- 12, Oct 2018
- All things Paris
- Amanda Mehtala
If you’re in Paris for October 31st and looking for a North American style celebration, you may be disappointed to hear that France doesn’t quite celebrate this spooky holiday to the extent that you might hope. But, when you really need a scary fix there are definitely some options and events for all ages to have a proper Halloween in the City of Lights. From haunted mansions and underground tours, to scary movie marathons, if you know where to look celebrating Halloween in Paris can be spooktacular!
1. Hang with some waxy ghouls at the Musée Grévin
Every Halloween, the Paris wax museum comes alive, and this year is no exception. Daytime visits to tour the wax figures of international superstars and snap a few selfies will be business as usual, but the museum comes alive at night! From October 25-30, there will be special nightly events turning the whole museum into a haunted psychiatric hospital ward. Will you be able to tell a wax figure from something or someone even more real?
2. Head to Disneyland Paris for a magical Halloween special
All month long, Disneyland Paris is celebrating a few scary bad guys in addition to your favorite princesses and characters, all for a Halloween special! The daily parade will have a new spooky look, and you better with out as a few spooky villians will be lurking where you least expect them!
3. Dare to enter the Manoir de Paris
For the entire month of October, the only (official) haunted house in Paris is getting a toxic takeover, for “goosebumps guaranteed” head to the Manoir de Paris! From especially created escape games and frightful performances, the Manoir de Paris is the capital of the Parisian Halloween experience, enter if you dare.
4. Visit some scary and not so scary creatures at the Zoo Vincennes
Visiting the Paris Zoo on Halloween is a wild adventure for all ages, complete with a discount if you dare to wear a costume! From October 20 through November 4, you’ll find Halloween specials around every corner. All day long on October 31, there will be special face painting and guided tours of some scary creatures, from spiders and snakes to bats and (were)wolves.
5. A verified vampire ball in a venue with a touch of Gustave Eiffel himself
Each Halloween, the place to be is the Bal des Vampires. This year, the theme is Day of the Dead, so dance the night away with skeletons, vampires, and everything in between! Changing venues each year, the 2018 Paris Vampire Ball will be held near the bustling Bastille district at Pachamama, a completely unique venue with coiling ironworks throughout (the Eiffel touch), that will transport you to Central America and beyond. With a strict dress code, make sure to prepare you most ghoulish glamour for a Halloween night in Paris to remember.
6. Halloween and chocolate, the perfect match at Choco Story
For a tastier Halloween activity in Paris, you’ll have to head to the Chocolate Museum. In addition to learning all about the history and making of chocolate, you’ll find special Halloween workshops to make spooky chocolatey treats, perfect for the whole family!
7. Make your own jack-o-lantern, if you can find the pumpkin that is
In France, jack-o-lanterns are a thing only seen in American movies, and anyone heading to the supermarket to pick up the annual pumpkins will be quickly disappointed. There’s one thing to remember: in France, pumpkins are usually for eating, not for decorating. That being said, you may be in for a surprise when you see the huge variety of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and colors! But where to find them? Head to the fresh produce markets, and get there early because supplies are limited! Many neighborhoods in Paris have outdoor produce markets certain days of the week, and you can also find permanent installations in covered market halls throughout the city, the Marché Aligre or the Marché Quentin are great places to start, happy carving!
8. Costumes and dance shoes ready for a Parisian Halloween nightclub adventure
For the night owls, the hunt for Halloween won’t be too hard, as many Parisian nightclubs hold a special evening to celebrate in style. Often, arriving with full Halloween costume will get you free entry or drink specials, and if you’re lucky enough to win a costume contest you might just end up the Parisian king or queen of trick-or-treating! Many nightclubs and bars have a Halloween special, here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
9. A scary movie marathon at Rex, Paris’ oldest cinema!
The Grand Rex in Paris is a legendary venue hosting many famous movie premiers, complete with an underground nightclub to continue the party after the film gets out. A Parisian favorite, the cinema complete with its neon lights facade is known for lavish cult movie marathons, from Harry Potter to Star Wars and more. For Halloween, prepare for a scary movie marathon, this year you will be able to see all the Saw movies, including Jigsaw, the latest installment.
10. Catch psychological thriller Legend of a Life live at a legendary theatre
Scary movies not your thing? How about a night of live theatre instead! Our suggestion is the psychological theatre by Stefan Zweig, Legend of a Life. Forever living in his father’s shadow, Friedrich is about to uncover some family secrets that will leave his head spinning. Embark on the thrilling journey with him, playing at the Theatre Montparnasse with English subtitles!
11. Head to the land of the dead in the Paris Catacombs
Nothing screams Halloween more than an underground journey into the domain of the dead, to Paris’ very own ossuary. How did these bones end up here, under the City of Lights? That’s for you to discover as you walk through the winding tunnels of the spookiest place in (or below) Paris.
12. To do all these things you’ll have to know about the Paris costume stores
Just because Paris doesn’t do trick-or-treating, doesn’t mean they don’t do costumes! Sprinkled throughout the city, usually in corners where you’d least expect it, are costume shops with unique attire for purchase or rent. Most are open year round too, if ever you need a costume in a pinch. Here’s some suggestions to get you started, we’re sure you’ll be the best dressed this Halloween!
13. Discover the mysteries of Paris Ghosts, Legends, & Mysteries tour
Discover the spooky mysteries of Paris on a guided walking tour! See the darker side of many well-known Paris sights, as you learn the mysteries left behind and ghosts that haunt the halls.
Bonus suggestions for Halloween in Paris:
Explore one of the Paris cemeteries, you might just run into a famous ghost!
The crypts of the Pantheon and the Saint Denis Basilica
Visit the only Vampire Museum in the world, just a few minutes from Paris
Take a tour of the Opéra Garnier and see if the legends are true, will you run into the phantom?