At the end of gravel paths in the middle of Les Lilas, a black and scarlet entrance opens up to a door leading into a creepy garden mimicking a cemetery. Plastic bats and genuine human remains attached to trees linger like a dark omen for visitors. Be warned: You have just entered in the Museum of Vampires.
This unique museum’s story started many years ago. Jacques Sirgent, an eccentric but highly knowledgeable scholar and specialist of the macabre, opened “The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures” as a visual manifestation of his dedicated research on vampirism, esoterism and occidental folkore.
A lifetime of collecting, translating rare texts, and gathering syncretic information on demonology and the dogmas that generated them make Sirgent a fascinating storyteller who will patiently extrapolate for his visitors the tales of the mysterious relics that his curiosity cabinet contains.
Comfortably seated on a crimson velvet couch, you’ll be thrilled and amazed by the cryptic history of Paris and the cemeteries where vampiric rituals were once practiced, medieval Christian hierarchy and its crusade against sin, “cannibal sorcery,” and the everlasting superstitions of the Undead.
The museum is also a pure delicacy for the eyes, replete with a vampire killing kit, Hammer Film collectibles, Dracula toys, and antique books that might turn into dust if you touch them. The merry clutter of art, literature and popular myths remind you why Carmilla, Vlad Tepes, and the many others were once catalysts of archaic fears, and are still transgressive figures today.
Update June 2019: This building is closed until early 2020 for renovations.
Know Before You Go
Metro Mairie des Lilas ( 11 ).