Haunted Hotels in New Orleans LA
Anyone interested in the paranormal should spend nights in reputedly haunted hotels or inns. New Orleans and the surrounding bayous and plantations are probably the most haunted places in the USA and they are certainly the most atmospheric. Reputedly haunted hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana are described here.
The Lookout Inn is the venue for ghostly parties. There is also said to be a ghost that draws a bath in one of the rooms. However, whether it is for its own use or a service to guests will only be established when a guest is brave enough to step into it.
Phantom celebrations are also witnessed in the New Orleans Courtyard Hotel.
The spirits of yellow fever victims haunt the Andrew Jackson Hotel French Quarter. Don't worry, ghostly yellow fever germs have never been known to infect anyone.
Is the Civil War your era of interest? A number of unexplained phenomena, including the ghost of a Confederate soldier in the (former) slaves' quarters, occur in the Hotel St Pierre French Quarter. A girl dancing solo, phantom nuns and the ghost of another Confederate soldier haunt the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. Spectral "honky tonk" girls and yet more Confederate soldiers are said to haunt the Dauphine Orleans Hotel.
Ghostly Confederate soldiers may actually retune your radio to a country music station in the Audubon Cottages of Dauphine Street. Of course. Isn't that what you would do if you were the ghost of a Confederate soldier?
The Hotel Villa Convento, on Ursulines Avenue, is now respectable but there is still a phantom Madame who knocks on doors to check on the welfare of her "girls". The laughter of invisible children is also heard.
The bar of the Prince Conti Hotel is also reputedly haunted by a former Madame.
Ghostly music may be heard in the Place D'Armes Hotel. There is also the ghost of a young girl, still searching for her grandmother.
A dozen or more ghosts haunt historic Hotel Monteleone. The elevator has been known to mysteriously stop at the wrong floor. The elevator door then opens to reveal phantom children. The thirteenth floor is numbered fourteen, incidentally, but that is a common practice in old hotels.
The sound of a dumb waiter, indistinct apparitions and red handprints on beds are among the uncanny phenomena in the French Market Inn. The ghosts of a manservant called Gerald and a lady called Diane are sometimes seen in the W New Orleans - French Quarter hotel (formerly the Hotel de la Poste). Le Richelieu in the French Quarter is haunted by the ghosts of Spanish soldiers, reluctant or unable to leave the site of their execution.
The ghosts of a mature couple and a lost teenager, as well as a cheeky young man whose face appears at windows on any floor, are among the hauntings of the historic Le Pavillon Hotel. A variety of unexplained events have been experienced in the Quality Inn & Suites Maison St Charles. The spectres of a nun and happy children, reminiscent perhaps of Miss Clavel and Madeline, are sometimes seen in St Vincent's Guest House.
The Pontchartrain Hotel is also haunted. The spirit of blues pianist Isidore "Tuts" Washington is seen in the bar. (Was his name the inspiration for "Toots" Sweet in the film Angel Heart?) There is also a physically affectionate female ghost on the ninth floor.
Haunted Restaurants and Bars in New Orleans
Phantom festivities are led by the buccaneer and smuggler Jean Lafitte in the Old Absinthe House. Jean Lafitte also haunts Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, as does the spectre of a Voodoo priestess believed to be Marie Laveau.
The historic Commander's Palace restaurant has been serving Creole dishes since 1880. Its original owner Emile Commander is still on hand, in spirit form, to ensure that everything goess smoothly. The historic and extremely haunted Lafayette Cemetery No 1 is across the road from the restaurant.
Even older, Antoine's Restaurant has served Creole cuisine in New Orleans since 1840. It also serves spirits, especially if you include the ghost of Antoine Alciatore and other phantoms.
Spirits may also be both seen and drank in Pat O'Brien's bar, while in Muriel's Jackson Square Restaurant, a table is set for the ghost of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, a former owner.
The Bottom of the Cup Tea Room is world famous and was seen in the film Angel Heart. Psychic readings are offered here and there is also the ghost of woman described, historically, as "octoroon". (The adjective and noun "octoroon", used here in an historic context, derives from the days when many people not only discriminated by race but by levels of racial admixture. I recommend that the term not be used in a modern context, as it might cause offence.)
Other New Orleans Ghosts and Hauntings
The New Orleans area, especially the old French Quarter and the city's surrounding plantations and bayous, is filled with ghosts and tales of vampires and werewolves.
The area has also long been associated with the practices of hoodoo and Voodoo (also transcribed as vodoun, voudou or vodou). Although the terms hoodoo and Voodoo are often used interchangably, Voodoo is a complex and well established religion, developed by slaves in France's present and former Caribbean colonies, especially Haiti, although inspired by much older African religions. Hoodoo, on the other hand, is a term for Louisiana folk charms, spells and magical rituals.
A crow possessed by the spirit of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is said to guard the Greek revival style Laveau-Glapion tomb, in St Louis Cemetery No 1. Some believe that if you make a Voodoo offering at the tomb, the spirit of Marie Laveau will grant your wish. If you are especially interested in Marie Laveau, also visit Lake Pontchartrain, where she performed her St John's Eve Voodoo rituals. The ghost of Marie Laveau is also believed to haunt the Old Absinthe House.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is the site of the first licensed pharmacy in the United States of America, opened by Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr. The building is haunted by the spectre of Dr James Dupas. He was rumoured to have experimented on pregnant slaves and to have practised rituals from the dark side of Voodoo.
Lafayette Cemetery No 1 has featured in several great feature films set in New Orleans, including Hard Times (also called The Streetfighter), starring Charles Bronson, as well as the remake of Cat People, starring Nastassia Kinski. There are numerous ghosts here. You can dine at the haunted restaurant Commander's Palace, across the road from the cemetery.
The atmospheric Madame John's Legacy is now a museum. It appeared in the film Interview with the Vampire. However, it is haunted not by a vampire but by the ghost of the buccaneer Renato Beluche.
Naturally, New Orleans and the surrounding areas are the haunts of real as well as fictional vampires. For instance, there is the vampire in 19th century garb that preys on female victims in the French Quarter. Also in the French Quarter, there were the vampires of the Old Ursuline Convent (now a museum). They spent their days in caskets on the third floor and spent their nights drinking the blood of their terrified neighbours.
Werewolves may also be a danger in New Orleans and the surrounding bayous. In these parts, they are often called rougarous or lougarous (derived from the French term for werewolves, loups-garous).
New Orleans is also said to have had its cannibals, some of them unwitting. A house on Ursulines Avenue was reputed to have once been the home of a butcher whose sausages were made from human meat.
Every city of ghosts must have at least one phantom black hound and at least one spectral monk. The spectre of a black dog is seen in the St Roch Cemetery. Pirate Alley (Pirates Alley) is haunted not by a pirate but by the apparition of a Capuchin monk.
Of course, the historic buildings of New Orleans are haunted. The Louisiana Purchase was signed in The Cabildo, haunted by many spirits. In Fort Pike, the ghost of a soldier in the old uniform of a sergeant is sometimes seen. Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre is said to have numerous phantoms among its staff and clientele. The Presbytère is haunted by the refreshingly humble apparition of a former janitor. still devoted to his place of work.
Native American beliefs have also left their mark on the region. The emerald-headed King Snake, regarded as a god by the local tribes, may still lurk in a crystal cave offshore. However, it sometimes comes to the surface, where its almost blinding radiance can be seen from a great distance.