The Bourbon Orleans
One of the most haunted hotels in the United States
717 Orleans St.
The Bourbon Orleans has a very rich past, and has been a plethora of different attractions and organizations. It was built in 1817 by business owner John Davis and he made it into the famous Orleans Ballroom. If there was going to be an amazing ball – it was going to be held at the Orleans ballroom. The Orleans Ballroom is best known for hosting the infamous Quadroon balls, the events in which light skinned African American women were paraded around in front of rich white and creole men in order for them to be taken as their mistresses.
After the Ballroom closed in 1881, the building became a Convent and school. The building was owned by the First Order of Negro Catholic Nuns and they focused on the teaching and raising of african american children. This order later became the Sisters of the Holy Family is the oldest female led African American order in the U.S.
The Yellow Fever outbreak hit the convent hard, which is said to have created a lot of the ghost stories that haunt the hotel today. Children and nuns are both said to haunt the halls, most specifically the 6th floor.
In recent times, a man working alone on a stairwell said an curse word and immediately felt a slap on his face, which supposedly originated from an angry nun. Other ghosts include a young man who still kisses the ladies who he thinks are hotties. A confederate soldier with a weapon has been seen on the sixth seventh floor, and there are reports of several childlike spirits playing tricks on the guest and running up and down the hallways of the sixth floor.
The famous ballroom is also the home of a “lonely ghost dancer.” This spirit can be seen dancing underneath the crystal chandeliers. There have been a large amount of reports of seeing this ghost dancing and then hiding behind the draperies in the ballroom. A woman is also supposed to haunt the elevator and when she appears all the ghost children run away.
The hotel staff swear that the spirit of a elderly man haunts the hotel. His spirit has been consistently reported. All seem to agree that he is seen smoking a cigar, that the smell of the cigar usually heralds his appearance. Once he is spotted he’ll raise and brow, fold up his local paper and disappear after giving you a very rude look.
There is a reason that the Bourbon Orleans usually makes the top ten list of most haunted hotels in the country. But, they also make it a point to use this as a marketing tool. The Bourbon Orleans offers customized “Haunted experiences” and will give you a run-down of all their ghosts if you ask the staff nicely.