Where I live in the south of France is kinda remote and there’s this giant castle like 10 minutes away. It’s on this hill and no one can access it except for government people. It’s super off limits. It used to be Picasso’s home during his prime. When he passed away, his daughter took the house and sold it to some people, to a couple actually, and the woman murdered her husband for cheating. And they had to dogs who are said to have witnessed the murder. Anyway, that’s why the castle is closed to the public. But whenever we drive by or see it from afar, you can always hear dogs barking, no matter what. So the story goes that the dogs who witnessed the murder are calling on other dogs to help save their master. I had a summer home there in the south of France, that’s why I know the story. I personally experienced hearing the dogs. If you do drive as close to the house as you can, there are two dog statues in front of the gate that look like domestic, docile dogs – not like guard dogs or anything, they look kinda like golden retrievers. Oh, and before the house belonged to Picasso, it belonged to Cezanne who was an artist in the era of Van Goh, and the locals say the place became haunted because the house wasn’t passed on to another artist after Picasso.
We were driving past the house one time and we were just like “Why are there so many dogs?” and eventually we ended up talking to this local who’d lived there like his whole life and he told us the story. It’s just this big empty castle with tons of rooms not being used because of this legend. I like the story, it’s kinda funky. Part of me believes it because there are a lot of dogs, but they could just be strays and it’s a big coincidence.
Everyone in the town already knows. The locals don’t exactly make a point to tell tourists about it. They’ll talk about it if you ask, but they won’t bring it up – I don’t think they want it to be a tourist attraction. It’s kinda there for you to discover I guess.
The most interesting part of the story to me is that the origin of the curse is said to come from the fact that Picasso didn’t pass the castle along to another artist. It reinforces this idea of property within communities I think – specifically the artistic community in this case. Like only someone in the same vein of fame would be worthy of the house.