Bonjour les voyageurs!
Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinctive music, Creole cuisine, unique dialects, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street. Widely considered the most unique city in the United States, it is certainly a destination location for travelers near and far.
New Orleans is also a great destination for anyone who is intrigued by the supernatural and the paranormal or is fascinated by ghosts, vampires, and voodoo. This city even has its own unique version of a werewolf, known colloquially as the loup-garou! Whatever goes bump in the night can be found in and around the Big Easy, the moniker deriving from the laid-back lifestyle of the residents of this southern port city. Apparently, that way of life translates well into the afterlife, and many buildings within this city host ghosts of various kinds. Before we go on any further, it is important to differentiate between the various types of hauntings encountered in New Orleans.
- Intelligent or Classic
- Shadow People
The word “poltergeist” comes to us from German and translates as “noisy ghost.” This type of haunting involves movements of furniture or the breaking of dishes, the entity revealing its existence through kinetic activity. Sometimes there will be knocks within the walls or silverware scattered across the kitchen floor by some unseen entity.
A residual haunting, also known as a place memory, is the most common type of haunting. In most cases, it does not involve a ghost or spirit interacting with the people who are witnessing it. This type of sighting is a remnant of a past traumatic event that happened at or near the location prior to someone’s death. Residual hauntings often occur in areas steeped in history, and New Orleans is the perfect example of such an environment. Activity from the violence of past lives is seemingly embroidered into the atmosphere of the town. This trauma is imprinted and, when conditions are just right, these images of the past are replayed.
An intelligent haunting is when a spirit wants to be noticed and has intelligence about it. Many intelligent hauntings involve the classic full-bodied apparition. An example of an intelligent haunting is when a ghost wishes to communicate with the living, many times in an effort to right some wrong done in the past. Considering New Orleans’s history, there are undoubtedly countless ghosts who haunt this area trying to avenge some wrong done whenever they dwelled within this physical plane of existence. .
If you are walking the streets of NOLA and you catch a quick glimpse of something moving out of the corner of your eyes you may very well have encountered a shadow person. Shadow people are supernatural shadow-like humanoid figures that are seen flickering on walls and ceilings in the viewer’s peripheral vision. They are often reported moving with quick, jerky movements, and swiftly disintegrate into walls or mirrors when noticed.
A much rarer haunting is that perpetrated by an elemental. These hauntings are not caused by ghosts but by a living, sentient force within the natural world. Some of these hauntings are caused by fairies and the behavior surrounding these hauntings can be mischievous at best and downright malicious at its worst! However, elementals can also be summoned, conjured through magic, and released onto an unsuspecting world. It seems as if the Big Easy has many elemental hauntings to go along with its copious number of ghostly hauntings.
The final type of haunting is by far the worst, and in fact, it isn’t even referred to as a haunting but rather an infestation. This is the demonic haunting. This is something no seasoned paranormal investigator wants to encounter let alone someone on a ghost tour. These infestations are often noted by the sickening stench of rotting meat, scratches left on the body, terrific moans and animalistic howls, apparitions of incredible ugliness, and sometimes even possession of someone who gets a little too close. Don’t worry. Encountering demons is very rare, and New Orleans only has a few of these demonic infestations.
Whether you come down to the Big Easy just to relax in a way of life that goes by at a slower speed or want to sample some of the amazing food this city is famous for, Bienvenue, mon Cher! If you want to immerse in the history of this city and marvel at its sublime architecture, feel free to stroll about this remarkable city. But occasionally remind yourself that you are probably not alone and the stuff of nightmares may exist even when you are wide awake! Bonsoir, mona mi!
Chartres House Cafe: A Place of Various Paranormal Activity
The Chartres House Cafe is located on property known since the year 1722 as the Reynes Mansion after the original owner Joseph Reynes. On March 21, 1788, a candle caused a fire in the home. The flames spread voraciously, engulfing no less than 856 buildings. Astonishingly, only one person died in the fire. This is now known as the First Great New Orleans Fire, and it started right where the Chartres House Cafe now stands. Besides this infamous piece of history, patrons and passers-by alike have witnessed the phantom of a man dressed in 1970s clothing standing by the windows of the Chartres House Café on Chartres Street. It is rumored that this spirit is that of a man who committed suicide on the 2nd floor of the Reynes Mansion when it was being used as an apartment building.
Other Paranormal Activity within Chartres House Cafe
But the lingering spirit of a distraught man who took his life is not the only spirit that haunts this location. Indeed, people have reported the chilling sounds of unseen children crying, have witnessed vaporous apparitions, and have felt the icy touch of unseen hands. Alas, these are just a few of the paranormal experiences that have been reported at the Chartres House Cafe. Is the building holding onto the sorrow of its past? Are the former residents refusing to leave? Ghosts do not exist in a vacuum, they are part of history and they have a tale to tell.
At the rear of the property is a wall with a few small windows in it. Many visitors who reach their arms into these barred windows report feeling the touch of children’s hands. Some have also reported hearing weeping or sobbing. There is some historical evidence that several slave children were quarantined in these rooms during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1853. Are these children the cause of the lamenting cries still heard today by visitors to the Chartres House Café?
But this is not the only misery to cast a pall over this property. In early 1895, 24-year-old Mrs. Henry Dering, who lived just a block and a half from the present location of the Chartres House Café, was found dead. Just over a year and a half later, her husband, Mr. Henry Dering, a German tailor, was found dead with the cause being listed as “sunstroke.” At the time of his sunstroke, Mr. Dering was reportedly hard at work in his shop, which was located on the first floor of this property! Through the years, there have been numerous reports of a ghostly young lady peering out from the windows on the second floor, even though the upstairs floors were unoccupied. Could this apparition be the tailor’s young wife, still searching for her lover? Love never dies, and it seems Mrs. Dering still searches for her husband from beyond the grave.
Commander’s Palace: Fine Food and Spirits
Commander’s Palace is the 4th oldest continually operating restaurant in New Orleans. In 2008, this establishment was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America Hall of Fame. Executive chefs at this famous upscale eatery have included Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. And, apparently, the ghost of the former owner still works the kitchen from time to time.
It is said that the eponymous Emile Commander himself lingers to maintain his famed 1880s Creole restaurant. He has been known to indulge in guests’ drinks and turn lights on and off. His footsteps have been heard as well, making the rounds of his beloved restaurant.
Quite a few patrons of Commander’s Palace have reported a myriad of paranormal activity. One of the most common stories is that of the ghost of a young girl descending the stairs. Others report the feeling of a dark presence in the women’s restroom. One visitor claims an angry shadow person threw something at her in the restroom, barely missing her head! Some of the staff will tell of footsteps with no human source, and silverware moving about or disappearing due to the working of a poltergeist. Occasionally the lights flicker in the kitchen for no apparent reason.
Some of these strange occurrences may be linked to the Commander’s Palace’s more unscrupulous past. In the 1920s, the ground floor played host to wealthy diners from high society, while the second floor served as a saloon. This was the domain of gamblers and prostitutes, with private rooms for those so inclined to engage in lascivious activities. Talk about a House of the Rising Sun! Thankfully there was an exterior staircase to keep the scandalous types away from the more cultured guests below. We can only imagine what unreported happenings occurred on the second floor, the events etched into the fabric of the Palace.
Court of Two Sisters: The Place of Hauntings, Voodoo, and Fairies
At this restaurant that serves spicy Creole cuisine, the two sisters, Emma and Bertha Camors, for which this establishment is named, are said to still watch over their beloved patrons. The nearly inseparable sisters were born in 1858 and 1860, respectively, and died within two months of each other in 1944. Their specters have been noticed sitting at a table together late at night, still inseparable even in the afterlife. However, there is more paranormal activity residing in this restaurant on Royal Street than just the two spirits of these sisters.
As the rumored location of pirate duels and Marie Laveau’s voodoo, the property has a storied past. More recently, the building is where an unsolved murder took place, followed by the prime suspect’s mysterious death.
From the outset, the land on which the Court of the Two Sisters was built seems to have been regarded as someplace charmed and magical. In fact, the gates at the 613 Royal Street entrance are said to be anointed with magic when they were given to the building by Queen Isabella II of Spain. Was this magic intended to keep spirits out of the establishment…or to ensure the spirits within could not escape?
Rumor has it fairies, elementals, and sprites can be seen dancing around the courtyard. These are the hauntings of nature spirits. These spirits are not derived from deceased people such as a typical haunting, but rather living, sentient entities within the environment. They can be rather benign and, in an instant, without any provocation, become monstrously malevolent. Many paranormal investigators consider the hauntings of fairies to be far worse than any hauntings of ghosts.
The picturesque wishing well standing in the courtyard is called, ominously enough, “The Devil’s Wishing Well,” under the belief that the infamous Marie Laveau practiced voodoo there. A local legend claims Pirate Jean Laffite killed three men in three separate duels in one night in this very courtyard. As you can see, this courtyard has long been considered a place of trepidation and death. It is a known fact, that just ten years after the sisters passed, The Court of Two Sisters was surrounded by scandal and death. A man named Jimmy Cooper took over the building in 1940 and is now widely credited in part with making “The Court of Two Sisters” the world-renowned restaurant that it is today. However, he didn’t live long to see that success. In 1951, James Cooper divorced his first wife and remarried. His new bride was a beautiful young television singer and actress, Amelie ‘Diddie’ Woolfolk Cooper. Diddie was a New Orleans socialite. Less than a year after they wed, Diddie was already living in a separate apartment above The Court of Two Sisters. Though estranged, she and Cooper continued to spend time together. She reportedly went to a football game with him one night. And the next day she was found dead. And it wasn’t pretty. The beaten body of Mrs. Cooper was found clad in a blue negligee on a blood-stained bed in the apartment. A gaping wound was gashed across her right forehead and her throat bore evidence of strangulation.
The prosecution accused Cooper of strangling Diddie because she would not get back together with him and demanded an allowance during their separation. Newspapers described the trial as one of the most sensational in modern New Orleans history.
An all-male jury found Cooper innocent in 28 minutes. Newspapers reported Cooper threw a large party at The Court of Two Sisters to celebrate the verdict.
Two years after Cooper’s acquittal for his wife’s murder, his body was discovered strangled to death in his apartment above the restaurant. What happened to him remains a mystery. Did his wife return to exact her revenge? If so, she isn’t talking about it.
Jimani Bar: Where Ghosts Still Cry Out for Justice
The Jimani Bar was the site of a horrific mass murder. The unfortunate souls who died here still roam the bar, seeking justice for their untimely deaths. Patrons of the Jimani bar often tell of whispers when nobody is present, inexplicable icy chills invading the rooms, and faint smells of burning hair and charred flesh. There are also reports of a full-bodied apparition on the second floor, where the UpStairs Lounge once served customers and doubled as a church congregation’s meeting place.
In 1973, The UpStairs Lounge was a gay bar located directly above the Jimini Bar. The location had also been used as a meeting place for the Metropolitan Community Church, which was the first gay church in the United States. Needless to say, the UpStairs Lounge was an important place for the gay community in New Orleans and a rallying point. In late June, when Pride Weekend was just wrapping up, The UpStairs Lounge celebrated the occasion by providing free beer and dinner to some 125 patrons. As the day was winding down and the beer gradually ran out, that number began to dwindle down to 60. Just before 8 pm, the door buzzer sounded in the UpStairs Lounge. Thinking a taxi had arrived, bartender Buddy Rasmussen asked Luther Boggs to answer the door. Opening it, Boggs only discovered a raging fire and the overwhelming smell of lighter fluid. The blaze quickly spread unabated into the lounge. The bartender then led about 20 people out the unmarked exit door, while others tried their luck squeezing through the barred windows. Some escaped, but many did not. Metropolitan Community Church Pastor Bill Larson tried the window route but became trapped when the window slid down and fell on his torso, hopelessly trapping him in the growing inferno. Stuck half in and half out the window, he burned to death, in full view of onlookers outside.
29 people died on-site, and 3 more succumbed to their injuries later. All told, 32 people were killed by an arsonist who would never be charged for their crime. Police suspected Roger Nunez, a Lounge regular with a history of mental health issues, but that lead dried up when he took his own life in 1974. At this time, the deaths of those in the gay community were marginalized and many bodies weren’t claimed by family due to the stigmatization of homosexuality. Even the news was spurious in reporting this event, often making jokes about the event. If there are spirits haunting the Jimani Bar, it’s because they feel forgotten and abandoned. The society which cast them out in life did the same to them in death. These ghosts are still trying to claim their humanity. Over the years, paranormal investigators have probed the Jimani Bar for evidence of the supernatural. Many have taken EVP recordings, presumably the voices of those who perished here in 1973, still screaming to be heard.
Kerry’s Irish Pub: A Traditional Irish Bar with Untraditional Hauntings
This Celtic-themed pub is known for its Irish roots and for its love and support of music. The Kerry hosts all types of bands, running the gamut of local folk, blues, jazz, and traditional Irish music. If you can play it, you can hear it at this friendly pub. Grab yourself a frothy Guinness and jam out in the French Quarter as the music plays well into the night. Besides bands, this bar also serves as a stage for a number of ghosts.
Witnesses at this bar have reported hearing unnerving sounds such as disembodied moans and horrific shrieks. Many have reported an uncanny sense of spooky feelings cascading over them. Throughout this bar, it is quite common to be a witness to the sound of ethereal footsteps, unexplained voices, and faint whispers. Reports of cold spots, and doors opening and closing by themselves are also witnessed. There is also the pervasive eerie feeling that an unseen presence is watching you.
While no one is quite certain who is haunting this French Quarter Irish Pub, it’s quite likely that the pub’s ghostly clientele are either past patrons who liked the place too much to leave, or perhaps deceased people who once lived in the building. Maybe it is haunted by the ghost of musicians, still keeping the beat from beyond the grave. Profite du spectacle!
Napoleon House: Where History Comes Alive…Literally
Mayor Nicholas Girod had the Napoleon House built in 1815. As the name suggests, this property was meant to be a residence for none other than Napoleon Bonaparte himself! However, Napoleon never lived here. Now a restaurant, and bar, the building is said to be haunted by poltergeists who inconveniently turn the lights off and, much more sinisterly, shove unsuspecting patrons in the back.
It is rumored that the ghost of Mayor Nicholas Girod still occupies the house today, keeping a lookout from the balcony at the top of the home, presumably still waiting for Napoleon Bonaparte to show up.
But this building’s history certainly does not end in the Napoleonic era. Indeed, this house once served as a Civil War hospital, and legend has it you can still see the full-bodied apparition of one unfortunate soldier still wandering the second-floor balcony in the early morning hours before dawn. Besides that phantom, the residual torment of screams and agonized moans of those getting limbs amputated still cling to the air within these walls.
With the rise of immigration in the late 1800s, the mafia seems to have taken a liking to the Napoleon House. The ghost of a woman seen near the second-story courtyard may have been murdered by this newly established organized crime syndicate. Oddly, to this day, a little old lady is seen sweeping the second-floor balcony in the early morning hours. Could she be sweeping away evidence of the murder, a residual reminder of a crime never brought to justice and, literally and figuratively, swept under the rug?
O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub: The Setting of a Tragic Love Triangle
O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub started out as a saloon around 1818 before it was purchased by Danny O’Flaherty sometime in the early 1900s. By that time the townhouse was well-known for its three ghosts who continue to be seen today!
The history of the ghosts at O’Flannery’s includes a man, named Guillaume Marre and his wife, Mary Wheaton. Oh, and his beloved mistress by the name of Angelique. Love triangles never seem to end nicely, and that was the case even here in the Big Easy. Angelique fell to her death from the second-floor balcony. Of course, the fact that her lover, Guillaume, strangled her first didn’t help either. He hanged himself shortly after he realized what he had done, and his wife died shortly after this brutal day. All three are said to still haunt the townhouse, and they aren’t always the most pleasant of spirits! After a day like that, would you blame them?
Mary’s ghost may be the quietest of the three spirits, but she has been known to become easily annoyed with rowdy patrons. A scolding tap on the shoulder from an unseen hand is quite common. Mary is also said to become jealous of particularly beautiful patrons of the establishment.
Angelique seems to enjoy the lively party ambiance of O’Flaherty’s. She is known to mingle with visitors, particularly handsome young men. They would often feel her gentle hand, caressing their hands and necks. She could also have a real attitude problem. Occasionally she would throw a tantrum, slinging bottles around.
The most frightening of the three spirits haunting the place is that of Joseph. He never leaves the 3rd floor. Witnesses see Joseph still hanging by the neck. The resentful Joseph is known to push, scratch, and even try to strangle visitors, especially ghost hunters. So it may be best to not pull out the EMF meter on the 3rd floor. Witnesses have reported feelings of intense energy, usually sad or angry, on the 3rd floor. A few have heard the voice of a man asking to be left alone. It seems Joseph let his temper get to him, now his spirit is cursed to eternal shame. He wants to forget it, and he wants others to forget as well so he can move on. Alas, here he stays, trapped between worlds.
It must be pointed out, these grounds are haunted by more than just those three tortured souls. In 1853, the building was used as a quarantine for Yellow Fever victims. Nobody knows how many people spent their last miserable days suffering within these walls. What we do know is that some chose to end their suffering on their own terms. Several patients jumped from the windows to their deaths, resulting in the windows being barred. Today, people report muffled coughs and sniffles, and near the windows, one writer describes an almost tangible suffering-laden air.
O’Flaherty’s closed its doors after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and never re-opened. Now the building is occupied by the New Orleans Creole Cookery. They remodeled the building, removing the infamous balcony from which Angelique was thrown. If you think you missed your chance to find these three famous spirits, fret not. The New Orleans Creole Cookery is also receiving reports of Mary, Angelique, and Joseph continuing their interactions with visitors.
When the building underwent a recent renovation, workers refused to go onto the third floor. The reason was because of the Voodoo Circle they uncovered. A Voodoo Circle is a round hole that is placed in the floorboards, this particular one being about six feet in diameter, offering a safe place to sleep free from harassment by ghosts and spirits. The workers that would brave the third floor removed the artifact; the Circle is now on display in a room to provide an up close and personal look at this unique piece of ghost story tradition.
Muriel’s Restaurant: Where a Ghost Refuses To Leave His Beloved Home
On March 21, 1788, the Great New Orleans Fire started on Good Friday and burned 856 of the 1,100 structures in the French Quarter. During the tragedy, a portion of Pierre Phillipe de Marigny’s mansion was burnt. During the next decade, the city of New Orleans was in a rebuilding process, trying to recover from the fire that swept the French Quarter. The Spanish replaced what was left of the wooden buildings with thick brick walled structures that included courtyards, arcades, and wrought iron balconies. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan built his dream home, restoring it to its original grandeur for his family and himself. This would become the building that now is Muriel’s Restaurant. Although Jourdan dearly adored his beautiful home, he was a man that could never quench his intoxicating thirst for the thrill and excitement of gambling. In 1814, he wagered his beloved home in a poker game and crushingly lost the one thing he treasured most in life. The grief over the loss was so intense that before having to vacate the premises and hand over his prized treasure, he tragically committed suicide on the second floor in the same area where, appropriately enough, Muriel’s Seance Lounges are situated today.
Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan still haunts the piece of property that is now Muriel’s. His ghost doesn’t appear in human form, but instead as a glimmer of sparkly light wandering around the lounge. The Seance Lounges on the second floor are named so because it is believed that this is where Jourdan spends the majority of his time. Patrons and employees of Muriel’s have regularly witnessed objects being moved around throughout the restaurant. It is simply believed that Jourdan never left his true love, which is his home in New Orleans. In honor of his grief and to make up for his loss, to this day a table is reserved for Mr. Jourdan, set with bread and wine.
Although Jourdan is considered to be the most famous spirit haunting this location, he’s certainly not the only one. There is a slightly mischievous ghost in the Courtyard Bar that roams the property. Glasses have been flown from behind the bar to the brick wall twelve feet away and shattered. A female voice has been recorded when no female has been present. Although feisty, this ghost is obviously nearly as fond of Muriel’s as good old Jourdan himself!
Old Absinthe House: Where the Fairy Refuses to Stay in the Bottle
Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House Since 1807. Source.
Just as the green fairy said to haunt a bottle of absinthe, so to do spirits linger and reside in the Old Absinthe House. This bar is closely tied to New Orleans’ resident pirate, the notorious Jean Lafitte.
Legend tells us that this pirate received an offer from the British to help them in their war against the Americans. After all, Lafitte had a powerful network of swashbucklers to draw from, not to mention numerous ships, obvious bluster bordering on hubris, and, most significant of all, he knew New Orleans like the proverbial back of his hand.
As history unfolded, Lafitte opted against helping the British, perhaps because of what some might call a code of honor. It seems he loved Americans. He even offered to help them instead. The Americans didn’t exactly trust Lafitte, however. You know, the whole pirating thing and all. They returned his gesture of goodwill by storming one of his outposts and utterly destroying it. Then came along Mr. 20-dollar bill himself, Andrew Jackson, who at this time was a captain, and he managed to mend America’s relationship with Jean Lafitte. Jackson realized that the pirate’s services were necessary. And this is where the Old Absinthe House comes into play.
Historians claim the two men met on the second floor of the bar. Perhaps the Green Fairy helped seal the bargain, as well as the outcome of the ensuing Battle of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson agreed to full pardons of all of Lafitte’s men for their various crimes. Lafitte offered up his firsthand knowledge of New Orleans; this pirate had an intimate understanding of its swamps, its dark backwaters, and basically every shadowy nook and moss-covered cranny the Americans needed to know to beat the British.
Lafitte proved invaluable to Jackson’s efforts, and the pirate’s status as a hero of New Orleans was ensured. But while Lafitte’s name may be on the Old Absinthe House sign, he isn’t the only celebrity to have visited here. You see, many of the Old Absinthe House’s most loyal patrons still haunt this Bourbon Street bar to this very day.
Among the immortal patrons that are alleged to haunt the Old Absinthe House are some of New Orlean’s most storied celebrities. Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau was said to have frequented the bar and still conjures in the dark recesses of the night. Celebrated writers Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain are said to have partaken of absinthe here. Perhaps it is the intoxication of the Green Fairy that caused these souls to linger here still.
While Jean Lafitte is seen throughout the French Quarter, his apparition has been known to haunt the Old Absinthe House from time to time. However, his main haunt is the Blacksmith Shop. There is a rather rousing explanation for his ghostly travels from this place to the Blacksmith Shop; legend has it that secret tunnels burrow beneath the bar, connecting this Absinthe House to his historied Blacksmith Bar.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop: A Place Where A Pirate Still Lingers
One of the oldest surviving structures within the French Quarter, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is a well-known destination. Formerly the site of infamous Jean Lafitte’s illicit privateer operation, today the location acts as a neighborhood bar.
What is the difference between a pirate and a privateer?
- A pirate worked for themselves
- A privateer worked for a Government.
They both looted, robbed, and killed. One was just socially acceptable, the other was not.
Lafitte is a complicated historical figure. It is believed Lafitte was born either in France or in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. By 1805, he operated a warehouse in New Orleans to help disperse the goods smuggled by his brother, Pierre Lafitte. After the United States government passed the Embargo Act of 1807, the Lafittes moved their operations to an island in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. By 1810, their new port was very successful. In light of this accomplishment, the Lafittes began to engage in the vocation of smuggling and also started to engage in piracy.
Lafitte became a local legend during the War of 1812 when he helped Andrew Jackson defend the city of New Orleans from capture at the hands of the British. Today, you’ll see many landmarks and buildings with his name in New Orleans.
When it comes to the ghosts and hauntings at Lafitte’s it comes as no surprise that the ghost most often associated with this building is the ghost of Jean Lafitte himself. Interestingly, he appears as a full-bodied apparition. Full-bodied apparitions are not very common. Most of the time, ghosts are often seen as a mist, sometimes even as a vacuous shadow person. A full-bodied apparition appears no different than a living person. When Lafitte’s ghost is witnessed, he is dressed in his sailor’s gear.
The ghost of Jean Lafitte has never interacted with anyone. He has never been rumored to say even a word to anyone. He simply stands in the dark corners, staring at people until he is noticed, at which time his ghost disappears into the shadows. Witnessing his ghost seems to be a fairly common occurrence here at the Blacksmith Shop. He is always seen on the first floor, most of the time near the comfort of the fireplace that is inside.
On the second floor of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, there seems to be another ghost that calls the bar home. Nobody knows who this ghost is, it is only known that it is the ghost of a woman. It could have been someone who lived at this location in the past. Rumor has it that there was a woman who lived here in the 1890s who killed herself upstairs. Even as ghosts go, this female phantasm is a little more mysterious than typical haunts. She has only shown herself to people on a few occasions. However, she is very talkative. Imagine sitting in one of the rooms upstairs, by yourself, late at night, and hearing a woman whisper your name into your ear. Yeah, if that doesn’t send shivers up your spine not much will. But that is what she likes to do. She probably just wants to let you know she is there, that she knows who you are. not realizing that by doing so she has probably made a few people have a panic attack!
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is also home to another spirit. This is the ghost of an unknown female thought to have ended her own life upstairs, although this story is not supported by evidence. This ghost is well known for approaching upstairs visitors and quietly whispering their names into their ears.
Finally and most terrifyingly Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop has become home to an entity that has never been of this world. Ghost hauntings aside, this building is said to host a demonic presence. A pair of bright red eyes emanating from the darkest corners of the bar are the cause for suspicion of this demonic haunting. Eerily enough, these red eyes are commonly seen floating above the heads of bar staff. There is never a body, never a voice, just those piercing, soul-searching red eyes. They are always seen in the dark corners of Lafitte’s. As soon as you make eye contact with it, the eyes will freeze on you, before fading into nothing. Ghosts typically don’t have red eyes. People have an unfortunate habit of lumping everything paranormal into the category of “ghost.” This is far from the truth. What many expect this glowing-eyed entity to be is something demonic. Indeed, there are witnesses who have reported the sickening stench of rotting meat, a not-too-subtle hint that a demon has inflicted itself on our world.
Sit back, enjoy the gumbo, and relax. But if you visit this location, maybe bring some holy water along with the antacid. Better safe than sorry!
Mahogany Jazz Club: Where Jazz and Murder Meet
In 1888, this club was a lodging house owned by Fred Folks. Charles Murphy, a 26-year-old shoemaker from England, came to stay at Folks’ Lodging House. He had been in New Orleans for about 2 years when he was struck with a fever that he just couldn’t seem to recover from, sending him into what some said was a depressed state. On the morning of March 31st, Mr. Folks did his regular 6 am wakeup call on Murphy. They chatted briefly and Folks went back downstairs. Once alone, Murphy secured a piece of clothesline about 2 ½ feet long, made a loop knot on one end, placed it around his neck, and fastened the other end to an iron hook in the wall. 3 hours later, Mr. Folk found him strangled to death.
Murphy wasn’t the only one that found himself in a desperate state of mind at Folk’s Lodging House. Just two years later, George Kreis, a 32-year-old German immigrant, was stranded in New Orleans when he found Folk’s Lodging House. He had arrived in the city a few weeks earlier and had apparently spent all of the money he had arrived within the unforgiving temptations of the Crescent City. He was now penniless and homeless, but Folk gave him a room and helped him find some work. On Valentine’s Day, 1890, George Kreis took the last of his spare change and purchased a Defender 32 caliber revolver. At 10 pm, in reportedly good spirits, Kreis retired to his room. Once behind the closed doors of his private quarters, Kreis put the muzzle of the revolver into his mouth and blew his brains out. Poor Mr. Folk was left to discover yet another suicide victim in his lodging house.
The tragedies at 125 Chartres don’t stop there. On November 22nd, 1892, Scotty Boyle, a well-known character and vagrant on the streets of the French Quarter was standing right where the door of Mahogany Jazz Hall is currently located. He was probably loitering, but reports say he was shot to death by a tall man in a brown suit. Scotty Boyle was shot in the face with the bullet exiting through his left temple, his blood spraying across the door of the Mahogany Jazz Hall. Scotty’s killer was never found.
Is what tormented these men to the point of suicide a presence within the building itself? Many are inclined to believe so. Was the killer provoked by some evil spirit residing within this property? Perhaps. And although no instances of death have been reported for over a century, according to present-day staff, it’s not uncommon for glasses to go flying off the bar. Whatever haunts this location is still there, it seems, possibly laying in wait for its unsuspecting human prey, seeking an impressionable soul as its next victim.
Before You Go
Whatever brings you down to the Big Easy, whether it be the lure of the food or the sweet jazz that permeates the streets, the tales of voodoo and pirates, collecting beads thrown from a float, or exploring the settings of some of your favorite books, New Orleans will certainly not disappoint. But keep in mind that every place in this city has a history, and with that history comes the ghosts intrinsically attached to that history. This is their city, you are the voyeur into their world. Be respectful! Always keep an open mind as you stroll the French Quarter. Listen as you sit in the restaurant eating your shrimp po boy. Stare into the often-overlooked dark places. You never know what you may see or hear. Maybe you will bring your own ghostly experience back with you as a souvenir. And always remember, all ghosts have a story to tell, you merely have to listen. Bon Appetit et Joyeux Hantises
Featured Image: source
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