I’ve been a member of a paranormal group for six years and rarely pass up anything to do with ghosts. When we took a trip to New Orleans last May I just had to go on one of the many haunted New Orleans ghost tours. We were staying in the Garden District so my friend and I took the trolley down to the French Quarter to meet our guide at the Toulouse Royal Gift Shop. Her name was Martha, and she was a ton of fun.
THE AMOROUS GHOST OF JEAN LAFITTE
We started off on our walking tour through the darkened streets and alleys of the French Quarter at night. The flickering gas lights outside the old buildings gave the area an eerie ambiance. One of the first places we stopped was outside the Pirates Alley Café.
Martha told us about Jean Lafitte, a pirate that smuggled stolen goods into New Orleans during the 1800s. Jean haunts the Pirates Alley Café so the staff leaves a glass of rum out for him each night. Apparently several women who used to work at the Café quit because Jean’s ghost got too “friendly” with them. One bartender even claims to have had something she couldn’t see unfasten her bra.
MARIE LAVEAU, THE URSULINE NUNS, AND THE HAUNTING OF MURIEL’S RESTAURANT
From Pirates Alley Café we continued on through haunted New Orleans French Quarter. Just walking through the back alleys and dark streets was an unnerving experience. Martha showed us where Marie Laveau (the famous vodoo queen) lived at one time.
Next we saw the Ursuline Convent that dated back to 1752. The nuns in residence tended to the wounded and sick during the War of 1812 and their prayers helped the Americans win the Battle of New Orleans.
We continued down Chartres Street and stopped at Muriels Restaurant. Martha explained that it was haunted by Pierre Jourdan, the former owner, who lost the restaurant in a poker game. He was so despondent after that loss that he shot and killed himself. Now his spirit hangs around the restaurant making sure the guests are happy. There is a table and chair in a room behind the restaurant where the staff leaves him a glass of wine each night.
HORRIFIC TORTURE IN 19th Century Haunted NEW ORLEANS
The most horrifying story we heard during our tour was about the LaLaurie House. The LaLaurie’s were an upper class Creole family and they had many slaves. Madame LaLaurie was seen on the roof once chasing a slave girl with a whip. Sadly, the girl jumped to her death to escape the wrath of Madame LaLaurie.
In April of 1834 a fire broke out in the LaLaurie house. When the firemen entered the home they made a gruesome discovery. In the attic they found some slaves chained to the walls and others locked in cages. Most had been subjects of mutilation and barbaric medical experiments.
The slaves had festering open wounds and broken limbs that had been set in unnatural angles toward their bodies. There were some who were already dead. The remaining living slaves begged the firemen to put them out of their misery.
When the authorities went after the LaLauries, they had disappeared. Madame LaLaurie and her husband had gotten in their carriage and raced to the river. It was rumored that they went back to France.
The LaLaurie home stood empty for many years. At one point it was turned into apartments, but the screams and apparitions drove tenants away. The home was remodeled several more times until in 2007, Nickolas Cage bought it and turned it into a single residence. Martha told us that after Cage bought it, he experienced nothing but bad luck. He sold the property in 2009. It is now considered to be the most haunted house in New Orleans.
The Haunting Story of a BIZARRE WALL
Our tour of haunted New Orleans ended when Martha showed us a mysterious wall from a building that had collapsed. A wall from the second floor of the fallen structure inexplicably stuck to the building next to it. Oddly enough there was a painting and a shelf mounted to the wall and they remained intact. The two items on the shelf move occasionally. Whether it’s a spirit or the wind is anybody’s guess.