Rock legends swear it’s true but is this dilapidated house really haunted by the ghost of pianist Frédéric Chopin?
Or did Chopin’s ghost actually leave with the Grateful Dead in 1971, if he was ever there at all?
Named Chateau d’Hérouville, this French estate has hosted and inspired some old rock n’ roll’s greats from Elton John to Iggy Pop and David Bowie, who stayed there to record their music in the 1970s. So why did these artists all claim the house to be haunted by Frédéric Chopin?
Consider the arguments for and against:
FOR: Chopin died young in 1849 with a lot of unfinished business including a young bride he could never marry because of his illness and many unfinished opuses. Yet somehow he still found time to finish the Funeral March.
FOR: Chopin is said to have fought here with his famous ex GF, Amadine Dupin who went by the name “George Sand” in her writing. As we all know, haunting an ex is one of the biggest motivations for hanging around this celestial plane.
FOR: While Chopin lay dying in Paris, a number of creepy death talismans were cast of his body, including a couple of death masks and an entire death arm complete with a death hand before having his heart sealed into an urn. Who makes a death mask and a death arm if he doesn’t intend to come back and use them?
<<—- Creepy Chopin death mask.
FOR: This mansion is said to have been painted by famed impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh yet I think you will agree the paint job in this photo is well, bloody awful. Supernaturally awful. Clearly the work of a ghost or ghosts here.
FOR: Many musicians who chose to record their albums here went on to be supernaturally successful.
But finally probably the most compelling evidence:
FOR: David Bowie says it’s true and it’s a well-known fact that Bowie is a gnown friend of gnomes and genies, both beings believed to have special communication with ghosts.
But before you decide, consider the arguments against:
AGAINST: Chopin didn’t die in this house and George Sand didn’t live in this house so if Fred wanted to haunt his ex with an awesome death mask and killer hand, why would he do it here?
AGAINST: In 1971, the Grateful Dead band was invited to spread grateful deadness around in hopes that some of it would rub off on Chopin’s ghost. Many say that it worked and in fact that Fred Chopin now plays back up keyboards for the group.
AGAINST: Known almost as much for his love of illegal mind altering substances as for his music, can Iggy Pop really be deemed a reliable witness?
And finally the most convincing evidence against:
AGAINST: Would a prince of the classical piano really want to spend eternity in a mansion known as the “Honky House,” listening to 70s punk and rock?
What do you think? Haunted by Chopin or not? I hope you’ll look into it with me this week.