Haunted Cemeteries of Louisiana
Louisiana became the 18th state in 1812. It has 7,127 documented cemeteries in 52,271 square miles. In 2014 it had a population of 4,650,000. Louisiana is famous for Mardi Gras and Crawfish.
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Pleasant Hill Cemetery is located at the corner of Pecan Avenue and Magnolia Drive across the street from the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in DeRidder. This Beauregard Parish cemetery has a little over 1,000 interments. Professional football player Mel Branch was buried here in 1992.
This cemetery is haunted by a young mother and her son. Legend has it that they were killed in a fire. The legend also says the ghosts are Mary Lee Krueger and her son Freddie Krueger, but according to church records, they died 18 years apart.
Visitors have reported strange lights and shadows as well as full-bodied apparitions.
Big Woods Cemetery
Big Woods Cemetery is located on Edgerly Dequincy Road in Edgerly in Calcasieu Parish. There are around 3,300 interments here going back to the 1840s. Hall of Fame pitcher Ted Lyons was buried here in 1986. Big Woods Cemetery borders Antioch Cemetery on the north end, which has about 1,100 interments.
There used to be a gate between the two cemeteries, but now there is just a path with a sign that reads, “Beware of Children.” Legend says if you see a shadow across the path with no apparent source it is a warning not to cross into the other graveyard. Supposedly, people who have not heeded the warning have walked into the Antioch Cemetery and never returned.
Many photographs have been taken that show ectoplasm and orbs. Several paranormal investigators have reported the destruction of some of their equipment after recording extremely high EMF (Electromagnetic Field) readings. The SWLA Ghost Society has published documentation proving that this cemetery is seriously haunted.
Other claims include people being chased by a driverless truck and vehicles driving into the woods from the cemeteries and then disappearing.
Hookman Cemetery is located on Ohlenforst Road west of Roberts Cove in Acadia Parish. It is a tiny cemetery with just seven marked graves. The dates range from 1891 to 1934.
This cemetery is known for a headless horseman that haunts it. There have also been reports of electrical and mechanical malfunctions occurring close by, especially on the bridge closest to the graveyard.
Springfield Cemetery is located on Main Street east of the Springfield Town Hall. It is in Livingston Parish and has around 900 interments. The oldest graves date back to the 1830s.
There is a myth about a particular grave here that belongs to 15-year-old Michael B. Brown. One night when he was out walking his dog, he was hit by a car and killed. The myth has always been that the drawing on his tombstone is a depiction of his death.
His mother has stated repeatedly that the picture was drawn by her son the night before he was killed and it depicts a fox hunt Michael had attended. It is odd though because the picture looks to have been drawn by someone much younger than 15.
Haunted Cemeteries outside of New Orleans
Metairie Cemetery is also known as Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery. Across the street, Pontchartrain Boulevard, is the Greenwood Cemetery. There are over 25,000 interments in the two combined. The Lake Lawn Park Cemetery is directly to the north. There are 71 graves here listed as famous.
In 1991 Metarie Cemetery was listed as a National Historic Landmark because of its elaborate and beautiful tombs. There are over 7,000 tombs on 150 acres.
There are many ghosts roaming the grounds of this remarkable cemetery. One is David Hennessey who was the police chief of New Orleans. During the late 19th century government corruption was rampant in the city, but Chief Hennessey was an honest man. In the end, it cost him his life when he was murdered on the front steps of his home on October 16, 1890. His ghost is seen regularly, dressed in uniform, patrolling the cemetery.
Another ghost here is Charles Turner Howard. In 1869 he organized the Louisiana State Lottery Company. He became a very wealthy man before he died in 1885 after falling from a carriage when he was only 53 years old. His mausoleum is very beautiful and sits right in the center of the cemetery. Noises are heard coming from inside his tomb almost constantly. People hear talking, crying, screaming, thumping, and all manner of noises coming from inside his tomb.
Lafayette Cemetery Number 1
Lafayette Cemetery Number 1 is also known as Washington Cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1833, but because of a yellow fever epidemic the cemetery was full by 1850 with over 10,000 interments.
People who visit here generally report seeing strange shadows and feeling actual physical sensations of supernatural occurrences.
Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1
St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 was established in the late 1700s and is the oldest existing cemetery in New Orleans. In just one square block there are over 700 tombs with over 100,000 dead. It is an active cemetery and some entombments still occur there.
The most famous ghost that people have claimed to see is Marie Laveau. Born in 1801, she was known as the Voodoo Queen and was the most revered and feared practitioner of voodoo in the history of New Orleans. The ghost of Marie Laveau has been seen all over the French Quarter. She is recognized by a red and white turban and brightly colored clothes. If someone tries to follow her she vanishes right before their eyes. Marie is not regarded as a particularly friendly spirit as she tends to pinch, scratch and shove people who disregard her or her beliefs.
Another spirit of the St. Louis Cemetery #1 is a sailor named Henry Vignes. He had no real home and traveled a lot. When he was in New Orleans he stayed at a local boarding house. He was always worrying about his important papers so he asked the owner to keep his papers if he died. The owner promised she would. These papers included the ownership papers to his family tomb. While he was at sea she sold Henry's family tomb. He discovered what she had done when he returned and was unable to rectify the situation before he died from a sudden illness. Because of the boarding house owner's greed, he was buried in an unmarked grave in the pauper's section of the cemetery.
His ghost is still seen wandering the cemetery, looking so real that some visitors have spoken to him. People who claim to have seen him say he is tall with blue eyes. Henry asks visitors if they know where the Vignes tomb is located because he can't find it. He has been caught on camera, and so has a man's voice on an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) saying, “I need to rest!”
Another ghost haunting this cemetery is named Alphonse. Similar to Henry he appears to simply be looking for a place to rest his soul. He smiles at visitors and asks them to take him home. No one knows where home is. Whenever someone comes near the tomb of the Pinead family, Alphonse seems to warn them away. No one knows why. Maybe someone in the Pinead family wronged him during his lifetime and he has not forgotten.
Saint Roch Cemetery #1
Saint Roch Cemetery #1 is found at 1725 St. Roch Avenue. There are around 10,000 interments here.
One interesting story is about Father Peter Leonard Thevis. He was a pastor at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church when an outbreak of yellow fever occurred. Father Thevis prayed to St. Roch to spare his parishioners from the plague. In exchange, he promised to build a chapel in the saint’s honor.
When the outbreak was over, not a single member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church had died. Father Thevis built the chapel just as he had promised and the cemetery was added around it. Father Thevis died in 1893 and his remains were placed under the altar in the chapel.
One ghost here is an extremely large black dog. He is a peaceful ghost though and just walks around doing what dogs do. He has been photographed and videotaped. He doesn’t want to be approached though and if you try he will simply vanish.
There is a hooded figure in a black robe that is also seen walking around in the cemetery. He has been mistaken for a live person until he suddenly walks through a wall and disappears.
For some unknown reason St. Roch Cemetery is one of the least visited in New Orleans. The ghosts here are not threatening and it’s not a scary place, just a little spooky as most cemeteries are. It is a mystery why more ghost hunters don’t explore here.
Haunted Cemeteries in New Orleans
- Haunted Cemeteries Across America: 500 Haunted Cemeteries from Around the Country - Kindle edition b
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