France is a country known for the Eiffel Tower, romantic sites, iconic attractions, and cultural richness, not necessarily for ghosts. Paris is, popularly regarded as the City of Lights and has had a number of myths and legends of haunted locations ranging from churches, cemeteries, castles, parks, and houses.

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France's dark past has been the major source of her haunted tales and folklore. But a question that comes to mind is, are these sites really haunted or they are just stories made up by people? Well, this question is yet to be answered but if the experiences of the locals and tourists are anything to go by, spirits might exist at some of the places mentioned below. Here are the top ten scariest sites in France.

10 The Catacombs of Paris

Opened to the public for burials around 1875, this site is considered one of the creepiest hauntings in the world. It is popularly known as the Empire of the Dead as it holds the largest number of gravesites in the world, estimated to be around six million people. The maze of tunnels has walls built with human skeletons and skulls.

The haunting stories stem from records of mourners losing their way and never again seeing the light of day. One of these unfortunate souls was a man named Philibert Aspairt whose body was eventually found in the catacombs 15 years after he disappeared.

9 The Gardens & Palace of Versailles

This site is amongst Paris’ most visited tourist attractions. Its popularity stems from the architectural design, beauty, and uniqueness of grounds. As attractive as this site looks, it is one of Paris’ most haunted sites. It is said to be haunted by one of France’s most famous queens, Marie Antoinette.

She was beheaded during the French Revolution and there have been reports of her ghost wandering in the gardens and her royal bedchamber in the palace. There have also been reports of ghosts in 18th-century clothing. So when visiting this site, you should keep this in mind, the ghost of the queen might just be behind you.

8 Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel is rocky inlet off the beach of Normandy and a UNESCO world heritage site and is frequently made into an island by the tides. High up on the rock is an architectural masterpiece, a Benedictine abbey built in the Gothic-style and dedicated to the archangel St. Michael.

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Because of its location, battles of the Hundred Year’s war took place on the shores of its beach. Commander of the garrison, Captain Louis d'Estouteville, is believed to have led the battle that ended the lives of 2000 Englishmen. The spirit of these men and the monks who died at the site are said to haunt the area. 

7 Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Cemeteries are sites generally associated with ghosts and haunting tales. It is thought that the Pere Lachaise Cemetary has the most hauntings of any cemetery in the world. With an estimated six million displaced corpses, it’s no surprise. Due to a radical change in burial laws, millions had to be dug up and were moved to the Catacombs.

It is the gravesite of popular figures such as Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and many other notable people. Some say they’ve seen the ghost of Marcel Proust, who is believed to be in search of the grave of his lover, and Jim Morrison seems to like to photo-bomb people who take pictures near his grave.

6 Chateau De Chateaubriant

This site is a popular destination for ghostbusters and people interested in history. It is a medieval castle located in Brittany. The legend associated with this castle is that of the Governor of Brittany Jean de Laval-Chateaubriant and his wife Francoise de Foix who was also the mistress of King Francis I.

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Based on popular lore, her husband locked her in a room where she died, either by murder or illness, no one knows for certain. It is said that on the anniversary of her death, October 16, a pool of blood appears in front of the fireplace where she died.

5 Brissac Castle

This castle was constructed in the 11th century and then rebuilt in the 17th century. It is located in the Lorie Walley and was involved in many wars. In 1462, the occupants were Jacques de Brézé, a favored administrator of King Charles VII, and his lovely wife Charlotte de Brézé.

The ghosts here are thought to be those of Charlotte and her lover, killed in a jealous fury by Jacques. Charlotte roams the castle and is known as the Green Lady. Some even claim to have heard her wailing in the walls of this castle and her wailing is said to have caused Jacques to move out soon after her death.

4 Chateau de Trecesson

This is another fabulous example of medieval castles in Brittany. It is deeply rooted with legends about murders, ghastly accidents, eerie tales, and mysterious deaths. One of these legends is that of a bride who was murdered by her brothers and buried alive in the walls of the castle. She is known today as the Bride of Trecesson or the White Lady.

Other stories about this site involve a room where ghosts play card games and a headless ghost who roams the castle. There is also a Trecesson family son who died in battle but whose ghost roams the outskirts near the forest with his lover.

3 Notre-Dame of Paris

Notre-Dame of Paris is one of UNESCO's world heritage sites. It is well known to be an architectural masterpiece. Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral which was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and funerals of many past presidents of France.

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Other than its stone-carved gargoyles and faces in its wall that increase the haunting nature of this site, it is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of French figures who were powerful while living and of an old women moving around the gargoyles. It is the most visited monument in Paris and receives visitors of over 12 million people annually.

2 Bastille

This site was once a fortress and prison camp until it was demolished completely during the French revolution between 1789 and 1790. It was said to have been constructed between 1370 and 1383 as part of the defense systems of Paris during the reign of King Charles V and later converted into a prison fortress in the 17th century by Louis XIV.

It was home to a number of prisoners, including political and religious prisoners such as Voltaire, the Man in the Iron Mask, and Marquis de Sade. A countless number of sufferings and deaths occurred here before its destruction. There have been reports of several paranormal activities in the area where this site existed.

1 Parc Montsouris

Parks are generally known to be recreational sites, and this one is enjoyed as a beautiful, serene green space in Paris. However, it has a different back story than the regular parks you know. A portion of the park is said to have been the guillotine practice area. According to local legend, a man named Isaure de Montsouris was killed by bandits at this site.

There have also been sightings of headless figures who were victims of the guillotine testing in this park. However, Montsouris is the corrupted use of ‘moquesouris,’ meaning mouse mocker, because the area was originally overrun by mice that were attracted by the mills that used to be there, so one wonders if Monsieur Montsouris is a ghost from someone’s imagination.

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