Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The ghost of Eugenie Fougère?
Eugenie was a well known dancer, singer and courtesan during France's Belle Époque period in the late 1800's in Paris. Eugenie was a sensation in New York when she danced the rag time cake-walk "Hello, Ma baby."
Eugenie was brutally murdered in Aix Les Bains on September 20, 1903.
Aix Les Bains was the jet set spot before there were jets and before people discovered Monte Carlo. The wealthy, the elite and the noble flocked to Aix Les Bains for the healing powers found in its natural spring heated waters and for its extravagant casino. Art flourished in the form plays, concerts, operas, music halls and dance. Sarah Bernhardt and Maupassant entertained, Wagner's Tristan played in Aix even before it made it to Paris.
Queen Victoria visited, King George I of Greece came every year, the Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II came in 1888. He stayed in Le Splendid Palace (as did most of the important and wealthy people) where he rented the entire floor--28 rooms. Empress Sissi of Austria came and took treatments in fresh donkey milk, ate vegetarian and too long walks each afternoon with a person who only spoke to her in ancient Greek. A Maharaja came with his solid gold bicycle encrusted with diamonds, another man had a pet leopard.
Eugenie had enjoyed fame and fortune in Paris. She was as well known for her extravagant collection of jewels as she was for her sparkling wit and dare devil attitude. She came to Aix Les Bains with two young maids from Paris.
Although well into ether and morphine by the age of 42--and still incredibly beautiful and young looking--she was a sparkling attribute to Aix Les Bains. On the night of September 20, she was escorted home from the casino by a good man and friend. She was found strangled to death in her bed the next morning, her servant strangled and bound to a chair by her bedside. The twist in the story is that her second maid planned the whole thing out with a boyfriend and two of his friends. They were after her money and jewels.
I had the good fortune to stay in Le Spendid Palace two weeks ago. My hotel, Le Manoir--ancient stables for Le Splendid--,was overbooked and they bumped my children and me up to an apartment in the Palace.
The steps up to the Palace.
The Palace (or part of it as is too big to photograph in its entirety!)
Is Eugenie the ghost who visited me on two separate occasions, the first time at le Manoir in February of this year, the second time this last visit in Le Splendid? I've never been visited by a ghost before and, in Aix les Bains, both times it was a definite paranormal experience with the same entity.
At any rate, there must be scads of ghosts in Aix Les Bains with the scads of glamorous palaces and chateaux and all those glamorous people who came and went. What a colorful past!
Gros bisous et a demain!
Labels: Ghostly Stories