ACUDB - The Red Ghost of the Tuileries

An oil painting depicting Johannes Metzger

Johannes Metzger, also known as Jean l'Ecorcheur to his fellow Parisians, was a German butcher living in Paris, France until his death in 1561. After his execution, his spirit came to be known as the Red Ghost of the Tuileries.


Living on the site of the future Tuileries Palace, Metzger was forced from his home and shop by Catherine de' Medici when construction began. Metzger refused and was eventually arrested and executed. Moments before his death, he swore that he would return to exact revenge on the future palace's occupants.

Soon after his death, supernatural appearances and disturbances around the palace were attributed to Metzger's vengeful spirit, known throughout the palace as the Red Ghost. In 1789, after arriving from her previous home at the Palace of Versailles, Marie Antoinette even asked a magician to protect her from the apparition.

In the following years, as the French Revolution raged, the legend of the Red Ghost intensified, and apparently chose Director of Finance Gabriel Beaudoin as its next target. Believing his office to be haunted, Beaudoin was eventually driven into suicidal madness; however, he had secretly been manipulated by Hervé LeGall, his assistant and a distant descendant of Metzger himself. LeGall had planned to fill Beaudoin's position after his superior's death, but this scheme was foiled by the Assassin Arno Dorian.

After Napoleon Bonaparte took up residence at the Tuileries, he reported meeting the Red Ghost, who told him, "You shall be happy up until your forty-fifth year. My task is to protect you. Thereafter, I shall abandon you." Sure enough, in 1814, forty-five years after Napoleon's birth, the commander was defeated and exiled to Elba.