NEWS - There aren't many places as full of supernatural lore as the Crescent City. Perhaps it's the cultural hodgepodge convening in the region, each bringing unique legends and superstitions into play.
Or perhaps it's the city's violent history, whose inhabitants suffered through several wars, health epidemics, and natural disasters that have taken countless lives.
No matter the reason, tourists worldwide flock to New Orleans to learn about and experience its rich and ghostly history. Nightly ghost tours are held throughout the city's French Quarter, taking hopeful visitors by some of the most notoriously haunted sites in town. By day, it's possible to view the city's many cemeteries, each of which has its ghostly tales.
If you aren't faint of heart, plan your next visit to New Orleans to include these ghoul hangouts.
The LaLaurie Mansion
The infamous LaLaurie Mansion sits at 1140 Royal Street. In the mid-19th century, this was the home of Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie and his wife, Delphine. They made this luxurious dwelling home for their daughters and several slaves.
The LaLaurie's were known to have extravagant parties and loved to dote upon their guests. On the surface, they seemed like any other well-to-do couple seeking to be members of high society. But Madame LaLaurie was harboring a horrific secret.
In the mansion's attic, Madame LaLaurie kept nearly a dozen slaves chained to the walls and floors. Whenever she was angry about something, she would scurry upstairs and take her ire out on the poor souls that she held captive.
Had it not been for a fire started by a slave in the kitchen, who knows how long her secret would have gone unnoticed?
The fire brought the attention of neighbors who rushed into the home to help. They stumbled across her house of horrors in the attic, which led to the lady of the house and her husband fleeing out of fear of retribution.
Several of the slaves died soon after being rescued, and their spirits are said to haunt the mansion today.
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The LaLaurie Mansion is privately owned and does not offer interior tours. But many walking tours include the outside of the mansion as a stop. Here, guides will tell of the horrors that took place within and share the ghostly experiences that have been reported over the years.
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1
On the border of the French Quarter stands one of the country's most famous cemeteries. Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the final resting place of some pretty familiar names. It's also the future burial site of actor Nicholas Cage. You can see the pyramid-shaped monument he had erected on a tour of the graveyard.
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The cemetery is also said to be the home of Marie Laveau. The "voodoo queen" was allegedly laid to rest in one of the sacred site's many tombs.
You'll be able to spot it, as the superstitious have marked it with a series of three Xs. Her ghost is said to wander the cemetery on certain nights.
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The cemetery hosts the spirit of Henry Vignes. Vignes was a sailor who bought a mausoleum in the famed cemetery. But when he returned from a voyage at sea, he found that it had been sold out from under him. He died shortly after and is said to have been buried in an unmarked grave.
But his ghost is said to roam the cemetery at night, haunting the grave that should have been his.
Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Jean Lafitte would be considered a pirate by any real definition. But since his robbing and plundering were financed by the government, he had the honorable title of "privateer" bestowed upon him. Regardless, he was able to rake in a lot of money, much of which he invested in New Orleans.
The site of his old blacksmith shop is now a bar in the French Quarter. "Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop" sits at 941 Bourbon Street, and welcomes guests year-round. And some have witnessed ghostly encounters.
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It's said that a full-bodied apparition of the man himself has been seen on numerous occasions in the dark corners of the bar. He never speaks.
Additionally, piercing red eyes have been reported to be seen when the lights are low in the bar. For those who have been upstairs, some have also reported the wandering spirit of an unknown woman who haunts one particular room. If you're still, she's said to whisper in your ear!
The Old Absinthe House
The ghosts that haunt this structure are said to go back nearly 300 years. Built in 1752, it's rumored that Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte met her to strategize the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The ghosts of both men have been reported by numerous guests and employees over the years.
The original structure was almost totally razed in a fire in the late 18th century but was rebuilt in 1807. It's since been the home of several types of businesses. Since the late 19th century, it's been a bar, but with some ghostly patrons.
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Aside from the ghosts of Jackson and Lafitte, visitors have claimed to see the spirit of voodoo queen Marie Laveau. There have also been sightings of a spectral woman in a long dress that floats along the upper floor. Strange noises, cold spots, and other ghostly phenomena have been reported over the years as well.
Got the chills yet? If you're brave enough to plan your next New Orleans trip around any of these ghostly hotspots, don't say you weren't warned!