Muriel’s: New Orleans’ Haunted Crown Jewel
A 200-year-old building is almost guaranteed to be haunted. Now imagine that the building in question was once burned down and that it was used as a family residence.
That’s Muriel’s Jackson Square for you, a historic Creole restaurant that is one of the most significant and haunted places in New Orleans. Patrons often tell of encounters with a shimmering entity floating around the property that many believe is the spirit of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, one of the property’s first owners.
And he’s not the only ghost brunching at this historic restaurant. At Muriel’s, their famous shrimp and grits come with a side of spirits, and today, we’re going to introduce you to them.
Looking to experience the spirits of the Big Easy up close and personal? Join us for a hauntingly fun and thrilling ghost tour!
The Hauntings of New Orleans
New Orleans is a magical, attractive city unlike any other. It has a rich history of French, British, and African culture you can appreciate to this day –– from the food to the architecture and the folklore. And while the city might be world-famous for Mardi Gras, there’s another festival that goes down every night when the city’s countless ghosts come out to play.
As much as NOLA is known for its nightlife, it’s known for the catastrophic events that contributed to New Orelan’s booming ghost population. In the 1800s, the Yellow Fever epidemic tore through the town and killed almost everyone it infested.
If you visit any of the places where many patients died or are buried –– such as the Charity Hospital or the Saint Louis Cemetery –– there is a pretty good chance you will see some of their spirits poking their heads around.
You can also check out the Pharmacy Museum and learn about all the unorthodox cures people were using to try to cure themselves and their loved ones. Needless to say, they ended up doing more harm than good most of the time.
This was only the beginning of the horror and the mystical that would put New Orleans on every paranormal investigator and amateur ghost hunter’s bucket list. Nearly every location in the French Quarters has a story –– this is Muriel Jackson Square’s.
Muriel’s: Past and Present
Hundreds of years ago, when Muriel’s site was just an empty plot, no one could predict the nightmare that was to come. It all started in the early 1700s when a young French-Canadian explorer by the name of Claude Trepagnier received a parcel of land for his expeditions, which he used to build a small cottage.
According to some locals, the building was used to house slaves as they came off the boats, and it is believed that many died in the home after taxing and brutal travels. In 1775, a wealthy baron known as Jean Baptiste acquired the property and replaced the humble cottage with a majestic home for his family.
This new building was an exquisite, grand structure that matched his lavish lifestyle –– as the Royal Treasurer of French Louisiana Colonies, the man and his family needed quite the palace. But the family’s fortunes didn’t last long, and one of his descendants was forced to sell the family home at an auction in 1776. Perhaps the curse of the area was just beginning?
The property was then bought by Pierre Philippe de Marigny and used as one of his “city homes.” But it wasn’t long before the curse struck again. In 1788, on Good Friday, the Great Fire of New Orleans broke out and engulfed the property. The city spent the next decade recovering and trying to heal, but nothing could absolve the darkness that tainted this property.
Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan was part of the restoration process and built his dream home in the aftermath of the fire. His gambling addiction, however, would cost him his beloved quarters. One night, unable to resist the thrill of the cards and call it quits, he lost his precious home in a poker game. Distraught, he went upstairs and killed himself — a final tragedy before the building would become home to Muriel’s.
A Spooky Brunch
More than just being a favorite brunch spot, Muriel’s is a haunted location that scares even the biggest non-believers. The ghost of Pierre Antoine is said to remain on the property, appearing as a shining light that bounces from room to room. The restaurant owners believe he spends most of his time on the second floor, which is why they renamed a section of that floor the “Seance Lounges.”
In addition to shape-shifting visions, restaurant visitors also report seeing objects creepily move around the restaurant. It’s hard to say, but it’s likely Pierre Antoine is to blame. He was very possessive of his beloved home, and it is possible he still tries to be in charge by rearranging some things. And believe it or not, he’s not the only supernatural entity to reside on the premises.
There’s a ghost in the Courtyard Bar who likes to make a bit of a ruckus. He’s known for throwing glasses from behind the bar as far as 12 feet away. People have been spooked by the sight of strange shadows throughout the restaurant, and some have heard peculiar knocks on the walls believed to be a kind of morse code. Getting a table at Muriel’s might be hard on a busy day, but not for the ghosts who live there!
Come for the boozy brunch and stay for the haunting of your life. Muriel’s is a beloved New Orleans institution that is also home to many ghosts that you can learn all about on a ghost tour with New Orleans Ghosts. Hear about the unexplained activity and eerie disembodied voices captured in the Seance Room by paranormal investigators. Uncover more spine-chilling hauntings and find out who else might be joining you for brunch at NOLA’s beloved Muriel’s Jackson Square.