New Orleans French Quarter Haunted Walking Tour Part I
Are you ready for RT? Only a month to go and if you are like me, you probably are scheduling out your days in minute details. Schedule a Haunted tour yet? You don’t necessarily have to pay someone to take you around in a group…all you really have to do is walk down the streets of the French Quarter. Most of the historic buildings in the French Quarter have at least one ghost story to tell the clientele. Walk into a bar and just ask a seasoned bartender. They’ll tell you all about it.
Who needs to pay $50 for a Haunted Tour of New Orleans, when you have a Junkee to tell you all about it?! Here are JUST A FEW of the French Quarter Hot Spots that have repeated reports of hauntings.
Ready to start this tour? Okay here we go….leave the convention hotel, the Marriott on Canal Street, and take a right. Our first stop is Chartres St. Once you get to Iberville, make a left and head toward Rampart (away from the River).
Hotel Monteleone | 214 Royal St.
The Hotel Monteleone can claim being one of the most haunted hotels in North America. Elevators stop on the wrong floor; children heard laughing in the hallway; chilly spots and guests getting lost as they wander down the wrong way. Most incidents that have been reported originate from the 14th floor. The hotel is alleged to be haunted by more than a dozen ghosts, most of them former employees and former guests. Stop in the Carousel Bar and ask the bartender if he’s ever encountered William Wildemere, a former guest of the hotel who has never left.
Walk down Iberville toward Rampart until you get to Bourbon, make a right and then a left when you get to Bienville. Soon, you’ll be right in front of Arnauds.
Arnaud’s Restaurant | 813 Bienville Ave
Arnaud’s is a New Orleans tradition. The bar dates back to the 1700s. Stop and grab a bite or just take a peek. Say hello to the host. If he has time, I betcha he has a few ghost stories. He might even tell you about the original owner, Count Arnaud, the man who wears a tuxedo and shows up in the middle of the restaurant smiling over the people that are eating. The restaurant also has a few ghosts that tend to show up in the bar to drink and carry on along with a female ghost dressed in her Sunday’s best and who just disappears. Don’t be shy about chatting up wait staff, hosts, or bartenders, in New Orleans. We all love to tell stories.
Continue down Bienville all the way to Rampart (about 4 blocks) and cross to the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Watch out, Rampart & Basin are busy streets.
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1
The St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is said to hold the grave of New Orleans’ own voodoo queen Marie Laveau and is New Orleans’ oldest existing burial ground. The St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one creepy place with brick piles where graves once stood and worn down marble faces. Most of the graves are crumbling. And if you find Laveau’s tomb, you’ll see offerings left on her grave-site, some by curious tourists, others by practitioners of Voodoo that still revere the long dead priestess. The cemetery was founded in 1789 and a lot of the graves are still intact. Though it is said that over 100K bodies have been buried in the cemetery, the graveyard is only one city block wide. It is whispered that Marie Laveau herself haunts the graveyard appearing each year on St. John’s Eve. You’ll know her by the handkerchief she wears around her neck. Visitors have claimed to have been assaulted, slapped, and tripped, within the one block area of raised tombs. I also must insist that you do not visit this cemetery at night. Every native New Orleanian knows that it isn’t only the ghosts you have to worry about in this cemetery. There are some shady living beings that also haunt the graves preying on tourists that wander in after dark.
Cross Rampart and head down Conti, heading toward the River. Make a left on Dauphine and then a right on Saint Louis. The Hermann-Grima house is on your right.
The Hermann-Grima House | 820 St. Louis Street
Located at 820 St. Louis Street, the Herman-Grima house was built in 1831 and is considered one of the top 10 haunted houses in the city. The house is currently in use as a museum, my cousin actually works there as one of the museum’s curators and will tell us stories about weird happenings and how most of the staff will not allow themselves to work alone. The house has been completely renovated and all the ghosts seem to be at peace within the house, most are considered to be from the houses origin. It is reported that the ghosts will sprinkle lavender and rose around the front parlor and will light fires during the winter. American Horror Story Coven was shot at this location.
Keep on walking down Saint Louis until you get to Charters and then make a left. You’ll see the Cathedral looming ahead of you. But, before you get to the Cathedral, make a left on Saint Peter’s and look up at the pretty facade of Le Petit Theatre…
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre |616 St Peter St.
New Orleans’ La Petite Theatre is haunted by a ghost called Caroline, who will help employees of the theater find missing objects. It is reported if you ask her directly where something is, you’ll find it sitting in the middle of the aisle when you come back. Caroline was an actress who fell from the balcony while “frolicking with her director,” she was dressed for her performance in a white wedding gown. There are also a few other ghosts, The Captain, who is scene during rehearsals by the actors as he watches from “his seat” in the balcony. The other is known as Sigmund, who was a stage carpenter and plays “pranks” on the set.
Now walk across the street to the Cathedral. Depending on the hour, you might be able to poke your head into the Cathedral, but she is a beauty to just look at from across the way in the area of Jackson Square.
St. Louis Cathedral
The cathedral you see is not the original cathedral. It is the third building constructed on the spot from having been destroyed twice before, once in a hurricane in 1722, and the second by the fire of 1788, called “The Good Friday Fire” that destroyed most of the French Quarter. It is reported that the ghost of Pere Antoine, a friar that served the poor, but also tried to establish an “Inquisition” in New Orleans, is still making his way throughout the church. The ghost of Pere Antoine is recognizable because he still wears the garb of the Capuchin (think typical monk garb, but black not brown, and sandals) and sports a white beard. The ghost of Pere Antoine is so widely reported and seen outside of the cathedral that some devout Catholics claim that he is a saint and still walks the Earth. Most of his sightings are interactions, catching women that trip in the streets, taking cigars and watching the children’s choir perform. You can see Pere Antoine’s portrait in the cathedral’s vestibule. It is also reported that the cathedral is haunted by other priestly ghosts, including Pere Dagobert, another Capuchin monk. The towers and the organ loft are considered some of the most haunted areas of the church.
Cross Saint Ann to Muriel’s, you can’t miss it.
Muriel’s Jackson Square | 801 Chartres St, New Orleans
Muriel’s is said to be haunted by several “harmless” ghosts. Most of the activity comes from what is called the Seance Lounge, which is open for private parties in the upstairs area of Muriel’s. The ghosts knock on the walls and a woman’s voice is heard now and again. Downstairs in the Courtyard Bar at times glass is flung from off the bar to shatter on the wall. There is another ghost the owners consider to be Pierre Antoine Lepadi Jourdan, the man who restored the property after the Good Friday fire. Jourdan’s ghost is said to appear as a sparkly light that likes to hang out in the lounge and move objects around.
Move along to Part II of the Walking Tour >
Download the Free Haunted New Orleans French Quarter Walking Tour here.
This book was written and created by Rachel Rivera.
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