International Urban Legends: France

Today we arrive in France. A country filled with fine wine, glorious art a couple of awesome urban legends.

Pont du Diable

The abbeys of Aniana and Gellone decided to build a bridge over the Herault River. Only problem was, every night the Devil would show up. And then the Devil would wreck all of the work they’d done that day.

The bridge the Devil was tricked into building

Pont du Diable in France

One of the priests, Guilhem, finally came to an agreement with the Devil. If the Devil would help them build an indestructible bridge, he could have the soul of the first creature to cross it. And you know the Devil never turns down a soul, right?

So the bridge was finished, Then the priest sent across the bridge the sacrificial soul. It was a dog, with a cooking pot tied to its tail. This did not make the Devil happy. So he tried to destroy the bridge, which he could not do because it was indestructible.

So the Devil threw himself into the river, which today is known as “The Black Abyss” and began to torment the locals in the form of a billy goat. After awhile, Guilhem had had enough of this too. He ambushed the Devil with Holy Water. But Guilhem was impaled on the Devil’s horns and died.

The villagers took up arms and chased the Devil – who was not in any condition to fight them thanks to the Holy Water – back into “The Black Abyss” where he remains today. And if you happen to be crossing that bridge and see the locals throwing stones into that area of the river, don’t be alarmed.

They are just making sure he is staying put in there.

Albino alligators

So you’re touring the catacombs under the streets of Paris and you notice the female guides all have white alligator accessories. It’s not an official part of the “uniform” but a fad and an interesting legend.

Seems a guide vacationed to Florida one year and purchased a stuffed alligator to bring home. Why? She’s French. It’s what they do.

France, where alligators are couture.

Al has never looked better.

But when she got home she quickly figured out that the gator’s color clashed with her decor and this faux pas simply would not do. So, instead of tossing the critter into the bin, she did what any sensible French woman would do.

She skinned it, threw the rest of the carcass in the bin, had the skin dyed white and turned into a snazzy-looking handbag. She took it to work with her and the newest fashion rage to hit the underground world of Paris was born.

Vive la France!!!!




About the author

Richard Paolinelli