Janna Guay CTC MCC CSS
The strange and creepy Paris
Not a romantic? No worries...There’s almost no end to the ways Paris can conjure up a sweet, fun time. With a city as imbued with history as Paris, there are bound to be tales of death, intrigue and ghostly encounters. Take a tour of Paris’ haunted destinations -- the stories might surprise you.
Despite its status as one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre’s history isn’t commonly known. Beneath the galleries and the famous glass pyramid lies a 13th-century, cylindrical dungeon, where many visitors snapping photos have caught mysterious orbs on film.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise:
The largest of Paris’ cemeteries, Père Lachaise is known around the world as the final resting place of musical greats like Frederic Chopin, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison and literary giants such as Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein. Whereas most French graveyards are laid out in a neat, geometric style, the central portion of Père Lachaise is a maze of winding paths, lined on both sides by elaborate tombs and a host of religious and abstract statues. On a quiet morning, it’s easy to lose your way and stumble across something unexpected in the mist.
Underneath the streets of Paris is a 3,000-kilometer network of bone-filled tunnels, a so-called Empire of Death. 130 steps lead you down from the light into this dark, cold and damp world. Throughout the haunted Catacombs, the remains of more than 6 million people lie piled up on top of one another, sometimes haphazardly and sometimes in careful, chilling displays, with quotes and lines of poetry contemplating our shared ending interspersed among them. The official route takes around 45 minutes to complete, leaving daring visitors staggered by the atmosphere.
Le Manoir de Paris:
A combination of a museum of the macabre and a haunted house, Le Manoir de Paris provides visitors with two floors of spooks and thrills. With changing themes that drag up the darkest parts of Paris’ long, brutal past, the attraction and its actors are hellbent on terrifying all who pass through its halls. Creepy in a manufactured sense, sure, but an adrenaline-inducing and hilarious way to spend an afternoon with friends nonetheless.
Cimetière de Montmartre:
The last of Paris’ major burial sites on our list, the Cimetière de Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement contains the graves of Edgar Degas, Alexandre Dumas, Émile Zola (though his body was moved to the Panthéon 6 years after his death), and the singer Dalida. This cemetery has an even gorier history than any of the others in the city. Once a gypsum quarry, it was used as a mass grave site during the French Revolution.