The Crescent City praises the dark in its name, making New Orleans, Louisiana, quite the spooky place to visit. And although it would be a good idea to visit this place during Halloween, the city is filled with so much paranormal activity behind almost every door that you can expect a haunted experience at any time of the year. So what are the most haunted places in New Orleans to visit?
While walking down NOLA's streets, you're not just getting your fill of incredible jazz music, great local cuisine, one-of-a-kind drinks, and street performances on every corner. Among its cultural facets, there are haunted spots with grim tales that come alive to all who dare to visit. From torture chambers to restless souls, the city's haunted history is a must-visit if you're looking to get spooked, and you can learn more about it by embarking on one of the many ghost tours New Orleans has to offer.
The Most Haunted Places in New Orleans to Visit
1. The LaLaurie Mansion
Known as "the Haunted House" on 1140 Royal Street and referenced by shows such as American Horror Story, the LaLaurie Mansion is one of the most popular haunted spots in the city. Home to Delphine LaLaurie, the house is considered one of the most haunted places in French Quarter.
The mansion holds more than one ghost story, apart from the main tale that tells of Madame LaLaurie's mistreatment of her slaves. When the place was converted to apartments in 1894, one of the tenants was found murdered in his room. The tenant's loved ones told police that he was telling them wild stories of a demon in the house who wasn't going to rest until he was dead. LaLaurie Mansion was also an all-girls school whose students reported physical abuse from a specific "woman," suspecting the ghost of Delphine LaLaurie herself.
2. The Sultan's Palace
The Sultan's Palace is otherwise known as the Gardette Le Prete House by Jean Baptist LePrete, a wealthy plantation owner who ended up having to lease the mansion after his financial stability crumbled from the Civil War. He leased it to a man claiming to be a sultan and would throw parties at the place that seeped out onto Jackson Square. But months later, another man walking down the street saw blood running out of the Sultan's house like a river. When police opened the front door, they stumbled upon corpses savagely littered all over the place. The Sultan himself had been buried alive, found by his hand sticking out of the soil in the backyard. Although there's not much evidence of whether the folklore is true or not, the property was eventually foreclosed in 1878.
3. Hotel Monteleone
Ghosts don't always have to be scary or come from such gruesome stories. Hotel Monteleone's history is characterized by wealth, class, and fame. Owned by Italian immigrant Antonio Monteleone, the haunted hotel exuded luxury and elegance during the Gilded Age. Famous literary authors Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway have all been guests at the hotel, attributing the hotel's lavish features in their works. But regarding paranormal activity, the ghosts that are seemingly haunting the hotel turned out to be previous hotel employees. They're said to be relatively friendly, so if you want to have a haunted experience without feeling like you might be suspiciously murdered, this might be the place for you to stay.
4. Muriel's Restaurant
Another harmless haunted place, Muriel's Restaurant is a great place to eat for those who want a more mild spooky experience. Back in the late 1700s, Pierre Antonine Lepardi Jourdon bought the place after the Good Friday Fire. Legend has it that he reportedly lost his home in a game of cards that caused him to hang himself on the second floor, where his slave quarters were, also known as Muriel's Seance Lounges today. He's said to be the mischievous ghost who haunts the place, and patrons report seeing objects being moved around the restaurant during their meals.
5. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Owned by and named after Jean Lafitte, a pirate who also worked for the government, the shop is actually one of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter and also one of the most haunted. It now serves as a bar, but customers have reported seeing the full-bodied ghost of Jean Lafitte, dressed in a sailor's suit. He apparently stands in dark corners, staring until noticed. Others have reported seeing the ghost of a woman who committed suicide in the 1890s on the second floor of the shop, who whispers your name into your ear at night if you're staying in one of the rooms. Another sighting reportedly seen at the bar is a pair of phantom red eyes that no one knows where they come from. Red eyes are actually normally associated with demonic hauntings, so maybe beware of what you're looking at if you make eye contact with them.
6. The Pharmacy Museum
The Pharmacy Museum was started by the two of the Dufilho brothers who then sold it to Dr. Joseph Dupas and his wipe Fleitas Dupas. Dr. Dupas allegedly conducted "shocking experiments on pregnant slaves" and also performed voodoo rites in the place. It's said that after the museum closes, his ghost dressed in a brown suit and matching top hat haunts the place, moving items and triggering the alarm system in the middle of the night. There's been reports of an evil entity's presence that roams the place, causing pregnant women who visit to feel physical reactions. The ghosts of two children are also said to wander around outside the courtyard behind the building, suspected to be Louis Dufilho's children.
7. Marie Laveau's House
The story of voodoo queen Marie Laveau has been referenced by a few pop culture hits, including country singer's Bobby Bare's 1974 recording of "Marie Laveau" and the show American Horror Story: Coven. Tour guides mention that Laveau was a hairdresser despite the lack of archival evidence, but it's said to be the cover story elite women in New Orleans on her "client list" would use in fear of being known to associate with a voodoo priestess. She apparently received her home after helping an affluent man free his son from murder charges and still haunts the newly-renovated home today. She also haunts her tomb, one of the Cities of the Dead burial grounds- the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. It actually can only be explored with guided tours
8. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Also known as the "Old Mortuary Church," Our Lade Guadalupe Church was desperately needed during one of the 23 yellow fever epidemics New Orleans had gone through. It helped alleviate how crowded the streets of New Orleans was becoming from all the corpses that had died from the disease by helping deposit the bodies. For years, the only bodies that were allowed to pass through the front doors were that of the priest, the pallbearers, and the thousands of dead that had also succumbed to what some called the Saffron Scourge. So you can imagine all the ghosts that are reportedly seen here.
10. Charity Hospital
Charity Hospital is one of the oldest operating hospitals in the US, founded in 1736 by Jean Louis, the French sailor and shipbuilder who provided the grant. Located in downtown New Orleans, this medical facility served the city's more poverty-stricken communities, but was abandoned in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina. However, its said that the founder's apparition haunts the hospitals run-down hallways, along with the ghosts of those who died there.
11. Old Absinthe House
Located on Bourbon Street, the Old Absinthe House is a Mardi Gras favorite, as plenty come to visit for the "big ass beers," the bustling crowds, and of course- absinthe. The speakeasy has incredibly rich, historical significance and is considered one of the most haunted buildings in the French Quarter. In the 19th century, the house was taken over by Aleix's Coffee House, where patrons indulged in their vices, primarily absinthe and other drugs. Many celebrities have visited the Old Absinthe House, but the place is known to be haunted by other famous ghosts that tend to be seen wandering around the city, such as Andrew Jackson, Jean Lafitte, and Marie Laveau.
12. St. Louis Cathedral
As one of the most impressive buildings in the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral was burial ground for its congregation members and the most prominent citizens of New Orleans. As one of the city's earliest cemeteries, the ghosts of those who were buried there are said to haunt the place. The most famous ghost is that of Pere Antoine, a Spanish Capuchin friar who was known for his generosity and kindness.
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