Halloween in Paris: Ghost Tour

While I’m not actually in Paris at the moment to celebrate the wonderful Pagan, commercialized holiday of Halloween, I did go on a ghost tour a few weeks ago in order to get into the spirit of the month.

That Halloween spirit
That Halloween spirit

I took the walking tour with Mysteries of Paris. We started in front of Notre Dame where we heard stories about the alchemist Nicholas Flamel (Harry Potter anyone?) a saint who carried his head for 6 miles after being decapitated, and the devil doors of the cathedral.

Alchemical symbols on Notre Dame
Alchemical symbols on Notre Dame. According to our guide these are the instructions for eternal life, but of course they’re not in the right order!

Our guide was lovely, at the beginning of the tour while we were waiting for other people to join, he asked us where we were from and how long we had been in Paris. It was quite amusing when he got to me and I told him I had already been here for 2 months because I was studying abroad and thus lived here. I ended up talking to the guide quite a bit about school at the Sorbonne as we walked in between the horror story locations and learned that he was studying translation in order to subtitle movies.

The tour guides
The tour guides. Mine is the one that looks like a vampire.

The stories included the following:

A young French woman and English speaking boy who were in love and because of a language barrier the idiot man proposed to her in the most cliche place in existence and the woman backed away from shock and fell off the Eiffel tower. Moral: Don’t propose to your girlfriend on the Eiffel tower.

The French Sweeney Todd, where the killers engraved the names of the young men they killed in their courtyard before chopping them up into meat pies. Moral: Don’t engrave the names of the people you’ve killed in the ground.

French vampires who literally bathed in the blood of young men, but not before chopping of their heads and preserving them as trophies. Moral: Don’t keep trophies.

The shop that inspired ratatouille:

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And an insane writer with a taste for dancers, who carried a lobster around on a robe and was found hanging in an alleyway one day, still clutching his pet. Moral: Don’t carry lobsters around or lie to your dancer girlfriend.

All in all the tour was fantastic. Was it particularly scary? No, but it perfectly met my craving for the strange and the supernatural this month 🙂

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