Paris of the 1890s had several supernatural nightlife options, each of them with marvelously outlandish gimmicks. In the 1899 book Bohemian Paris of To-Day by William Chambers Morrow and Édouard Cucuel, the authors visit several of the City of Lights darker drinking destinations, such as the Cabaret du Néant (“The Cabaret of Nothingness”) in the neighborhood of Montmartre.
At this gothic nightspot, visitors pondered their own mortality as they drank on coffins and were served libations (named after diseases) by monks and funeral attendees. Recalls Morrow:
“Large, heavy, wooden coffins, resting on biers, were ranged about the room in an order suggesting the recent happening of a frightful catastrophe. The walls were decorated with skulls and bones, skeletons in grotesque attitudes, battle-pictures, and guillotines in action. Death, carnage, assassination were the dominant note, set in black hangings and illuminated with mottoes on death.”