Halloween is just around the corner – let’s explore some haunted Paris facts!
With history comes hauntings, and Paris is no exception. With more than 2,000 years of recorded events, this city has seen more than its fair share of scare. If you want to freak yourself out before Halloween, Paris is the place to be.
Here’s a list of freaky facts and haunted Paris hangouts where you wouldn’t want to be alone…
Haunted Paris: The Catacombs
The Catacombs: a 300km labyrinth of burial tunnels that lie beneath Paris – the final resting place of over 6 million people. On a cold, November’s day in 1793, a hospital doorkeeper named Philibert Aspairt mysteriously disappeared. 11 years later, his body was found in the Catacombs just meters from the exit.
Paris has always been overpopulated, but this problem was at its worst in the 18th century when graveyards were literally overflowing with exposed corpses. Where better to move millions of bodies than to an underground, former mining network?
Not only are the Catacombs the creepiest place in Paris, but this ancient burial site may just be the most spine-chilling (or breaking, depending on who you ask) place in the world.
If you want to see for yourself, head to Place Denfert-Rochereau for a guided tour of this mass tomb. The first thing you’ll encounter is an ominous sign that reads ‘Arrête, c’est ici l’empire de la mort’ (Stop, here is the empire of death!)
Remember: wherever you eat, wherever you sleep, you’re likely just a few meters above the Catacombs at any given time….
Père Lachaise is one of the world’s most prestigious cemeteries. A strange title for a graveyard, you might say – you’ll understand the nickname when you find out who lies in Paris’s largest burial ground.
Père Lachaise was once snubbed by Parisians, who thought it was too far from the centre. As a marketing tactic, the bodies of famous people were moved to the cemetery, and Paris’s elite became desperate to be buried alongside the likes of Chopin and Molière.
Today, more than 1 million people are entombed in Père Lachaise, including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac, and Mozart, to name a few…
Jim Morrison is buried in Père Lachaise – his tomb attracts thousands of visitors per year. After excessive vandalism, overdoses and public displays of affection, a security guard has been hired to keep watch at all times.
Imagine that, a whole museum dedicated to something that doesn’t exist. Jacques Sirgent, the museum’s founder, might disagree with that claim. He is a self-proclaimed ‘vampirologist’ and a Bram Stoker translator.