Creepy Paris: Exploring The Dark Side of the City of Light

Once you explore beyond the lovely romance of the city’s sidewalk cafes and tree lined banks of the Seine, you will discover that there is definitely a dark and creepy side to La Ville Lumiere. This city has a long and fascinating history involving plenty of ghosts, legends, murders, and dead famous people. If you are interested in the gruesome and supernatural, here are some of the city’s darkest attractions:

Head Down Into the Catacombs


Photo by Lauren Longo via Trover

Deep beneath the streets of Paris lie the remains of almost 6 million people within a huge network of tunnels, caverns and old stone mines. This underground cemetery is known as l’Ossuaire Municipal, of the Paris Catacombs. You can descend into the catacombs via the entrance at the Barriere d’Enfer via a narrow stone spiral stairwell into the darkness.

It is incredible to walk through these underground corridors and see hundreds of human skulls and bones stacked on top of each other, some within artistic arrangements such as heart shapes and monuments. The walls have graffiti from the eighteenth century, and you can see the bones of the dead from the riots in the Place de Greve in 1788 as well as remains from many other historically significant events in Paris. A truly impressive and macabre look into the past, the catacombs are not to be missed.

Celebrity Spotting at Pere Lachaise Cemetery


Photo by Vintage Love Child via Trover

Once you have emerged, squinting, from the dark caverns of the catacombs and into the light of day again, walk or take the Metro down to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

This is the most-visited cemetery in the world, and is the eternal resting place of many important names throughout history. This gorgeous cemetery is a wonderfully quiet and peaceful place for an afternoon stroll, with nothing but the sound of the leaves swaying in the breeze as you walk down the tree-lined paths between the ornate stone monuments.

See if you can find the graves of some of Pere Lachaise’s most famous permanent residents, such as 19th century French novelist Honore de Balzac, French singer Edith Piaf, Irish writer Oscar Wilde and the Doors frontman Jim Morrison.

Enjoy an Evening Ghostly Walk


Photo by Vincent Ramundo via Trover

Once the sun goes down and the moon comes up over the streets of Paris, it is time to end your creepy adventures with a haunted Paris walking tour. The Paris Ghost Walk is hosted by the Mysteries of Paris tour company and is an evening walking tour in English which explores several stories of murder, ghosts, legends, black magic, and other fascinating subjects.

You will be taken to some of the most haunted spots in the city to learn about the ghosts of Louis XVII and Marie Antionette and the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. A great insight into the history of Paris, with a creepy twist, you are sure to hear some stories that you won’t forget!

Enjoy your day with the dead in Paris, and good luck getting to sleep afterwards!

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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