Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue – Atlas Obscura

A corpse is carried out through the morgue, c. 1840s. PUBLIC DOMAIN

A corpse is carried out through the morgue, c. 1840s. PUBLIC DOMAIN

In August 1886, when curious Parisians opened up the newspaper Le Journal Illustré and read its cover story on “Enfant de la Rue du Vert-Bois,” a four-year-old girl found dead with a single mysterious bruise on her hand, they knew what to do. One by one, readers of the paper rushed to the Paris Morgue, where they pushed their way into…

via Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue – Atlas Obscura

11 thoughts on “Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue – Atlas Obscura

  1. What’s most arresting about these pictures is that there are children present. But then, in the past, children encountered death in everyday life as women often died in childbirth, half of the newborn never saw their fifth birthday and a simple appendicitis was often a life-shortening problem. The morbid spectacle attracted foreign visitors and the morgue figured on the to be seen list of Paris attractions. Mark Twain left an account of his visit there. In “Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola, there is a gruesome passage describing the morgue. Zola belonged to the realistic movement and we can be sure that every detail he describes is authentic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had heard of this before, but found the illustrations fascinating. I spent a lot of time in mortuaries during my working life, and would not recommend them as a place for anyone to regard as a leisure activity.
    I always got outside again, as soon as possible.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.