Summer is upon us and you’re looking for a bit of romance in the French capital during your next getaway? Well, if you always thought of Paris as the ultimate city of love and lights, think again: the capital is actually full of dark secrets that are guaranteed to send chills running down your spine. After visiting one or two of the famous museums and enjoying a drink of wine sitting at a café’s terrace, step into this underground world of mystery.
A true must if you’re looking for a bit of a fright! The catacombs are actually an underground ossuary holding the remains of more than six millions people. Those remains were transposed back in 1891 from overpopulated cemeteries in the vicinity.
The Père Lachaise cemetery
One of the most famous cemeteries in the world, the Père Lachaise still holds an aura of mystery, with its imposing monuments and many graves of artists, writers and superstars like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
The Deyrolle museum
The museum/shop of Maison Deyrolle is a unique spot full of taxidermist memorabilia – and some of it is even for sale! With its end of the 19th century high windows and wooden façade, this museum is a definite looker, a cabinet of curiosities combining science and fantasy. So come on in!
The witch’s rock
Hidden away in Montmartre, this strange and slightly menacing rock looks more like a sculpture. The legend says it’s actually the remains of an old fountain: the ancient mansion that stands behind was the home of an estranged old, and according to some a little mad, lady, who thus earned her witchy reputation. There is little more to be known about the place but its aura of mystery is sure to take you by surprise.
The Frochot house
Located near the Pigalle neighbourhood, this nineteenth century mansion is said to be haunted by the ghosts of various people who died all under strange circumstances on its premises. While it was once the prestigious home of writers like Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, jazz musician Django Reinhardt and even painter Pablo Picasso, it also witnessed some less savoury stuff, like the mysterious deaths of two renowned musicians who died paralysed in their beds without any logical explanation. What’s more, it is said that a maid died stabbed on the stairs of the mansion and is now haunting the Frochot house forevermore.
The Fragonard museum
Created in 1766 by doctor Honoré Fragonard, this anatomy and teratology museum also holds utterly weird (and slightly disturbing) sculptures of skinless human creatures made by the founder out of human and animal remains.