Haunted New Orleans
A city this old is bound to have a few skeletons in the closet.
New Orleans’ tricentennial is a few years away and in the past 300 years more than a handful of hauntings have been reported. October draws many tourists looking for a good scare and the following suggestions are sure to raise the hair on your arms.
The oldest cemetery in New Orleans, established in 1789, this world-famous spot is considered by many to be the most haunted location in the city and one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world. Its most famous resident is Voodoo Queen Marie Leveaux, whose tomb is often surrounded by offerings of trinkets and flowers left by people asking for her intercession. Built on swampy ground at the edge of the French Quarter, its crypts and tombs are a maze of intriguing architecture. Recent regulations meant to protect the cemetery have been put into place, and visitors must now be with an official tour group to visit the cemetery.
Built in 1831 at 1140 Royal Street, the infamous house was home to Dr. Leonard LaLaurie and his wife, Delphine LaLaurie. They were high society French Creoles and known for their lavish parties. It is said Voodoo Queen Marie Leveaux, a hairdresser by trade, often did Madam LaLaurie’s hair and started to teach her voodun practices. When the house caught fire in 1834, horrors were discovered in the attic. Madame LaLaurie had been torturing her slaves and witness testimony of the day describes the atrocities they found. Modern owners of the home have described hearing moans and weeping, and seeing the manifestations of former slaves and even the Madame herself.
Did you know ghosts have exquisite taste in fine dining? Founded in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, the man himself has been seen walking the dining room in his tuxedo, watching over his pride and joy. Guests have also reported seeing a finely dressed woman through a wall. Make a reservation to enjoy a cocktail, a meal and perhaps a supernatural encounter. And don’t forget to ask to see the Mardi Gras Museum, where you may bump into the apparition of Germaine Cazenave Wells, Count Arnaud’s daughter.
If you are coming to New Orleans for a haunted visit, consider resting your head in a haunted hotel. The building was already operating as a hotel when it was purchased by Antonio Monteleone in 1886. Now owned by the fifth generation of the Monteleone family, the hotel is proud of its haunted reputation. More than a dozen different ghosts have been sighted through the years, the most famous being Maurice Begere, a friendly toddler who died of fever in the late 1800s. Book your room on the 14th (really the 13th) floor where the International Society for Paranormal Research determined there was a hotbed of paranormal activity.