Musée des Vampires et Monstres de l’Imaginaire is tucked away in a dark, dubious alleyway near Porte des Lilas on the edge the city, far away from the typical touristic highlights. That’s because this is not your usual museum. It is a spooky private collection that only ever opens to the most daring of public when there is brave demand.
The owner is a self-proclaimed ‘vampirologist’ who goes under the name of Jacques Sirgent. By day, he works as an English teacher and Bram Stoker translator, but night is when his true passion comes to life. He is an expert scholar on all things vampire, a true connaisseur whose knowledge on the subject is hard to rival.
Over the years he has been passionately hoarding the creepiest of objects, acquired second-hand by the man himself from a range of mysterious sources. These sources tend to be the deepest reaches of the online web, though some items have been bargained for at Montreuil flea markets while others have even been nabbed from graveyards.
Today, these peculiar treasures are on show in one tightly crammed room. The display unfolds into a fittingly gothic-style garden, allowing you to catch back your breath after the terror of the visit. Though the design mimics a cemetery, so there’s little respite there.
The ultimate gems of his vampire collection include a real ‘anti-vampire protection kit’ that dates back to the 19th century, genuinely engineered to fend off these beasts, and a crossbow supposedly used to ward off insistent bloodsuckers. There are mummified pets such as cats, Dracula toys, dusty antique books and spooky artworks dotted around too.
In any case, when you tire of the ancient Egyptian artworks at the Louvre museum or the modernist paintings at Centre Georges Pompidou, then make sure to visit Le Musée des Vampires, the creepiest museum in Paris. Perhaps in the world. Since it’s a private museum, you’ll have to book your visit in advance via the website.