Did you know that the world’s only Vampire Museum is located in Paris?
We go on with our quirky Paris visits and the world of weird. Today we are meeting Jacques Sirgent, writer and self-proclaimed “vampirologist” who many years ago decided to open his personal collection of vampire paraphernalia to the public. That’s how le Musée des Vampires (the Vampire Museum) was born, a lifetime work and collection which is still one of Paris best-kept secrets.
What’s the meaning of “vampirology”? The Vampirology is the study of vampires or the myths related to vampires.
We are going to visit the Vampire Museum as part of a night event about vampires called “Étrange rencontre au Musée des Vampires” (Strange meetings at the Vampire Museum). This event is organized by Sous les Pavés, a young startup which proposes alternative tours in Paris, most of them Paris night tours, related to the secrets of Paris.
The museum is nestled in a gloomy private house with a small garden (being completely dark did not help with the atmosphere) in the suburb of Lilas. A haunted house, according to the owner, but we did not want to check that by ourselves.
THE PARIS VAMPIRE MUSEUM
While we are waiting for the guests to arrive, we have some time to explore the museum by ourselves. Le Musée des Vampires is very small, just one room. It is like a “cabinet de curiosités” (cabinet of curiosities or collection of curiosities in English) packed with all sorts of stuff related to vampires and the world of weird.
All here is second-hand objects: vampire films posters, vampire masks and other objects bought by Jacques Sirgent himself online or in flea markets in Paris. The museum’s most interesting pieces include an anti-vampire protection kit from the 19th century, the autographed photos of almost all the actors featuring Dracula (the most famous vampires!), some rare vampirology books or really antique books where the concept of “vampire” is mentioned.
Once we are all there and comfortably seated on a crimson velvet couch, our host welcomes us with a very special drink. A kind of vampire drink I would say, red and sweet, which puts us in the mood for a vampire night…
A NIGHT OF VAMPIRE FACTS AND CURIOSITIES
Jacques Sirgent is very passionate about his work and collection and he really knows how to transmit this passion. He starts with the origin of vampires (or better, the concept of vampires) and some vampire facts and curiosities. I find very funny to learn that despite all the existing vampire films in the market, the film which is more faithful to Bram Stocker’s Dracula is a porn film called “This aint Dracula”, lol. If you are a vampire films collector, Sirgent can feed your USB key with lots of interesting or rare films about vampires. He can also propose you some vampirology books, written by other authors or you can also buy Jacques Sirgent’s books.
The conference is very interesting, even if sometimes it is difficult to follow him. The concept of vampires and what surrounds them is very fascinating and we all are listening attentively while sipping our drink. Where do vampires come from? Are they as bad as we think? The aim of Sirgent’s talk is not to scare us but to give us a different vision of the vampires living in our imagination. Who else than vampires will never enter your home unless they are invited by you? Indeed, Sirgent’s goal is to contrast the monsters of the imaginary with those, even more monstrous, found in everyday life.
ETRANGE RENCONTRE AU MUSEE DES VAMPIRES – FINAL THOUGHTS
I found the event and the museum very interesting. Some years before I had done an alternative tour at Père Lachaise with Jacques Sirgent (yes, we were looking for Dracula in Paris!) and I knew that he would not disappoint. However, this is a talk difficult to follow if you don’t have a good level of French. In this case, there is always the possibility to visit the museum out of this event during a half creepy, half funny afternoon and exchange some words with him in English. If you are looking for alternative things to see in Paris or activities to explore Paris Like a Local, the Vampire Museum Paris won’t disappoint you.
VAMPIRE MUSEUM PARIS – INFO & TIPS
» The event “Etrange rencontre au Musée des Vampires” is organized by Sous les Pavés. You can check next dates and book directly on Sous les Pavés’ web.
» If you are celebrating Halloween in Paris, there is a special event at the Paris Vampire Museum. You will find all the information also on Sous les Pavés’ web.
» If you don’t speak French you can always visit the Vampire Museum out of this event. The museum is located at 14 rue Jules David, Les Lilas (93). The closest metro station is Porte des Lilas, line 11. As it’s a private museum, you need to book your visit in advance. You can email directly Jacques Sirgent at firstname.lastname@example.org
» The Vampire Museum will close for works in September 2018 so hurry up!. After the works, the museum will be back to the unusual things to do in Paris menu but two times bigger.
» Sous les Pavés proposes other interesting alternative tours in Paris: Paris night tours, quirky Paris tours, haunted Paris tours, esoteric visits at Père Lachaise and many more. All their guides are selected with great care and have in common a singular passion: vampirologist, master Freemason, exorcist, hypnotist… The guides are all unique and happy to share their originality and their Paris best-kept secrets.
» For the moment Sous les Pavés tours are only in French. They plan to launch most of the tours in English and certain tours also in Spanish very soon. Join their social media and stay tuned!
Are you ready to discover one of Paris best-kept secrets?
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Disclaimer: we would like to thank Sous les Pavés and Jacques Sirgent for inviting us to the event “Etrange rencontre au Musée des Vampires”. As always, all opinions remain our own. Cover Picture courtesy of Sous les Pavés.
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