New Orleans is famous for many things: Jazz, Cajun cuisine, Mardi Gras…and GHOSTS. New Orleans has a long history. The city was first colonized by the French, taken over by the Spanish and eventually played a major part of the “Louisiana Purchase”. The city located on the Mississippi delta has witnessed wars, colonial occupation, slavery, pirates, voodoo and murders. Steeped in history and mystery, New Orleans is considered by many to be the most haunted city in the United States of America. When you visit New Orleans, don’t just enjoy the beautiful architecture, great food, and entertainment but also go on a Ghost Tour. The city has plenty available and its a great way to hear about the history of the neighborhoods and buildings. You may just witness something paranormal. Here are 10 reasons you should go on a ghost tour in New Orleans.
1. Most Haunted City in America
New Orleans could be the most haunted city in America. Steeped in history, many of the cities buildings have great stories behind them. Some were the scenes of murder. Some were brothels that must have witnessed a lot of trouble. The city has raised cemeteries which add mystery.
2. Best City for Ghost Tours
New Orleans has many Ghost Tours. Some travel by foot. Some travel by van or bus. Some are great for families of all ages. Some are geared toward adults and even include pub stops. Most of New Orleans’ Ghost Tours are led by experienced guides who give intriguing and entertaining information about some of the best known haunted places in the city.
3. Haunted Mansions
One of the most famous haunted mansions, the LaLaurie home is featured on many Ghost Tours. The LaLaurie Mansion is located at 1140 Royal Street in the city’s French Quarter. The home was once owned by the infamous Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie and her third husband. The LaLauries were wealthy and owned many slaves. When a fire broke out in 1834 what rescuers found was horrifying. Several of LaLaurie’s slaves were found in the attic. They had been subjected to hideous medical experiments and some were found dead. LaLaurie fled the country. The home was later apartments and today condos. There are many ghostly occurrences.
4. Haunted Cemeteries
New Orleans is home to many haunted cemeteries that are featured on Ghost Tours. Many of the city’s cemeteries are on the raised ground so they won’t be flooded which makes them even eerier. St. Louis Cemetery became the city’s centre in 1789. It is the resting place of Marie Laveau, the “Voodoo Queen” and is apparently very haunted and apparitions are frequently seen.
5. Haunted Hotels
Many hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in New Orleans are very old and very haunted. These include Le Pavillion, The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, The Hotel St. Pierre, Hotel Monteleon, The Andrew Jackson Hotel, Lafitte Guest House and The Dauphine Orlean. Some used to be brothels. Some were rebuilt after fires. Many hotel guests see apparitions, feel pinched or tugged or hear children playing in the hallways.
6. Haunted Bars
Older bars are often the site of haunts with stories of murder and debauchery. Several of New Orleans’ bars are believed to be haunted by former workers and former patrons. Many of New Orleans’ Ghost Tours feature haunted bars. Pirate Alley Café was once the site of an eighteenth-century Spanish Colonial prison. Pat O’Brien’s was built in the late eighteenth century and served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is on the location of a pirate brothel.
7. Best Family Tours
If you visit New Orleans with your family, a Ghost Tour is a great way to get to know the city and famous places in it. With younger children, you want the tour to be informative, fun and a bit spooky but not too scary. New Orleans has several tour companies that cater to families and offer 90 minutes to 2-hour walking tours. The best is the Spooky Family Ghost Tour. It offers a comfortable walking tour of several haunted French Quarter locations with a lot of informative information. Other great family ghost tours are offered by Grey Lines New Orleans, Ghost City and French Quarter Phantoms.
8. Best Adult Tours
Haunted History Tours offers one of the best tours of New Orleans haunted places and is aimed for adults. The company offers several scary tours of the city’s most haunted locations. On the Pub Crawl Tour, guests are guided on tours of haunted places including bars where guests can enjoy a drink. The company also offers the New Orleans Ghost Tours that visit spots in the Old French Quarter neighborhood where true crimes occurred. Other great adult tours which offer scares, paranormal and late-night adventures include The Voodoo Bone Lady Haunted Tours, New Orleans Ghost Adventures Tours and Haunted History Tours.
9. Best Walking Tours
Most of New Orleans Ghost tours are walking tours. They typically last around 90 minutes to 2 hours and cover a neighborhood such as the French Quarter or the Garden District. These tours are usually limited in number because the guide wants to engage everyone in the group. Ask Arthur Tours is led by the knowledgeable Arthur Morgan Smith. Smith offers tours including Seldom Seen Cemeteries, St. Louis Cemetery, Marigny Happy Hour and Bards and Butterflies in Bohemia. Other great walking tours include Voodoo & Cemetery Tour, French Quarter: Ghost Tour and French Quarter: Cemetery & Voodoo Tour.
10. Most Entertaining Tours
Many New Orleans tour companies have entertaining and engaging guides. One of the best is Lord Chaz Tours. Chaz is an engaging tour guide who has lived in New Orleans for a few decades. He and his friends will lead a small group of guests on an informative and entertaining tour of several haunted New Orleans locations. Tours include Vampire Street Theatre Tour, The Secret History of the Garden District and the True Crime Tour. Another great tour is Bloody Mary’s. Bloody Mary is a psychic and takes guests to several haunted locations by van. The tour lasts about 3 1/2 hours and visits haunted cemeteries, mortuaries, voodoo altars, bars and more. It even involves a mini ghost hunt.