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History of Haunted Places in New Orleans

Updated on March 6, 2016
LaLaurie house
LaLaurie house
Le Pavillon hotel
Le Pavillon hotel
Bourbon Hotel
Bourbon Hotel

Those traveling to the most haunted city in America, New Orleans, will have more then enough scares and ghost destinations to explore. From the tomb of a voodoo priestess to the site of a legendary massacre, explore the Big Easy's spooky side with the most haunted places in New Orleans.

New Orleans has been called the most haunted city in the United States. It has been said by many that the actual history of New Orleans is far stranger than anything fictional writers can create.

City linked to voodoo, it’s dead can not be buried under ground due to water level, so they are placed in tombs of stone. Their cemeteries are real attractions are called “Cities of the Dead.” The most visited by tourists are four: Lafayette Cemetery containing historical graves and where they have even held many weddings, located in the Garden District, the Metairie Cemetery with exquisite architecture, the St. Louis Cemetery in the northern French Quarter.

New Orleans is easily one of the most haunted places in the world with a long history of voodoo, murder and mayhem. The city even has a resident spirit named Marie Laveau, nicknamed the "Voodoo Queen". Homes and businesses are haunted throughout the city, but none quite as creepy as the decaying above ground tombs of St. Louis Cemetery No 1. Saint Louis Cemetery in New Orleans dates back to 1789 and is often considered among the most haunted cemeteries in the United States. This is probably because of the above-ground mausoleums, vaults and crypts, plus the fact that it's the rumored resting place of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.

As the Irish acquired wealth and assimilated more into New Orleans’ society, they began to build above-ground tombs, like the Creoles.

Many of the buildings in the French Quarter are originals dating back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many of these sites have become famous for their apparently haunted statuses.

Jazz funerals began when more than 41,000 people in New Orleans died from yellow fever from 1817–1905. People began to believe that the dead were coming back to infect the living, so during funeral processions the body was carried in a random route through the streets to “confuse” the deceased so they would forget where they lived. Jazz music was added to celebrate the person’s life.

This First Street Home in the New Orleans Garden District is always an eye catcher. The front is great but the side galleries are something else. This home was built in 1869 and is known as the Carroll-Brown House. Mostly Italianate in style with extensive wrought iron which was attached at a later date. We can call this a New Orleans ” grande maison”.

Manchac Swamp near New Orleans is also known as the "Haunted Swamp". It's believed that the swamp was cursed by a voodoo queen in the early 1900's, and as a result three small hamlets disappeared in a hurricane in 1915. From time to time a corpse will surface, but is otherwise untouched by industrial civilization. It is said to be inhabited by red-eyed alligators and the feeling of the area is generally uneasy.

History of the Scariest Places in New Orleans

Pavillon Hotel

Le Pavilion Hotel is located in the downtown area of one of the most haunted cities in the world, New Orleans, Louisiana, and it is said that this hotel matches the city that it is located in when it comes to hauntings. While claims of ghosts come out of the Le Pavilion hotel daily, there are several ghosts that appear more frequently than others.

However, Le Pavillon Hotel is just a step away from the French Quarter and captures the romance of New Orleans with car-sized chandeliers and lavish oil paintings.

It is just five blocks away from New Orleans’ famous nightspots, restaurants and antique shops. Le Pavilion offers visitors a truly unique New Orleans experience, and if you’re lucky enough you may catch a glimpse of the ghost couple who haunt this hotel.

Gardette-LaPrete House 716 Dauphine St, New Orleans LA

This Greek revival home was the site of the one of the grisliest murders in New Orleans‘ history. A Turkish merchant, renting the home, was buried alive in the backyard and his harem entourage murdered. Years later, the French Quarter home is still said to be the site of the merchant’s wanderings, and on certain nights, exotic music and incense from ancient parties waft from the home.

The LaLaurie House

The LaLaurie House is considered one of the most haunted houses in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is said that the original lady of the house was extremely cruel to her slaves. She was apparently responsible for the death of a slave girl and many of the slaves were found living in deplorable conditions. The house exchanged hands multiple times with few staying more than a few scant weeks or months.

In the early 1800's, Madame LaLaurie was the toast of New Orleans, and the mansion she lived in reflected her status. It was discovered that, behind the veneer, she was a cruel woman who tortured her slaves. When one servant set fire to the house, and mutilated slaves were later pulled from the devastation, the family fled, never to set foot in Louisiana again. Over the years, the house has been bought, and then quickly abandoned by the new owners because of unexplained events.

The Columns Hotel

The Columns Hotel, the former home of tobacco merchant Simon Hernsheim, is said to be haunted by a woman in a white gown who floats around the ballroom and garden, a girl who visits the third floor balcony, and a disembodied Southern gentlemen who checks in on guests.

The Old Absinthe House

The Old Absinthe House, whose 200-year-old bar is famous for its enchantment-inducing cocktails, is haunted by famous customers who used to party there, such as Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, Andrew Jackson, and Jean Lafitte. Bottles, glasses, and chairs have been seen moving around the bar and doors opening and closing on their own.

One of the most historical stops in the French Quarter is the Old Absinthe House, a landmark located on the corner of Bourbon and Bienville. The bar was named the Absinthe Room when drinking absinthe grew in popularity in New Orleans.

In 1815, the ground floor was converted into a saloon known as "Aleix's Coffee House" and was run by the nephews of Senora Juncadelia. This coffee house was later rechristened "The Absinthe Room" when mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created the famous Absinthe House Frappe here in 1874.(more about this now illegal liquor) To this day, The Old Absinthe House still has the decorative marble fountains that were used to drip cool water over sugar cubes into glasses of Absinthe.

Bourbon Orleans Hotel

There are many ghosts at the beautiful Bourbon Orleans Hotel. They include a Civil War soldier on the sixth floor, a nun in room 644, a little girl who chases a ball down the sixth floor hallway, and a woman who once visited the ballroom in life and now frequents it in death. The Orleans Ballroom was built in 1817, acting as a theatre, ballroom, and even a state and house legislative meeting place.

Bourbon Orleans is reputed to be the most haunted hotel in New Orleans, in a city famous for hauntings. There are said to be as many as 15 - 20 separate ghosts roaming the hotel.For years, both employees and guests have heard the sounds of phantom children, running in the halls and playing in the rooms. The spirit of an elderly man sitting in the lobby, reading a newspaper and smoking a cigar, has frequently been reported.

Anne Rice's Supernatural Victorian Home in New Orleans

This stately Victorian Gothic home of Rice’s sits on just over a quarter of an acre, and was said by some to be haunted by spirits that predate the modern tales of blood lust and spells.

Vampire Vacations

Vampire Vacations:There were whispers of vampires in New Orleans dating back to the 1880's. In the early 20th century, there were tales of Jacques Saint Germaine, a wealthy and mysterious man who mingled with high society and hosted dinner parties where he never ate but drank wine that, unbeknownst to his guests, was later found to be laced with human blood.

The Buckner Mansion

The Buckner Mansion in New Orleans will be very familiar to fans of the TV show American Horror Story—it was the setting for the third season. You can even rent the place yourself, if you have a few thousand dollars to spare. If you do, then it comes with its own housekeeper. Unfortunately, the housekeeper in question died in the 19th century.Miss Josephine was a freed black woman in charge of the slaves that worked at the house. She was well-trusted and doubled as a governess and midwife.

The Myrtles Plantation

The Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, Louisiana (pre-Civil war era). In 1796 by General David Bradford built an antebellum style plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana which is located near Baton Rouge. He named his pride and joy Laurel Grove and moved in with his wife and three children. However, later a tragedy would begin a long history of deaths and hauntings of this now famous plantation known as The Myrtles.

The Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana was built in 1796 by General David Bradford and called Laurel Grove. Touted as “one of America’s most haunted homes”, the plantation is supposedly home of at least 12 ghosts.[9] It is often reported that 10 murders occurred in the house, but historical records only indicate the murder of William Winter.

Seven Oaks Plantation, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

The historic mansion was the home of descendants of one of New Orleans' first settlers,Michel Seringue, who was the contractor who built the first St. Louis Church and the first Ursuline Convent, both in the 1720's.

Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is rumored to be the oldest bar in America. For many years, this structure, at 941 Bourbon St., has been a bar, but the legend is that Jean Lafitte and his pirates posed as blacksmiths here while using it as headquarters for selling goods they'd plundered on the high seas. The building is one of the few remaining examples of 18th Century French Colonial architecture in the city. There are no electric lights on the inside and the drinks are stiff and cheap.

If you'd rather not experience paranormal activity, the experts recommend avoiding famously haunted cities like New Orleans. These are the places you're most likely to encounter a ghost.

New Orleans is the perfect destination for ghost hunters and those fascinated by the spiritual realm alike. New Orleans has a pretty good sense of humor regarding its reputation as a haunted city.

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