In Paris for Halloween ? Looking for thrills ???
Although France isn’t completely onboard when it comes to Halloween, there are still those that love the holiday. The French in general love to dress up and have a good time, so it’s hardly surprising that Halloween still persists even with quite a few dissenters.
- Mark & Spencer’s – Make sure you have a basket of goodies just in case a stray Goblin or two should stop by your house on Halloween night. Stop by the British Mark & Spencer’s food shop at the massive “centre commercial” at La Defense on the bottom floor (or any other locations in Paris). There you will find all sorts of must have’s to bring home : witches stockings, mini bags of “gruesome body parts”, and vampire fangs to name a few. Store locations with clothing departments also have Halloween costumes for sale.
- Musée Grevin – Located in the scenic “Passage Jouffroy”, this wax museum offers creepy night-time visits during the month of October (check website for details on dates/times). What is already unsettling in the daylight is even more so at night. The only light you are allowed is that of your flashlight as you traverse from room to room spooked by the eerie wax moldings of famous persons that were disturbing even under bright lights. Careful, there are a few actors in the midst likely to pop out at you and assure a generous dose of fright. For those with young children, they also offer a tamer daytime version. Doors close 1 hour before closing time, so arrive early.
- Musée des Vampires : Tucked away just a short metro ride from downtown Paris is the Musée des Vampires. The tiny museum which is housed in a private residence (look for the red door) contains just one large room, but every inch of it is filled to the brim with all sorts of memorabilia. You will find not only strange things including a stuffed cat, a huge crossbow, and a vampire hunting kit, but also hundreds of books including a few dating from the 1700’s, sculptures, paintings, and a full collection of movie posters starring Vampires. It’s not for the squeamish, there is also a resident ghost – Jacques’ grandfather who died on the premises. What makes this museum especially appealing, is not the artifacts but the curator himself, Jacques Sirgent who is an actual “Vampirologue” (he actually does have a degree for this stuff). His fascination and collection started way back when he was only 10 years old, and has only grown since then. After looking around the museum, you will be treated to wonderful stories and legends all related to vampires while seated on the comfy couch. If you dare, you can even book the museum for dinner and get the full treatment. If you triple dare, Jacques offers private tours to the Pierre Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Luckily, Jacques speaks perfect English so don’t hesitate to book a visit or a tour if you are interested. He is the author of the book “Lieux étranges et maisons hantées à Paris”. Just to reassure you in case you are feeling apprehensive, Jacques is pretty harmless… No apparent canine teeth when he smiles, and he does smile pretty readily. The museum is open all year by appointment only. Cell: 06 20 12 28 32 / Landline : 01 43 62 80 76. Access: Métro Line 3 > Mairie des Lilas or Metro Line 11 > Porte des Lilas. http://museedvampiresetmonstresdelimaginaire.blogspot.com/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Le Manoir de Paris – For those of you that want to be REALLY scared, try the Manoir de Paris. Open year round, during the Halloween season they step things up quite a bit (recommended for children under 12 years old). This intense and chilling spectacle is housed on three different floors, and each Halloween the decor and theme changes. Prepare yourself for a fantastic show – light, sound, special effects – it’s all there. Your ticket buys you entry into both shows and all three levels, available in English or French, and accessible to the handicapped upon request. Allow about 1 hour on foot to complete the tour. Hours vary a bit during Halloween so check first to be sure. If you happen to get your timing right, and want to step things up even more, try one of their “Dark Nights” held every Friday the 13th where you explore the mansion in complete and total darkness. You are on your own for that one – you would have to drag me kicking and screaming. Next dates are Friday, November 13, 2015 and Friday, May 13, 2016.
Le Manoir de Paris is located at 18, rue de Paradis 75010 PARIS. Accessible by Metro Poissonniere (ligne 7), Bonne Nouvelle (lignes 8, 9), Gare de l’Est (lignes 4, 5, 7). Bus : Faubourg Saint-Denis (ligne 32).
Here’s a sneak peek for the curious of Le Manoir de Paris:
Happy Travels (to the other side),
-Girl Gone Gallic