The truth is there are some things from home in the states that I miss here in France. Celebrating Halloween is one of them. It happens to be one of my favorite holidays, but it goes relatively unacknowledged in Europe. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi floating in the air this time of year. A slight chill, an amber glow, something just a little bit eerie in late October that puts me in the mood for a good spook. But part of making a home abroad is reimagining your old traditions for new places. So every year when the leaves begin to change and Halloween is upon us, I take an afternoon off to go for a spooky walk around the Père Lachaise. This time, to set the mood, my outfit of the day is my favorite black cape, a smokey eye with the new Auda[city] palette, and a sultry shade of L’Absolu Rouge Definition in Le Pourpe.
The Père Lachaise is Paris’s biggest cemetery. In fact it’s so large it even has it’s own street names, or rather cobble stone alleys lined with trees and marked with names and districts to help people find their way. Down some of which you’ll find the graves of its most famous permanent residents. Among them are writers like Oscar Wilde and Balzac, composers like Chopin and Bizet, and even the resident American and rock star, Jim Morrison. Despite the tourists they draw to come visit, most corners of the cemetery remain quite still and lonely. But That’s what I like about it here.
My annual stroll through this hauntingly beautiful place is a time to find solitude, watch the golden leaves fall, and explore the ornate beauty of the graves from so many eras of France all here in this city of souls laid to rest. Above all, the Père Lachaise is just another place in Paris to appreciate history. But every now and then here, I turn a corner and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Suddenly I’m reminded that in Père Lachaise, one is never truly alone. And voilà, just my kind of Halloween spook I was looking for…à la française of course.