We queued on a chilly November day at the entrance courtyard of a 1900 originally built by the Boulanger earthenware factory, being entertained by a tall, dark, bloody, growling, slurping, lurching actor and his equally bloody, yowling companion with a broom (that’s her below).
I hadn’t noticed this place on English websites, only French, I think because it hasn’t been open for very long and appears to be very much in French. However a quick look at Le Manoir website suggests that you can ask for the tour to be done in English when you’re buying your tickets.
Gore, horror and people running around making horrible gut wrenching sounds is of course international, so I don’t think you’ll lose much by taking the French language tour.
This is an immersive, interactive show where you taken as part of a group through the mansion, which has been split into 13 different sections, each representing one of the dark and more macabre mysteries and legends of old Paris. Our experience was made all the better by being in a group with two young, dramatic “mon dieu” and “maman” whispering and screaming females who, of course, were picked on by the ghouls and ghosties the whole way through (the best ones to get a reaction from, bien sur.)
Subjects include the Phantom of the Opera (who could’ve done with a bit of deodorant, to be honest), the prisoner in the iron mask, the phantom of Tuileries, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and even the crocodiles in the Parisian sewers. The tales are told by way of decoration, plenty of darkness, noise and actors doing their utmost to get a fright out of you by jumping on you. I’m not the world’s most easily frightened person, but in Monoprix a good quarter of an hour after the end of the experience I was still waiting for a tap on my shoulder …
Le Manoir de Paris
18 Rue de Paradis 75010
Metro: Poissonniere, Bonne Nouvelle, Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord
Hours vary – do check Manoir de Paris website before you go.
This experience is not for young children – they recommend that those under 10 years old don’t attend. I would suggest that it’s suitable for children even older than this, though. And those with heart conditions, epilepsy and pregnant women (?) should stay clear.
Valentine’s Day 2012
The Manoir held a very special Valentine’s night experience. Billed “Dark Valentine Night” tours were led through the Manoir in total darkness apart from one light, and to mark Valentine’s day, serenaded by “love songs and rock and roll” and attacked by 20 monsters. Got to be better than an overpriced Valentine’s menu, don’t you think?