Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Mysteries of Paris — The Paris Ghost Tour

I enjoyed a cool Autumn evening last night wandering Paris' spookiest sites with the Mysteries of Paris Ghost Tour. I was happily surprised to discover this tour existed while doing research for my article on Halloween in Paris; there's not much to do here for Halloween, and I'm thrilled to find anything new to try that might satisfy my Halloween cravings at least a bit. As I'd mentioned in my Halloween article, I was a bit skeptical about the tour, because as a lifelong fan of ghost stories and urban legends and an amateur French history buff, I've done quite a bit of research into hauntings and eerie happenings in Paris and the rest of France, and what I've consistently found is that there just aren't many here, compared to places like the UK and the US, where there are ghost stories to be found practically everywhere. Skimming the Mysteries of Paris website, I noticed that most of the topics that would be covered on the tour were gruesome and violent chapters in Paris history, with little emphasis on the supernatural, making the term "ghost tour" a bit questionable. But I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by the tour, and the relative lack of ghosts and goblins was made up for by a ton of great, and mostly true, sping-tingling tales, not to mention lots of beautiful sights and quite a bit of good ol' straight-up history. And there were indeed a few honest-to-goodness Parisian ghost stories I'd never heard.

The tour covers everything you'd want out of a Halloween stroll through Paris' darker history: murder, executions, torture, assassination, cannibalism, serial killings, Satanism, and a few ghost stories and unexplained phenomena to boot. All the good stuff, and all right under your nose in central Paris.

I was curious how I'd feel about the tour as a fan of all things spooky who's lived in Paris for a few years, when the scary stories and historical info would certainly be designed mostly for tourists; I wondered if I'd be bored and just hear the same stories I've read and heard a million times while living here. This turned out to not be the case! On the contrary, I was really pleased — shocked even — by how many things I learned about my own city and even my own neighborhood; I won't spoil the details, but just as an example, our guide pointed out two fascinating things on the Île de la Cité which I'd never seen before, and they're directly on the path that I used to jog a few times a week! I'll definitely notice them every time from now on.

As an expat stranded in a country that doesn't really celebrate Halloween, the Paris Ghost Tour really hit the spot! If you're a fan of the macabre and happen to be in Paris during the Halloween season you'll definitely get a kick out of it.

Mysteries of Paris — The Paris Ghost Tour
Check website for dates and times:

Happy haunting!