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The Ghost of Philibert Aspairt

One day in November 1793, Philibert Aspairt, doorkeeper of the Val-de-Grâce hospital during the French revolution decided to go in the catacombs, using a passage which was in the hospital. He was supposed to look for the famous Chartreuse liquor stocked in the cellar of a convent, under the Jardin de Luxembourg, the garden near the Palace of the Senate in the 6th arrondissement.

So, Philibert Aspairt, driven by his craving for booze, went to the catacombs with only one candle… which was a terrible mistake. His light certainly went out, and lost among the tunnels and bones beneath Paris, he died alone. Imagine the fear he must have known. Alone in the darkness, wandering in the galleries and knocking everywhere before finally losing his strength and collapsing. Eleven years later, his remains were found in one of the galleries and identified by the key ring of the Val-de-Grâce he had on him... as well as a bottle of alcohol. He was buried at the place he was found, a few meters from an exit, and today the “cataphiles”, (lovers of the catacombs) pay their respects at his grave. Philibert is celebrated as the Protector of the Cataphiles.

Each 3rd of November his ghost is said to haunt the galleries of the catacombs .


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