This month being the month of Halloween, I’m trying to make the majority of my posts be about something spooky, haunted, or Halloween related. There are several places in this world that come to mind when I think of haunted, supernatural, or paranormal. One of them is New Orleans.
I have discussed a couple of notable New Orleans citizens in the past, and that is simply the tip of the iceberg. So today I’m only going to be mentioning a few aspects of the haunted history of New Orleans. The only way I can fully understand more is to actually visit and submerge myself in the spooktacular history of N’Awlins.
Many cities in the United States claim to be the most haunted. New Orleans also has a bid in that ring for the most haunted city. The city itself has many dead who refuse to sleep due to no solid ground to house them. In all areas of the city you will find practitioners of Voodoo, Wicca, or other mystical arts. There are vampires, zombies, and occult shops housing all manner of magical ingredients.
But during a visit to the city, what areas would one need to have on their do not miss haunted tour of the city? Let’s start with a few well known haunts. (Pun intended.)
- St. Louis Cemetery #1 – Be sure to bring an appropriate gift when you stop to pay your respects to the Voodoo Queen herself, Marie Leveau. She isn’t always the only spirit to roam the cemetery. Other cemeteries to check out include the St. Roch Cemetery, and the Metairie Cemetery.
- LaLaurie Mansion – When I had relayed the story of Delphine LaLaurie, I advised that the mansion she resided in had been destroyed by fire. The current building sitting there is still referred to as the LaLaurie Mansion, and it’s claimed it’s haunted. As it is a private home, tours may not be available.
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – One of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter, at night the pub is entirely lit by candlelight. However it’s reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the city. Is Jean Lafitte, still there or another malevolent spirit taken up residence?
- Pirate’s Alley – This unassuming stone alley next to the Cathedral is a hotbed for ghostly activity. Be sure to visit the alley and maybe meet a new spectral friend.
- Not only is the Voodoo Queen Marie Leveau holding court in the cemetery, but you can also find her spirit at many of her houses throughout the city. Be advised her spirit is not fond of other visiting spirits.
These locations and many more can be found around the city, so book a ticket, reserve a room, and dine in the haunted city of New Orleans.
Why is New Orleans so haunted? There are many reasons the city is haunted, here are a few of them:
A violent beginning; the founder of New Orleans settled the city in 1718. But he needed people to grow the cities population. He petitioned the king of France to send people to the new city. The king agreed on his own terms and opened the prison doors and put them all on a ship to New Orleans. These prisoners were the lowest denizens of society, they included thieves, pickpockets, rapists, and murderers.
But now faced with another problem, the male citizens of New Orleans needed brides. The first group of women recruited to travel to New Orleans, were from the Paris’ House of Correction. Prostitutes, all of them.
As one can imagine, the city struggled with crime and debauchery. Eventually the French convicts filled the Old Parish Prison. The prison still hosts over 350 prisoners, even though it’s been closed for many years now.
Another reason the city is the most haunted is an American Plague. First it started with infected mosquitos and ended in the death of thousands. Yellow Fever was the cause of death and many people died up until 1905.
As mentioned above the cemeteries are a hotbed for ghostly activity. Not only are they eerily beautiful, but each crypt can hold generations of families. So when looking at the thousands of tomb, know that several generations of remains be be housed, causing several thousand souls.
New Orleans is a port city, and such attracted an unsavory crowd of travelers, sailors and monsters. Crime is higher where more people converge and this city is no exception. But at least in New Orleans, death is celebrated in numerous ways; Jazz funerals, parades, the Day of the Dead. Death is not the end, for some it could be the beginning.
Happy Haunting, stay curious my friends!