Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by Tamara Bee
Did His Ghost Lead Us To Jim Morrison’s Grave in the Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Paris?!
The beginning of my 16 months 50 000 KM (30k miles) overland trip from Paris to Cape Town… started in you guessed it Paris!
(This was also in 1993 –so no modern tech like the internet, Google maps or cell phones!)
I left Canada with my friend Casey (however we parted ways a few months later) in January 1993.
After spending an action-packed 3 days in Paris (without even a guidebook let alone Trip Advisor!) seeing the sights (Versailles, Musse D’orsay, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysses, Arc de Triomphe, Victor Hugo’s house, Notre Dame & The Opera house) we still had a couple of hours to kill before our night train to Nice. So we decided let’s go to Pere Lachaise.
Where is Pere Lachaise Cemetary?
It is a huge Cemetery in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and there are over a million people buried there and even more, people are cremated there. There are many famous people buried there including Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Chopin, but our main goal was to see Jim Morrison’s grave.
Casey was a massive Doors fan! It was in January, so it gets dark early and by the time we got there, it was just before they closed at 6 pm. I managed to speak (my French is okay) to the man at the entrance to ask if we could take a peek and he said, “Ok at your risk”.
So we go in, oh my God, like there’s no way we’re going to find it, it’s huge, it’s dark and we didn’t have a flashlight & it is closing in 10 minutes!
I tried to ask the guy where Jim’s grave was and he just pointed a finger over that way… very helpful lol. I mean there are a million people buried there. It’s massive. It’s actually the most visited gravesite in the world! Something like 3.5 million people visit every year.
So we decided to head in the direction he pointed. Like I said it’s a huge cemetery, it’s dark & we had no idea where Jim’s grave was. Also, you would see something in the corner of your eye and think someone’s there but it’s a crypt or a gargoyle or an angel statue & on a cold dark night it was kind of scary!
All of a sudden I could hear some faint music. I said, “Casey do you hear that?” He said, “Yes”. Then in the far distance, we could see this very faint light. ‘Sensibly’ we decided to head towards the light & music!
OMG It’s Jim Morrison’s Ghost…Or is it?
Now the closer we got the louder the music got. Guess what? It was the bloody Doors, it was Jim Morrison singing!
We thought ok let’s just follow Jim! We get closer & closer, the music gets louder and the light gets brighter, and realize it’s a bunch of lit candles. We thought this is so eerie!
Unbelievably We Found Jim Morrison’s Grave!
We get to the grave & all the graves that surround his are all covered in flowers & graffiti by Doors fans with peace and love messages.
Well, there was this guy sitting on Jim Morrison’s grave & doing heroin (as one does) and he had brought a cassette recorder which was playing The Doors and they were his candles.
So it wasn’t Jim’s ghost guiding our way but I guess this was kind of a perfect setting to see Jim Morrison’s grave!
Casey and I were just thinking WTF!? It was pretty funny, to be honest.
We chatted to him briefly (nice guy) and took a couple of photos & then realized the time!
Our train was leaving in a few hours which was $75 a train ticket & we were on a tight budget so we couldn’t miss it! Now we had to find our way back to the entrance which was a mission in itself, especially without Jim guiding us the way back!
Locked in Pere Lachaise Cemetary…are you kidding me?!
So we finally get back to the gates where we came in, well they are locked! We’re locked in Pere Lachaise for the night…oh my god!
First, we get busted on the Metro (jumping the gates like many of the Parisians did) and now we’re locked in Pere Lachaise with our train leaving in a couple of hours from the other side of Paris-awesome!
We didn’t know what we were going to do!
Pere Lachaise …Escape plan put into action!
I looked around the gates & there was a tree with an overhanging branch over the gate. I thought we could probably climb the tree and get over the gate since the fences/gates are about 8-10 feet high. Although the probability of breaking an ankle was also rather high too!
We were just about to do that but then I had one last look around a corner and found a little side gate that had been locked but there was some leeway to squeeze through if you pushed it.
“Oh my God, Casey I found this gate! We can get out!”
Which we did thankfully and even managed to catch our train to Nice! Crazy times in Paris! Lol (and this was just the beginning of my trip!)
So there you go. The moral of the story -Get to Pere Lachaise before 6 pm so you don’t get locked in and always follow the light!
If you would like to be a bit more organized than us, then this Pere Lachaise Cemetary walking tour has over 1000 positive reviews…so you might like to check it out.
Also please do NOT travel without travel insurance! This is the one I use.
PS Jim Morrison’s grave is now fenced off and most of the grafiti has been cleaned off …boo!