Stop Press!

Bodies Beneath • High Weirdness • Selene • Faunus • The Honoured Dead • Bass Mids Tops • Hawkwind: Days Of The Underground • Scottish Lost Boys • London's Lost Rivers II • David Rudkin: Of Mud And Flame

Cabarets of Death

By Mel Gordon
Edited by Joanna Ebenstein

216mm x 171mm
PB 180pp
ISBN: 978-1-913689-2-69

£25 / £35

Available mid-November 2023

Available in a standard paperback edition and a limited edition (300) hardback with postcards and enamel Cabaret Du Néant skull and crossbones badge. Initial 500 copies bought from SAP will include a facsimile postcard.


From 1892 until 1954, three cabaret restaurants in the Montmartre district of Paris captivated tourists with their grotesque portrayals of death in the afterworlds of Hell, Heaven, and Nothingness. Each offered specialized cuisines and morbid visual displays featuring flashes of nudity and shocking optical illusions.

These cabarets were considered the most curious and controversial amusements in the city, and graphic postcards of their startling spectacles and otherworldly interiors became their own sensational currency.

Cabarets of Death documents the dinner shows, bizarre character interactions, and theatrical goings on in these unique establishments. Presenting original images and drawings from contemporary journals, postcards, tourist brochures, and menus, the late cultural historian Mel Gordon leads a tour of these idiosyncratically macabre institutions, and grants us unique access to a form of popular spectacle now long departed.

About the authors

Mel Gordon (1947–2018), called a “drama scholar of the fringe” by the New York Times, published books on the grisly Grand Guignol theater, the deviant sexual worlds of Weimar Berlin and Paris, and Erik Jan Hanussen, Hitler’s Jewish clairvoyant.

Joanna Ebenstein is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, curator, photographer, and graphic designer. She is the creator of the Morbid Anatomy blog, library, and event series and co-founded the Morbid Anatomy Museum.