According to our good friends and crypt keepers, Haunted History Tours, these are the top 5 haunted locations in the French Quarter. Badass Balloon Co and Haunted History Tours have collaborated to drop some knowledge on these spooky places and their tragic backstories.The curated list does not contain purely the most gruesome acts of violence to cause hauntings, but the most active and frequent paranormal sightings. It’s amazing how these hauntings happen in such hospitality centered environments. This list contains hauntings from Spanish apartments to pirate taverns to civil war era hotels to socialite mansions. And if you need any more info on these topics make sure to talk to our pals at Haunted History Tour. Their theatrical guides can make these sad locations exciting.
Many New Orleanians will know this is an obvious choice, but with GOOD REASON. The mansion is on most tours whether it be history or haunted history. If you have not heard of Madame Delphine Macarty LaLaurie, let me introduce you to the notorious torturess.
Madame Delphine was born into the Macarty Clan in 1787. The clan was wealthy, politically powerful, and very large. Basically they were socialites with money to spend and cold get away with murder. Madame Delphine had three marriages, but the third one in 1825, is where her story TRULY BEGINS. One of Delphine’s daughters from her second marriage had a few deformities, so she hired the help of Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. He was a physician from France and 20 years her junior. Although he did not cure her daughter, she was still enamored by him and the tortuous medical mechanisms he used on her daughter.
In 1831, the LaLauries moved in the infamous mansion on 1140 Royal Street. The marriage was not a happy one, as the neighbors always heard them arguing, and Louis eventually left. Once her husband left, the rumors began to spread that she was torturing her slaves. There was an incident in 1833 with one of her slaves, Leia, who fell to her death in the courtyard with no one else to blame but Madame LaLaurie. The council made her release all of her slaves, but one by one she purchased them all back. But this was just a small glimpse into what was really going on in the mansion.
In 1834, a fire broke out in the kitchen by a slave who was chained to the stove in an attempt to get law enforcement to the house. This is when THINGS. GOT. REAL. Not only did most of the mansion go up in flames, but so did Madame LaLaurie’s reputation. The fire revealed what some had suspected, but not to this degree. Slaves were found chained to the building, tortured, and starved. Nearly TWO THOUSAND townspeople flocked to the wretched sight, because it had to be seen to be believed. The sheriff never arrived to take Madame LaLaurie away, and the crowd grew to an angry mob wanting to take action. Somehow Madame LaLaurie escaped while the mob tore apart the entire house. Where she ended up remains a mystery. Some say she went to France, others say her boat docked in Mobile, AL, and never made it to France. Some even believe she hid out in the city under an alias. We may never know what truly happened to her.
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If you want to know just how bad the torturing was, then keep reading. All others beware. Once the fire cleared the remains of the bodies, some dead, some alive, were brought to light. One body had bones broken and reset into unnatural positions so that when she moved she was reminiscent of a crab. Another person had a wooden spoon sticking out of his head. Upon further inspection there was a large hole, so the brain could be stirred. One person had their intestines removed and wrapped around their neck and waist. Another person had their skin peeled back revealing all of the muscle and tissue. Some were even covered in honey and ants. It is said that only the lucky ones were the ones who were dead, so that they were free from their torture.
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With the vile acts that happened at 1140 Royal Street, there is no doubt that this mansion is haunted. There have been stories of moans coming from the house when no others were present. After the fire the house was converted into apartments. I mean who would want to live there?!? But one guy did and he constantly told one of his friends about paranormal experiences he experienced. He thought a demon lived there that would not stop until he was finished. One day he was found dead, and the police said it was a robbery gone wrong. Well there was nothing stolen. ANd the suspect remains at large. Several years later the house was converted into an all girls school. The children would come back with the mysterious scratches and bruises coming from “the woman”. Now you may think these stories are victims of circumstance or coincidence. But the eerie feeling that haunts the mansion is very much REAL. Just passing by you can feel a disturbing presence and chills up your spine.
It is no coincidence that Haunted History Tours originates their tours at Reverend Zombie’s Voodoo Shop. It seems to be the home a Frenchman who mysteriously disappeared in the late 1700’s.
The original structure was to be built for Andres Fernandez by his brother Joseph. But to Andres’ dismay, Joseph never finished the job. His plans called for brick structure, wood floors, and a shingle roof. Andres thought the plans were simple enough to be handed over to another carpenter in the city. But the new carpenter, Francisco Gagnie, was french and could not translate very well the Spanish construction documents.
Andres Fernandez grew furious over Fransico Gagnie’s work and filed a suit against him. He claimed that his work was unfinished, but Gagnie did not agree. Fernandez won the suit and Gagnie was ordered to pay him a large sum that he could not afford. Gagnie was never seen again after the suit. And a well on the property was filled in with brick and sand all around the same time. The well was never reopened again.
Flash forward to the 1960s, the property has a new owner. The owner grew quite alarmed when someone kept kicking the door and screaming in french in the middle of the night. An elaborate security system was set up to catch the culprit. But there was never anyone there. Other tenants in the rear apartments have complained of construction tools going missing. The current tenant left out a hammer on the ledge of the well overnight. By morning it was gone even though she was the only person on the property. And on one foggy night while she was sitting on the well, she felt a clammy hand grab her ankle.
Most of the ghost stories associated with Muriel’s revolve around one of the past owners of the building in which Muriel’s resides. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan bought the property sometime after one of New Orleans’ huge fires, this one in 1788. It was called the Good Friday Fire. The gentleman who owned this property prior to the fire was a Mr. Marigny. After the house received damage from the fire he decided it was in his best interest to sell the property. Jourdan stepped in and bought the damaged property from Marigny and set forth restoring the home to its former glory.
The ghost of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdon is often linked to the hauntings at Muriel's Restaurant. When still alive, he bought the damaged property in 1788 after The Good Friday Fire from Mr. Marigny. Jourdon put his heart and soul into restoring the building to its original glory. He spent most of his life in the home he so proudly rebuilt. Unfortunately, Jourdon lost his home in 1844, to his own fault. He wagered his beloved house in a poker game and the results were TRAGIC. He spent a fortune rebuilding the home and so much of his time. He fell into a deep depression and was never the same. He succumbed to his demons and hanged himself on the second floor.
The area where Jourdon died on the second floor is what the staff at Muriel's calls the seance lounges. This is where the ghost of Jourdon frequents the most. And people have had seance sessions trying to contact him.
Other unexplained phenomenons that happen in the building are footsteps passing and shadows when no one is around. There have been instances when a glass has flown out from behind the bar for no reason whatsoever. WHAT COULD EXPLAIN THIS?
The Provincial Hotel was once a hospital for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. It was renovated and added onto to build the hotel that now occupies the locations. One can imagine the types of horror that occurred there. War injuries, especially back then with no modern medicine, were no joke. Many injuries coming into the hospital were gunshot wounds, stabbings, torn limbs, and many even more unimaginable. Pools of blood often filled the floors of the hospital.
Many who have worked at The Provincial Hotel and those who have stayed there for a short time, have reported unexplainable sightings. Many maids have reported seeing Civil War era surgeons and soldiers occupying the halls. Some guests have seen blood stains appear on the bedding and walls and then disappear. One poor security saw way more than he bargained for when he stepped onto the elevator. When he went to get off on his stop on the second floor, there was a frantic hospital scene in total view. He simply stepped back onto the elevator and got the hell out of dodge.
Who doesn't love a good haunting at bar, in New Orleans, on the infamous Bourbon Street, by a notorious pirate? That's what Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop has in store for you. Not only is this place one of the most haunted in New Orleans, it is also one of the oldest buildings in the country acting as a bar.
The pirate and privateer at the center of all of this is Jean Lafitte. As a pirate he looted, robbed, and killed by his own means; and as a privateer he did so for the government. Jean Lafitte and his brother Pierre used the blacksmith shop as a front for their smuggling operation. After the Embargo Act was passed, that forbade ships from docking at foreign ports, the brothers moved to Barataria Bay in order to continue their operation. They were eventually shut down and the brothers were arrested. But their slate was wiped clean when they helped Andrew Jackson when the New Orleans was seized by the British. They became free men and continued on their outlaw lifestyle. He eventually died in battle in 1823, after being fatally wounded.
Jean Lafitte seems to love to visit his former smuggling shop. His ghost is usually seen at full opacity. Unlike what Hollywood has made us believe, ghosts do not always come in full bodied apparitions. Ghosts are often seen as mists of shadows. A full bodied apparition would appear no different than a living person. But the one tell tale sign is that this ghost is dressed in sailor gear. Actually, on second thought, that sounds about right for the folk cruising around the French quarter.
Lafitte’s ghost has never said a single word to anyone or even interacted. Out the corner of your eye you may see a man standing in the dark corner until his ghost is noticed and he disappears. This sighting has been reported NUMEROUS times. He is always on the first floor and usually
Thanks again to our friends at History Tours for the info and if you would like to know more, go take a tour!
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