Mysteries of Paris #41 – Red Man of the Tuileries, the Ghost who haunted the French monarchy for 260 years…

(Jardin des Tuileries, next to the Louvre) Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France during the 16th century, had a henchman, a butcher by trade who committed murders for the crown. His name was ”Jean l’écorcheur”, john the skinner. Rumours say that he knew way too many secrets about the royal family. So the queen decided to have his throat slashed by a man called Neuville, in the garden of Tuileries. Before he died, Jean said to his murderer: “I will be back”. Neuville left the corpse in the garden, but feeling the impression of being followed by a blood soaked man, he went back to the crime scene.

The corpse wasn’t there anymore; all that was left was a pool of blood. Neuville then reported the story to the queen. A few days later, the astrologist of the queen, Cosme Ruggeri, told her that during a ritual of divination, he had a vision: the ghost of the red man had told him that the queen would die in a place called saint germain, and that all the owners of the castle would die a horrible death. All this happened in the years after. He also predicted that he would haunt the castle until it would be destroyed. From then on, each time the red ghost appeared to someone, it was with bad news: He appeared to Queen Marie-Antoinette in July 1792, while she was in jail in the Tuileries castle, soon before her execution. In 1815, Napoleon saw the red man surrounded by fog, wearing a Phrygian beret, soon before his defeat in Waterloo. In 1824, Louis XVIII received the visit of the red ghost soon before his death. The last time the ghost was seen was during the fire that destroyed the Tuileries castle, the 23rd of may 1871. He was seen by the fire starters through a window of the room of Marshalls. The dome of the room fell on him, and he has never been spotted again ever since.

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