A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
The Paris Morgue
Dark Tourism, True Crime and Morbid Medicine with Catriona Byers
on Sunday the 23rd October 2022 at 1:30 pm

The morgue was one of the most infamous ‘attractions’ of nineteenth-century Paris. Located just moments from Notre-Dame, it drew tens of thousands of visitors every day to see the bodies on public display, ostensibly for the purpose of helping the police identify the unknown dead. Not only famous in France, it was written up in guide books across the world as a major tourist attraction (occasionally referred to as “the best free theatre in Paris”) and was visited by famous figures including Charles Dickens, Emile Zola and Sigmund Freud.

In this talk, Catriona Byers will explore some of the wild, entertaining and tragic tales from the morgue, a journey that will take us from corruption and true-crime tabloids to dark tourism, early forensic science, and even the ‘most kissed face of all time’. Along the way, she will show how the story of this ‘popular attraction’ is also a story of medical exploitation and abuses, enforcing social hierarchies, moral panic, and the deliberately blurred line between being poor, and being a criminal.

Tickets £12 including a delightful gin cocktail and a 20% donation to Brompton Cemetery. Please click here to purchase.

Catriona Byers
Catriona Byers is a writer and historian specialising in urban death, policing, medicine, forensics and photography from the nineteenth-century to the present day. She’s currently working on a PhD at King’s College London, focusing on the morgues of Paris and New York from 1864-1914, alongside research projects relating to interwar crime scene photography, and American pauper cemeteries. She divides her time between London, Paris and New York, and moonlights as a photographer and food stylist alongside her historical research. For more of Catriona’s work, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @heymorguegirl, or visit her research and professional websites.

Brompton Cemetery