Halloween is here and I, for one, am very happy about that! Not only do I love the colors of the
autumn season and the brisk air that comes with it, but I also happen to love a good fright and
epic Halloween costume. Halloween isn’t a well celebrated holiday in France, although it gets
more and more popular every year. That doesn’t stop me from getting in the spooky spirit
though with friends who love to dress up and a few Paris Halloween traditions of my own.
Each October I visit my favorite places I’ve discovered in Paris over the years that put me in the
Halloween mood. It’s my own personal Spooky Guide to Paris that I thought I would share with
you. If you don’t feel up for a fright then don’t worry, most of these places are beautiful and
historic stops in the city worth visiting regardless. You’ll leave with your wits about you, but if
you have a bit of an imagination and a taste for the terrifying around Halloween like myself,
you’ll enjoy the eerie feeling lingering around these potentially haunted places this time of year.
Let’s take a little tour together here...
Sometimes called The City of the Dead, the Catacombs are winding underground roads lurking
below Paris filled with the bones of over six million people that have gone before us. Finding
enough space for graves within and around Paris became a serious problem in the late 1700’s.
Eventually bones excavated from the cemeteries were relocated underground. One could never
know this dark damp underworld lies beneath Paris unless they have passed through the
"Barrière d’Enfer” (Gate of Hell) on Rue de la Tombe-Issoire
and into the Catacombs. While
spooky, it’s also an incredible historical monument classified as a museum and visited by hundreds
of thousands every year.
The Vampire Museum
Behind a little red door on the outskirts of Paris is an entire little museum dedicated to the
history of vampires. Visits are by appointment only, but if you’re a fan of vampires and their
mythology, you will devour this eerie collection of curiosities and literature on the blood sucking
sub human species.
The History of Medicine Museum
Musée d’histoire de la médecine
is a wonderful little museum that is relatively unknown. It’s a
journey through strange and sometimes terrifying medical practices of centuries past. Filling the
glass cases are creepy diagrams and frightening antique medical apparatuses that make brave
visitors cringe. One can almost here the echoes of the mad doctors and strange science
experiments that might have once filled the halls here.
Cemeteries of Paris
Call me strange but when I travel I love to visit old cemeteries. The three main cemeteries in
Paris are all beautiful, paved in cobblestone and this time of year, lined with trees changing color
to orange, red and yellow. Try the Montmartre Cemetery and you might have a run in with the
ghosts of Alexandre Dumas and Edgar Dugas who are buried here, or with Oscar Wilde, for
example, on the other side of town at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Lastly, if you’ve visited the
Catacombs, the Montparnasse Cemetery is just next door.
Le Manoir de Paris
If you’re really in for a fright and feeling brave, visit Le Manoir de Paris for an animated haunted
house experience. Created in an old abandoned ceramics workshop in the 10th district of Paris,
you never know what lurks around the corner here. It’s a fun way to have a fright night with
friends around Halloween.