With its history of spurned lovers, tortured artists, revolution and poverty, gay Paris hasn’t always been so jolly. Home of such shrouded and shadowy figures as the Phantom of the Opera, the Man in the Iron Mask and the Vampire of Montparnasse, it could well be the perfect spot for thrill-seekers and fans of the paranormal. Trips to Paris are a great way to immerse yourself in history, and all the delightful thrills that come along with it. Read on, if you dare, to uncover some of the French capital’s creepiest corners…
Get off the Metro at Denfert-Rochereau and just across the road, you’ll see an unassuming green shed. The entrance might not look like much, but, rest assured, this marks the gate to a chilling underground world of death that is often said to be haunted. The Paris Catacombs stretch for miles, the walls gruesomely decorated with the human remains exhumed from the city’s overflowing graveyards in the 1800s.
Be careful not to get lost; in 1793 Philibert Aspairt descended into this city of bones, only for his body to be discovered, 11 years later, in another part of the dungeon. The irony? His final resting place wasn’t even far from a passage back to the surface.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
A couple of minutes from the entrance to The Catacombs lies the largest cemetery in Paris. By day, the pretty cobbled boulevards of Pere Lachaise arecharmant, but by night, those 300,000 graves begin to feel terribly atmospheric.
Visitors have claimed to have seen Jim Morrison’s ghost by night, and with plenty macabre nooks and crannies amid the crumbling monuments, it’s easy to get a little spooked by this vast bone yard.
Le Manoir de Paris
This ultra-grand ‘haunted’ house in Paris is more theme park than genuine nightmare-maker, but it should still engender some chills, however controlled these might be. This creepy indoor tour traces Parisian terrors, from the story of the Nile crocodile mysteriously discovered in the city’s sewers, to La Voisin, a witch who held black mass in the Marais.
Over 400 people have chosen to fling themselves from this engineering marvel, including Princess Anna Troubetzkoy, who is said to haunt its windswept iron ligaments. There are many other legends surrounding the tower, including one of an angry lover who flung his true love from the top when she spurned his proposal, whose screams are reportedly still audible to visitors today.
Photo Credit: Image by Racael Alter, used under the Creative Commons license.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post