New Orleans has a very haunted history. You should include some of these sites in your New Orleans travel plans.
Imagine life 400 years ago in the swampy nether regions of New Orleans: damp, dark, cold, and somewhere between land and sea. Pirates, Indians, immigrants, along with alligators, snakes, bats, and all sorts of swamp creatures abound. Throw in some Caribbean voodoo, stories of vampires, the horror of slavery, and you have the makings of a very frightening and scary place.
The remnants of this early, eerie culture can be found in the historic New Orleans French Quarter of today.
One of the most horrible tales of New Orleans comes from the LaLaurie Mansion, (1140 Royal Street) still standing in the French Quarter today. It is thought to be one of the most haunted places in America. This is the house where slaves were horribly tortured, buried on the grounds, held captive and only discovered upon a fire at the house, in 1834.
After the fire, dozens of slaves, chained, tied to makeshift operating tables, body parts strewn about, and unspeakable horrors. Before the fire, one of the most prominent families in New Orleans, afterward, they fled into the night to never be seen again.
New Orleans Travel Tip: The LaLaurie Mansion is right in the French Quarter within easy walking distance. It is not open for tours, but you can see it right from the street.
In 1822, the Girod Street Cemetery was established as a large above-ground cemetery. It consisted of 2,319 wall vaults and approximately 1,100 tombs. The cemetery was deconsecrated on January 4, 1957. Shortly thereafter the human remains were moved elsewhere.
Today, the area that was the Girod Street Cemetery is the currently the food court for the New Orleans Centre shopping mall and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome's Southeast Parking Garage. There is no marker, but you can tour the area.
New Orleans Travel Tip: There is literally nothing left at the Superdome to see of the Girod Street Cemetery.
The La Prete Mansion (1240 Burgundy Street) was constructed in 1836. The scene of several alleged murders and rapes, it is by many accounts haunted. One tenant of the mansion was found dead, being buried alive on the grounds of the house. The police were allegedly alerted by blood trickling from underneath the iron gates of the mansion.
Madame Mineurcanal’s house at 2606 Royal Street was the site of her suicide. Reportedly in the afternoon, for reasons unknown, she hanged herself from an overhead beam on the third floor. She also killed her dog. Reports of hauntings have proliferated since.
Marie Laveau is entombed in New Orleans’ Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 (1300 St Louis St.) To this day, the tomb is the object of adoration and the site of Voodoo offerings, with many visitors marking their pilgrimage by adorning the tomb with at least one large "X".
New Orleans Travel Tip: Some older French Quarter hotels claims ghosts too. Ask the concierge, and you may find interesting facts about where you are staying.
You can see these sites yourself, or, if you prefer, try a Ghost Tour.