5. Château des Fougeret
Château de Fougeret, a 14th century castle located in Queaux, western France has been recognized as a paranormal hotspot by specialists who have investigated the location. The château has seen a lot of history, including the hundred years’ war. The current owners, Veronique and Francois-Joseph Geffroy first began noticing strange activity in 2009 when they purchased the château. Since that time, they have allowed paranormal investigators, psychics, and tourists to visit the château to document the haunting and to try and get some answers as to the reasons behind the ghostly activity. The château has been featured on French television due to the activity, and the Geffroys have photos of the specters that have been captured by investigators displayed in the living room.
Some people who have visited the château claim to have encountered threatening spirits, while others state that they’ve heard disembodied voices screaming at visitors to leave the premises. Apparently, the Château de Fougeret spirits have no desire for publicity and wish to be left alone.
4. The Bastille
As prison fortresses go, The Bastille was one of the more impressive ones, with eight towers reaching as high as 80 feet tall as well as fortifications that included a bastion located to the east of the fortress and a surrounding moat. Construction began on the Bastille in 1357, and it was declared a state prison in 1417. The Bastille was home to a number of famous prisoners including Voltaire and the Marquis de Sade. The French Revolution saw the end of the Bastille. It was destroyed on July 14th, 1789, but some of the ruins can be found on Boulevard Henri IV while its original location hosts the Place de la Bastille.
There are numerous reports of ghostly encounters at both locations, with visitors noting unusual smells, sensations of fright and unease, and the sighting of ghostly apparitions.
3. Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries was created by Catherine de’ Medici in 1564 as the formal garden of the Tuileries palace. While initially it was closed to the public, being used by Catherine and other nobles as a private escape, the garden was opened to the public in 1667, eventually becoming a public park after the French Revolution.
There is a darker history hidden behind the beauty and attraction of the garden however. Catherine hired Jean l’écorcheur to assassinate political foes after the death of her husband Henry II. Due to his unsavory line of work in her service, Jean was savvy to many of the Queen’s secrets, a situation that Catherine wasn’t comfortable with. She employed a man name Neuville to murder Jean, which he did – in the Jardin des Tuileries. Soon, the specter of Jean was seen in the garden and he became known as the Red Man of the Tuileries. He was seen by numerous individuals including Neuville, who some say witnessed Jean’s ghost shortly after his death covered in blood. Apparently Jean delivered a final message to the Queen through Neuville, stating that he would haunt Queen Catherine for the rest of her life. Other notables who have seen the Red Man of the Tuileries include Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. It is believed that encountering this apparition is a portent of tragedy that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
2. Château de Châteaubriant
Located in Brittany and built in the 11th century, the Château de Châteaubriant has seen more than enough in the way of history and events to collect its fair share of ghosts. In 1252, the current lord of the château, Geoffroy IV of Châteaubriant left his home to join the crusade, leaving his wife Sybille behind. Approximately a year later, it was thought that Geoffroy had died, and his wife was stricken with grief, mourning his passing. However, Geoffroy had not died; he returned home several months later, causing Sybille such a shock that she died in his arms.
In the 16th century, another tragedy struck at the château. Jean de Laval traveled to the court of King Francis I, his wife Françoise de Foix accompanying him. While there, Françoise became the queen’s lady in waiting and she also became the mistress of the king. Infuriated, Jean locked his wife away at the château, where she later died under strange and mysterious circumstances on October 16th, 1537. There are legends that say that de Laval poisoned his wife, while other rumors state that she bled to death.
Regardless of how she died, it is said that at midnight on October 16th of each year, Françoise leads a spectral procession of monks and knights up the stairs of the Château de Châteaubriant before disappearing at the final stroke of midnight, making this one of the must-see haunted places in France.
1. The Catacombs of Paris
On the surface, Paris may be referred to as the City of Lights, but it is the Empire of the Dead that rules below the great city. Starting in 1786, most of the remains from Parisian graveyards were carted into the caverns and tunnels of what had once been ancient stone mines located under the city. In total over six million bodies were eventually moved to the catacombs in an attempt to improve living conditions due to overpopulation and sanitary issues. Over the years, numerous passages were “decorated” with elaborate structures fashioned from stacks of bones and skulls, creating a macabre ossuary for the millions who are interred there.
While the catacombs hold a dark fascination, enticing many to wander about on their own, it’s not necessarily the safest thing to do. There have been several occasions where people have disappeared in the catacombs, some never to be seen again, while others became another addition to the collection of bones. One such occurrence involved Philibert Aspairt. He disappeared in 1793, but his body wasn’t found until 1804. Ironically, his remains were found only a few feet from the exit.
Numerous paranormal occurrences have been reported at the catacombs. Disembodied voices, glowing orbs, spectral lights, touches from unseen presences and ghostly apparitions are only some of the things that individuals have experienced while visiting the catacombs.
So there’s our list of the ten most haunted places in France. Did this listicle make you want to do a little paranormal sightseeing? Let us know in the comments section below or on our socials.