Brrr! … Haunted Houses: Incredibles

At the time of inaugurating the 13th season, as we say for American series, the 13th season of this show, it seemed to me that a tribute was due to this number 13, which carries many superstitions. And I chose to talk to you about the proliferation, hold on tight, of haunted houses in the 19th century, in Anglo-Saxon countries and in France.

Not, of course, that we are suddenly renouncing a desire for realism which dominates this microphone, but because the strong presence of so many multifaceted ghosts in collective sensitivities gives rise to interesting questions about the evolution of imaginaries from one era to another.

These rapping spirits, malicious or sadistic, casual or perverse, many people believed in them, many people exploited their mirage. A whole world of strange creakings, repulsive smells, chilling voices, furniture being lifted by mysterious forces, muffled screams and bizarre whistles, all of these thrived for the awe or fascination of contemporaries.

However, it happens that this universe finds nowadays, especially in England, a surprising resurgence at the heart of the news. Just before the summer, in Frodsham, near Manchester, a French couple made the front page of popular newspapers when, after having acquired an old house for a pittance, astonished by the luck of such a good deal , he was literally kicked out of the house by an onslaught of ghosts.

Haunted houses have found their historian:

Stephanie Sauget, professor of contemporary history at the University of Tours. She is the author of a History of haunted housess (Tallandier, 2011), and has also published In search of lost steps: a history of Parisian stations in the 19th century (Tallandier, 2009).


  • Song “THE GHOST OF THE MANSION” by Ray VENTURA (1938)music by Rudi Revil and lyrics by Charlys.
  • Excerpt from the interview with Mme DEVAUX in the program “The devil’s scullions: magic and sorcery”, on April 4, 1950.
  • Excerpt from the interview with the priest-exorcist of Parisin Inter Actualités, March 13, 1973.
  • Excerpt from the interview with Michel Droit in the program With or without microphone, December 29, 1950.
  • Excerpt from the TV movie “THE GHOST OF THE CANTERVILLES” by Marcel Cravenne according to the news The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Albert Husson and Claude Santelli, with Claude Rich, Jacques Fabbri, Maria Pacôme and Jacques Berlioz, first broadcast: 25 November 1962.
  • Excerpt from theinterview of the painter André MASSON as part of theRadio creation workshopJanuary 5, 1986.


  • Stephanie Sauget, In search of lost steps. A history of Parisian stations in the 19th century, Tallandier, 2009.
  • Stephanie Sauget, History of haunted houses. France, Great Britain, United States (1780-1940)Tallandier, 2011.
  • Stéphanie Sauget (direction of collective work), wandering soulsCreaphis, “flint” collection, June 2012.

First aired Saturday, September 3, 2011.

The course of history

50 mins

Time concordance

59 mins

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Brrr! … Haunted Houses: Incredibles

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