic, Blizzard may have just teased the official return of the Karazhan Crypts. The tease came at the very end of a discussion on the upcoming Season of Discovery, which sees Classic classes and raids get unusual revamps, such as a reimagined Blackfathom Deeps raid challenged by tank warlocks and healer mages. At the tail end of the panel, the final slide on screen showed three teases for what appeared to be future Season of Discovery raids or dungeons: Gnomeragan, Scarlet Monestary, and finally a screenshot showing a dim hallway labeled “Pauper’s Walk”, which was the name of an area in the unfinished Karazhan Crypt.
Though it’s not confirmed exactly what Blizzard will do with the Crypts, the most obvious speculative guess would be that Karazhan Crypts are being reworked into a dungeon or raid for a future Season of Discovery, and will finally let players explore a finished version of them that’s full of content. It’s possible this is either a standalone instance, or that it’s part of a larger, reworked Karazhan – we won’t know until Blizzard shares more. But regardless of how it’s handled, it’s cool to see this creepypasta cut content be given a second life after so many years.
It’s been a big day for World of Warcraft, with Blizzard announcing not one, not two, but three upcoming expansions at BlizzCon 2023 as a trilogy called The Worldsoul Saga. The first of these, The War Within, is expected out next year. Meanwhile, World of Warcraft: Classic is introducing the Cataclysm expansion next year alongside a new Season of Discovery that will see new twists on existing classes, raids, and bosses. You can catch up on everything announced right here.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].