When you plan a trip to Paris, you'll find tons of information about all the famous attractions you have to see. You can't miss the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum, or the Seine.
For those who want to go off the beaten path and explore the dark side of the City of Light, I've uncovered three places that will make your heart beat a little faster your palms a little sweatier.
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Paris is a city that has a longer link to the underground than most other cities in Europe. Deep into the earth, a dark past lies dormant for the brave to discover. Some six million Parisians reside here, not as the living but rather as walls of skulls and bones. This all started during the 18th century during the Revolutionary Terror when cemeteries started to overfill and disease swept the nation. To keep the city safe, skeletons were exhumed from these cemeteries and moved into old quarry tunnels.
Your Catacombs tour starts with 20 meters of spiralling stairs followed by a labyrinth of tunnels. Audio guides are available to rent in English, French, and Spanish. There are also private tours available for a more intimate walkthrough at your own pace.
Mysteries of Paris Vampire and Ghost Tour
As twilight creeps its weary way through the narrow corridors, hidden courtyards, and busy streets of Paris, something dark lurks in the night. Unbeknownst to most, there are many tales of ghosts, hauntings, and vampires waiting to be told. There are a number of ghost and vampire tours that will take you off the beaten path with chilling tales of the dark side of Paris.
The tour is around 90 minutes long and starts right at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Tours take place every Wednesday to Saturday at 9 p.m., which is a perfect way to finish off your night.
Le Manior De Paris
This is not your regular haunted house, so be sure to leave small children behind for this one. Le Manior de Paris is an interactive theatrical experience designed for the brave. Behind the thick black velvet curtains lies a hair tingling walkthrough of one of the most prestigious buildings in the heart of Paris. Along the way, ghosts and monsters get up close and personal, bringing Paris' terrible history to life. The highlight is definitely the Asylum, a clinic for unconventional treatments, which may induce cold sweats and nightmarish visions. That's all I'm going to say!
Le Manoir is located a minute's walk from Poissonnière on Line 7; Bonne Nouvelle on Lines 8 and 9; and Gare de l'Est on Lines 4, 5, and 7; making it easy to include this tour in any Paris itinerary. The immersive experience lasts about an hour and is available in both English and French.
You don't have to wait until Halloween to get spooked. The question is whether you dare to experience the scariest that the city has to offer. Once you've decided on that, be sure to find the cheapest hotels in Paris to book a nice central place to stay.
Featured image via Flickr js_almada