One of my life-long dreams came true this year when my best friend Josh took me to Louisiana. I’ve always wanted to visit that state, specially New Orleans.
What can I say about NOLA? Aside from their rich heritage, the amazing architecture and incredible cuisine, New Orleans has a reputation of being one of the most haunted cities in the United States.
When you’re walking around the French Quarter, specially at night, it’s easy to see why this city gets such a reputation. It seems that every alley way, every corner, holds unearthly secrets. Everything about this town screams mystery. There are many spots that you can visit for a chance to experience a supernatural encounter, but these are some of my favourites:
- The LaLaurie Mansion
Locals don’t even call it by its name anymore. To them, 1140 Royal Street is simply called it “the cursed house” and frankly knowing the history of this place, it’s a well deserved name. It is said that whoever owns this property will be met with untold tragedy or financial ruin. People who have lived here have heard the wails of former slaves, the laughter of little children and even a murder has been credited to the spirits living within it.
2. The Ursuline Convent
This is the oldest building in New Orleans, so naturally is haunted. Some say it’s the first place where vampires first originated in the US. Other say that babies were buried inside its walls and underneath the ground. Locals say that if you’re alone at night walking by, you can hear children laughing on the grounds. Others say that a nun ghost can be seen walking up and down the street.
3. The Andrew Jackson Hotel
Prior to being a hotel, this spot housed a home for boys. Legend has it that the home burned down during the 1794 fire and five boys perished in the flames. It is said that the spirits of these boys haunt the hotel and its grounds. Room 208 is specially full of paranormal activity. So if you want to experience it for yourself, you can book your stay here.
4. Muriel’s Jackson Square
Would you like a side of paranormal activity with your dinner? Then Muriel’s is the place for you. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan still haunts his beloved house. It is said that he was an avid gambler and he lost the house in a game of poker. Instead of handing over the keys, he went up to the second floor where he tragically ended his life. Nowadays, his ghost can still be heard and seen – he’s so beloved by the staff that a table is set with fresh baked bread and wine every night for his use.
5. Jackson Square
Between the St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo is Pirates Alley, so called for Jean Lafitte, who was known to hang out there. Legend has it that pirates used to hang out here selling their wares and the occasional duel took place as well. He can still be seen walking through Pirates Alley.
Jackson Square is another thing all together: During New Orleans’ Spanish occupation, these is where executions took place. And there were lots of executions. From 1718-1762 severe punishments were handed out here: if you were caught stealing, you might have been branded with a fleur de lis. If you were a slave and caught running away, you might have had your hamstrings sliced. By far the worst punishment was “Breaking on the Wheel,” which included a massive lazy susan device where victims were strapped to the wheel and surrounded by people with large Mallets (called cudgels). They would spin the wheel and beat the victims to death.
There are so many fascinating places here in New Orleans, if you’re into the paranormal like I am, I suggest taking a ghost tour. They are totally worth it!