SPOOKY PARIS


A GUIDE TO THE HAUNTED PLACES OF PARIS


Throughout France, tales abound of murder, mystery and ghostly hauntings. Paris has its fair share of spookiness.


Palace and gardens of Versailles
An easy one for starters: The Palace of Versailles is haunted by one of France’s most famous queens, Marie Antoinette, beheaded during the French Revolution. There are numerous reported sightings of her ghost wandering the gardens, or in her royal bedchamber.

Père Lachaise cemetery
Also on the predictable list, but a cemetery is a good place to visit if you’re looking for ghosts. Opened in 1804, Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris has more than 300,000 tombs and graves and is the final resting place of many famous people including Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Molière and Marcel Proust. Visitors report eerie feelings and ghostly apparitions – ghosts that seem to like the limelight are reportedly Chopin (whose headstone is invariably decorated with flowers placed by visitors), and Jim Morrison, the American singer, songwriter, and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.

Paris catacombs
Beneath the streets of Paris is one of the eeriest places in France – the Paris catacombs. Opened in the 18th century, the catacombs are one of the largest graveyards on record, containing the remains of over 6 million people. It is a maze of dark passageways with walls lined with skulls and skeletons that is enough to give anyone a fright. 

Le Musée des Vampires
Le Musée des Vampires is possibly the only museum anywhere dedicated to vampires. It is a private institution run by vampirologist Jacques Sirgent, and is packed with grisly paraphernalia collected from some of the internet’s odder websites, as well as local flea markets and even some graveyards. Some of the finest (and scariest) pieces in the collection include a mummified cat and an authentic, 19th-century vampire protection kit.

Jardin des Tuileries
The neatly trimmed box hedges, marble statues, and gurgling fountains give no hint that here lurks one of France’s most infamous spectres? The Red Man of the Tuileries, as he is known, a butcher murdered on the orders of Catherine de Médici for the crime of knowing too much about the private affairs of the crown.

Pet cemetery (Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques)
This somewhat bizarre 'tourist site' is located in Asnières-sur-Seine, a commune in the suburbs just to the northwest of Paris proper. Open in 1899, this is the last resting place of  dogs, cats, some horses, at least one monkey, a sheep, a hen and several other deceased pets.

 


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