Woman Who Played Dead in Concert Hall Attack: 'I Envisioned Every Face I've Ever Loved'
A 22-year-old woman who played dead when terrorists opened fire inside Paris' Bataclan Concert Hall has shared her chilling account of the attack in a now-viral post.
Hours after escaping the venue where more than 80 people were killed, Isobel Bowdery, from South Africa, posted about her experience to Facebook alongside an image of her blood-covered shirt.
"You never think it will happen to you," she began.
Bowdery, who attended the Eagles of Death Metal concert with her boyfriend on Friday night, described a happy atmosphere of dancing and smiling. When she heard gunfire, at first she thought it was just part of the show.
But "it wasn't just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre," she wrote. "Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant.
"Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry - not giving those men the fear they longed to see."
She continued: "As I lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those i love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep belieivng in the good in people. to not let those men win."
Watching the terrorists "meticulously" aim and kill people didn't feel real, she said, and she thought she would wake up from the nightmare.
But following the terror, she remembers the heroes, such as the man who covered her head, the man she mistook for her boyfriend before he held and reassured her, the police officers who saved lives and the couple "whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world."
She concluded: "Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. to live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten."
Since writing the post on Saturday, it has been shared more than 700,000 times.
Her boyfriend, Amaury Baudoin, also shared his account to Facebook. He described huddling with other concert-goers after fleeing behind the stage. When police eventually came to save them, he saw the bloody scene.
"It was not a scene of war," he wrote. "It was a slaughterhouse."
After the anguish of not being about to find Isobel, he finally reunited with her in the street.
He finished his post with a call to action.
"Do what we did after the Charlie killing," he wrote in French. "This incredible and spontaneous gathering of millions of men and women... warmed our hearts. It is this hope and this love of freedom that kept us up... Gather around the world."