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Destruction & Desecration of Historic Tombs in New Orleans (with humor/sarcasm!)

Updated on March 12, 2013

X marks the spot...of stupidity.

I recently went to the St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery and discovered that he moron tour guides have picked a new tomb to destroy:

Closeup of the tomb above

Color adjusted to show the marks and destruction.
Color adjusted to show the marks and destruction.

Less reputable guides will tell their tour groups that a particular tomb has some powerful Voodoo practitioner buried inside and even beyond the grave is still to be feared. Ironically, they then tell you that the best way to pay your respect is to desecrate their tombs and give them a little errand to run on your behalf.

I'm sorry, I don't know if this makes me want to laugh or cry. I don't care what your religious beliefs are, I don't care how young or gullible or hung over you are.

Tell me if this makes any sense to you:

"Okay, we're going to break off a piece of someone else's tomb and use it to scratch 3 X's into this pooooooowerful dead lady's grave.
And she'll be thrilled about that, by the way.
So go ahead and scrape off some more of her plaster, no problem, then knock three times on the brick and then make a wish so the nice (but scary!) dead lady can get right to work on that like your fairy godmother!"

If it was just a silly superstition, I wouldn't care, but these graves are already falling apart faster than they can be put back together. And yes, each person takes just a small chip of brick- but dozens of times a day, 6 days a week?

Here is the side of that same tomb, and you can see how a layer of brick has already come loose and how the plaster is already coming off. This particular grave is well off the beaten path; the caretakers have been trying to discourage this practice, so I'm guessing whatever guide is doing this is trying to hide his activities:

Typically, it's Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau's tomb they pick on

There, you can see the x's better because the plaster is being actively maintained, otherwise it would have long been worn away.

While there's a controversy over whether the Queen is really in that grave at all, the tomb in that first set of photos doesn't even have a name on it and the guide likely has no idea who's inside, making it that much easier to invent whatever tales they want.

I have gotten into arguments in St. Louis No. 1, telling people to knock it off and why. The amazing thing is how many of them are wide eyed that grave desecration would be any kind of a problem. One even dreamily told me that "it's just like wishing on a star!"

Wow. It's enough to make you hope that Marie Laveau is in there, listening. It would have made that girl's dreams veeeeerrry interesting that night, I'm sure.


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    • PaigePixel profile image

      Paige 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks so much! I'm just getting started and have a couple of things I'm going to focus on- not just haunting the cemeteries as a genealogist! :)

      Unfortunately, there are several tour companies that focus on the vampire lore, the haunted history, the voodoo and try to turn the tour into an interactive movie or something. The guides wear costumes, get campy and draw a younger audience that often just doesn't seem to know any better.

      I'm eager to spend some time in the forums and learning center to make sure I'm headed in the right direction, and hope to do so in the coming week!

      Thanks again! you've made my night- you're my first comment!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Welcome to HubPages, PaigePixel!

      I can understand why you are so passionate about saving these tombs. New Orleans is fascinating city, and the superstitions and beliefs are interesting. But to use them to desecrate those beautiful tombs with their rich history is unfathomable. I hope the guide or guides doing this are caught and fired. Thanks for sharing.

      Again, Welcome! I think you have a very interesting niche. :-) If you need help with your hubs, check out the Learning Center for some great advice.