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Stage Fright: The Grand-guignol And The Popularity Of Horror

While the phrase “grand-guignol” has become commonplace in describing anything bloody or gory, its origin has its roots in an almost forgotten theater at the end of one of Paris’ alleyways. This theater, which started out life as a Catholic church, became famous for showing blood, guts, dismemberment, thrown eyeballs, acid burned faces, and severed tongues.

The Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (literally, The Theatre of the Large Puppet) was born in a part of town well-known for its roughnecks and whores in 1897. By the time it closed its doors for good in 1962 it had entertained hundreds of thousands of people and had a lasting influence on the worlds of literature, art, film, and theater.

The theater did not start out with the blood and guts, but was a theater dedicated to showing reality; taking its stories from the local papers. The theater had been running for several years before it hit

See full article on Fangoria