On the slopes of the scarily steep Croix-Rousse, the Bon-Pasteur church has been closed since the 80s and was officially abandoned more than a decade ago. Built between 1857 and 1866 (but never really finished by the architect Tony Desjardins), its front door is out of reach (as it’s raised nearly 3m off the ground!)
Gratings, blackened walls, a neo-Gothic look, and a chilling atmosphere: a gift from God for lovers of esotericism. Watch out though, access is forbidden.
Bon-Pasteur church. 21 rue Neyret (Lyon 1e).
Cinema and Miniature Museum
This museum, founded in 2005 by the miniaturist and artist Dan Ohlmann, has an adults-only room.
Behind the red curtain, you’ll come face to face with the intimidating Alien Queen, Chucky’s chilling features, gruesome Gremlins, dreadful masks from the Hellraiser films, lost limbs, and other unfriendly aliens.
Once you’ve made it out, you can keep up a decent level of dread by heading down to the basement, where sets from the film Perfume have been recreated (not that frightening but certainly strange).
Musée Cinéma et Miniature. 60 rue Saint-Jean (Lyon 5e).
Created in 1854, but officially opened in 1992, the Museum has been certified as a key centre for the history of medicine and today houses one of the biggest collections of medical artefacts in Europe.
It’s a genuine treasure trove that will still give a real fright to anyone uninitiated to the world of medicine. Skeletons, jars of organs preserved in formaldehyde, plaster mouldings, parasites, mummies, criminal anthropology, embalmed anatomical parts, and so on.
Museum of Medical Sciences and Health, quartier Osterode. 819 route du Mas Rillier, Rillieux-la-Pape (69).
Booking on museetl.univ-lyon1.fr (in French)
The tomb of Maître Philippe
Born Nizier Anthelme Philippe in 1849 and known by his admirers as “Maître Philippe" or "Mage Philippe”, from childhood he performed an incalculable number of miracles: inexplicable healings and even resurrections.
Legend has it that he treated Czar Nicholas II before being banished from the Russian court by Rasputin himself.
He is buried in the Loyasse cemetery (Lyon 5th district), and his “disciples” come from all over the world to gather at his tomb and leave short, hand-written notes requesting miracles. It’s safe to say that there’s a paranormal atmosphere around his grave.
Loyasse Cemetery - 43 rue du Cardinal Gerlier (Lyon 5e). Open every day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fort de Vaise underground passages
Built between 1834 and 1848, the Fort is one of the military installations that kept watch over Lyon’s city limits, in case of enemy attacks.
Bought by the Renaud brothers in 1992, the Fort became a cultural venue. But lots more besides.
An underground passage exploration association (OCRA Lyon) organises visits of the site, particularly the deadly passageway fitted with multiple murder holes that proved a death trap for any attackers. Visits are lit by lanterns to accentuate the strange atmosphere.
Fort de Vaise. 25, boulevard Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Lyon 9e). 04 78 47 10 82. Further information on www.ocra-lyon.org
Crypte des Brotteaux
The Chapelle de la Croix Glorieuse (chapel of the glorious cross) stands in the 6th district.
Built in 1795 on the Brotteaux plains, this chapel is a memorial to one of the darkest episodes in Lyon’s history: the massacre of hundreds of people under the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.
It’s a frightening monument, which visitors reach by descending a tight spiral staircase, surrounded by dripping walls, before finding themselves surrounded by skulls, tibias, vertebrae, femurs and ribs. Chilling.
Please note, this is a site of remembrance - please visit respectfully.
Chapelle expiatoire de la Croix Glorieuse / Crypte des Brotteaux. 145, rue de Créqui (Lyon 6e). 04 78 24 30 82. Visits possible by appointment every day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. (except Wednesdays and Sundays). https://fmnd.org/
The Ermitage du Mont-Cindre
More mysterious than frightening, the Ermitage du Mont-Cindre’s rock garden is the work of one man: Emile Damidot.
Between 1878 and 1919, he built (with his own hands, like Ferdinand Cheval and his ideal palace in Hauterives) numerous chapels and a 12m belvedere, cut into the rock of the caves.
39 years of hard work produced a genuinely extraordinary result (in every sense of the term).
L’Ermitage du Mont-Cindre. Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or (69).
Groupama Stadium a late kick-off for the Lyon – Saint-Etienne derby in Décines!