Ghost signs

Are you familiar with ghost signs? I only recently became aware of this  phenomenon when a friend posted some photos of local ghost signs, on Facebook. From then on, I was hooked.

What is a ghost sign? I searched for a definition and I concluded that it is basically the remains – usually faded – of a painted advertising sign on a building.

If you want to find out everything there is to know about ghost signs, I would recommend the brilliant website:

Mr Ghostsigns (blogger Sam Roberts) also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You might be wondering where is the French link?


Well, I’m now on the hunt for ghost signs in France. Here is one in Castelnaudary.

I have seen others but they’ve either been when I’m driving or when I would have to stand in the middle of a busy road to get a decent shot. I’m now a woman on a mission, so watch this space!

In the meantime, here is an interesting sign I spotted in Toulouse. As it is not painted, I’m not sure if it counts as a ghost sign but I like it anyway.


Here’s a similar one which is on the wall of a former flour mill.


I’m still not one hundred percent sure how to translate ‘ghost signs’ into French. Are they ‘les murs peints publicitaires’ or ‘les publicités peintes’? I’m hoping someone out there might be able to enlighten me.

My hunt for ghost signs will continue. Does anyone else find them fascinating? I’d love to know!

5 thoughts on “Ghost signs

  1. Isn’t it frustrating to see a great shot and not be able to get it!
    I love that your first sign is for the Albi mines–not to be confused with the engineering school–did you know there was a coal mine? Yet the sign touts English coal (from Newcastle?).
    There’s a website dedicated to old advertisements:
    “The official site for conservation of exterior and roadside advertisements”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carmaux, about 20 mins north of Albi, used to be a mining town. The last pits closed in the 1980s, apparently. There is a mining museum there and one can go 350 metres underground in a reconstructed coal mine 😳 Thank you so much for the link. It looks very interesting and useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is something that I’ve never really given any thought to, but I’ve definitely seen them. That said, apart from one, I can’t think of any examples. We have an office building in town that has the painted sign on the side that tells us it was once a seed merchants. I can remember when I was a small child going into the store with my mother to buy bread.

    Liked by 1 person

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