Père Lachaise

Bats and vampiric lore in Père Lachaise Cemetery

The symbolism of cemeteries can be rather ominous, with skulls and flying souls and the refrain of memento mori — remember that you will die.

By the 19th century, however, most cemeteries in Western Europe and the United States had moved to a gentler Victorian iconography, focusing on eternal life with inverted flames still burning in the dark, and weeping angels with their beautiful carved faces demurely turned to the ground.

Yet in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, opened in 1804, a curious dark symbol repeats itself: the bat.

— Allison Meier

There’s a mention for the very gory story of François Bertrand. Read on.

Feature photo Mirandiki/Flickr


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