Haunted New Orleans – French Quarters Ghostly Past

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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.

haunted New Orleans

Our guide tells us about the spirit of Jean Lafitte outside the Pirates Alley Cafe in haunted New Orleans. Image credit: Gisele Gamble

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.

haunted New Orleans

This is Muriel’s Restaurant on Chartres Street where the ghost of former owner, Pierre Jourdan, still works to make sure his guests are happy. Image credit: Gisele Gamble

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.

haunted New Orleans

Notice how the painting and shelf stayed on this wall, even after the building it was attached to collapsed. But maybe even more mysterious than that is that those white orbs weren’t there when I took this picture. Spirits, perhaps? Image credit: Gisele Gamble

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.

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39 thoughts on “Haunted New Orleans – French Quarters Ghostly Past

    1. Cherri Megasko

      It does, doesn’t it? I was on that trip to New Orleans but didn’t go on that tour. Gisele wrote this one.

    1. Cherri Megasko

      Stacie – You’re right … NOLA does have a supernatural vibe. This tour definitely helps you understand why!

    1. Cherri Megasko

      I’ll have to check out the Savannah tour next time I’m there. It has quite the paranormal reputation as well.

    1. Cherri Megasko

      That’s an interesting question, Karlyn. I’ve been told that if you want spirits to visit you in your dreams you should leave an open vessel of liquid by your bedside.

  1. Jennifer Van Huss

    This is so cool!! I have done a haunted walk before! It wasn’t as elaborate as yours. It was a few murders and a jail. I definitely got chills!!

    1. Cherri Megasko

      Jennifer – The lady who wrote this belongs to a ghost hunting organization that primarily works in an old jail.

  2. Marysa

    Sounds like a very unique tour. Just the history alone is very interesting. I’ve never been to New Orleans but this would be a cool place to visit.

  3. Victoria Heckstall

    My friends would love this tour! But I don’t think that I can do this. It looks fun but for me it’s scary. Ugh.

  4. AnnMarie John

    This is quite interesting. I’m not really sure what to make of ghosts and the paranormal but it’s always the backstory that makes it all the more exciting. I’ve honestly never been on a ghost tour.

  5. Farrah less G.

    New Orleans is on our bucket list to visit . Reading this post really eager me to go very soon. I heard a lot of good stories horror and fun to do in this area. I wish we can make it sometime this year.

  6. ricci

    New Orleans is at the top of my bucket list and taking a ghost tour is mu #1 thing to do!! I love this post and hope I can go one day!!

  7. Katherine

    I took one of these tours a few years back. I have more than 100 pictures hoping to capture something… nothing, lol.

    1. Cherri Megasko

      Katherine – The lady who wrote this article has been at this for years, and she has shown me lots of pictures. It is very eye-opening.

  8. kiwi

    I’ve stayed in New Orleans several times and avoided ghost tours. I am just so spooked out I know it can be cool to learn about the history I just have this weird phobia if I visit a haunted place they will follow me.

    1. Cherri Megasko

      They are not for everyone, that’s for sure. But the great thing is that there are dozens of fun things to do in New Orleans … there’s truly something for everyone.

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