Don’t read this article alone in the dark…
Europe is, well, old. So it should come as no surprise that France is crawling with spooky stories! If you’re anything like me, you like being scared sometimes. Especially when Halloween rolls around.
I’ve scoured the internet to find the 4 weirdest stories I could find to share with you. Read on…if you dare!
1. The phantoms of Versailles
In 1901, two Englishwomen named Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain were wandering the gardens in Versailles. The women were on the hunt for the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s humble getaway in the gardens of the château.
The pair became lost and found themselves in front of a decrepit old farmhouse with an ancient plough parked out front. Suddenly, Anne and Eleanor saw 2 men walk past them wearing, as they put it, “long greyish-green coats with small three-cornered hats.” The friends also said that they immediately felt a chill in the air, and had the feeling that something wasn’t right.
Anne and Eleanor pushed these feelings aside and asked the men where they could find the Petit Trianon. The men told them to follow a nearby path. The women did, and came across a gazebo. They said that the dark mood that had overcome them in front of the farmhouse got even darker, and they saw a creepy looking man standing by the gazebo. He shot them a few dirty looks, and the women went on their way.
Suddenly, someone came rushing towards them and urged them that they were going the wrong way. He told them to cross a bridge, and they would find the Petit Trianon that way. They entered a building which they thought was what they had been looking for. Inside, they saw a woman sitting and sketching, and she wore an old fashioned dress. They heard a door slam and saw a footman running out of a nearby building. He told them that the real entrance to the Trianon was actually on the other side of the building. The pair followed his lead and found other tourists waiting to enter the Petit Trianon. The ladies stated that the somber mood had lifted, and the rest of their afternoon at Versailles was pretty uneventful.
When Anne and Elanor returned to England, they were still feeling a little spooked. They got together to discuss what they had seen. It turns out that they didn’t see the same things. One of the women said that she had never seen a woman sketching, and the other said she had never seen some of the other figures her friend did. What?! How could 2 women who were together, not witness the same things?!
The women began to study paintings of Marie Antoinette, and (gasp!) determined that the woman sketching was none other than the French queen herself. Eleanor decided to go back to Versailles the next year to try and trace her steps, and found that she couldn’t.
The decrepit farmhouse and the plough were no longer there. In fact, in the early 20th century, ploughs were not kept on the grounds at Versailles. But, they were in 1789! The small bridge that the pair had crossed hadn’t been there in 1901, either. But, you guessed it, in 1789 there was. The men dressed in green could have been wearing the uniform that Marie Antoinette’s guards wore in 1789, and the creepy man they had seen at the gazebo had a striking resemblance to one of the queen’s enemies, the Comte de Vaudreuil. And that woman sketching? It was no one else but Marie Antoinette.
Are you creeped out yet?!
2. Introducing, the real Sweeney Todd
As the story goes, Sweeney Todd was a malevolent barber that terrorized the streets of Victorian London in the Victoria era. Well, what if I told you that there was an equally scary barber that lived in Paris in the Middle Ages…and he was a real person!
A local barber and butcher on Rue Chanoinesse near Notre Dame Cathedral supposedly kidnapped students and cooked them into meat pies and patées. The barber would kidnap people and then the butcher would grind up the bodies and put the meat into his merchandise to get rid of the evidence.
In the end, it was a dog is the one who saved the day – his owner never came home from the barber shop and the dog refused to leave. The owner’s wife noticed and after investigating, the police found human bones in the basement of the shops.
It’s believed that this story may have been the inspiration for the story of Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street!
3. The ghost of the green lady in a Loire Valley Château
Château de Brissac is a castle in the Loire Valley. Legend says that the château’s owner, Jacques de Brézé, caught his wife, Charlotte, with another man. In a fit of rage he murdered them both, and legend says that the guilty couple still haunts the castle to this day!
Apparently, Charlotte de Brézé wasn’t ready to leave the castle after her death. Legend has it that she is the mysterious green lady that haunts the Chateau de Brissac! She is often seen wearing a green dress (hence the name) in the chapel of the castle – repenting for her sins, perhaps!
Apparently, what is so scary about her is her face. Witnesses have said that there are black holes where her eyes and nose should be, making her look like a skeleton. She is also known for her wailing which can be heard throughout the castle. I’m getting the chills just thinking about it…
4. Pere Lachaise, the most haunted in the world?
The Pere Lachaise is a large cemetery located in northern Paris. It was also Paris’ first municipal cemetery that opened in 1804. It is named after King Louis XIV’s confessor, Père François de la Chaise. Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte is responsible for making the cemetery as it is today.
When the major cemeteries in the rest of the city became too crowded, Napoleon saw the need to open others. He ordered that 4 large cemeteries be opened in the city. They are, respectively, Montparnasse Cemetery in the south, Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Passy Cemetery in the west, and Pere Lachaise in the east.
The opening of the cemetery was met with mixed feelings as at the time Parisians considered it too far and out of the way. When it first opened in 1804, there were only 13 graves. Napoleon wasn’t going to give up that easily, however. He launched a campaign to make the graveyard more attractive to Parisians. He called for the bodies of French authors Molière and Jean de la Fontaine to be transferred to Pere Lachaise. His plan worked. Today, there are over 1 million people buried there!
I know what you’re thinking…okay, all of that history is cool but what about the spooky stories?! Well, first of all, with all of those bodies buried in the same area, you’re bound to feel some creepy energy in the graveyard.
Otherwise, I couldn’t find much here for what is *supposedly* the most haunted cemetery in the world. Most of what I found was that Chopin and Jim Morrison are the most often seen ghosts there, and there are sometimes “orbs” that appear in photos that are taken there.
Bookmark this blog and read it on Halloween! Share with your friends and watch as they skirm when reading these creepy stories 😉 It’s all in good fun!
Do you know any more creepy stories that have come out of France? I always love hearing from my readers, so don’t hesitate to comment below!