Devoted to preserving Cajun culture by sharing it with the public, Cajun Pride Tours’ knowledgeable and passionate guides lead groups on tours that explore area swamps, plantations along the Great Mississippi River Road, and the historic districts of New Orleans. They also stroll along city streets in the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Garden District, and areas that display the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina. On boat trips, groups can spot friendly gators while floating through the Manchac Swamp—a protected area that prohibits any hunting, fishing, or tickling of the native wildlife. A short drive past the swamps drops tourists off near the area’s plantations that are notable for their history, architecture, landscaping, and insight into Creole culture.
With two near-death experiences, several haunted residences, and an adolescence spent guiding informal ghost tours under her belt, Haunted Houston Tours? founder Kasey Clark is a self-professed ghost magnet. After a lackluster ghost-tour experience sparked an eerie ambition in Kasey?s heart, she dedicated her life to chasing ghosts. She refused to construct tours that relied on theatrical fabrications of most ghost tours. Instead, she founded Haunted Houston to explore the rich history of spooky, well-documented hauntings.
Kasey and her team of engaging guides?who boast more than 200 years of combined experience and study of the paranormal?lead well-researched tours and immersive ghost hunts based on historical facts that engage even the most devout skeptics. They shuffle off to Old Town Spring almost every night, creeping through haunted streets and graveyard paths while investigating stories of death, murder, disease, war, and cookie theft.
Shadows-on-the-Teche's curators share the legacy of the iconic structures and inhabitants of an antebellum 19th-century sugar cane plantation that helped shape the surrounding region. Trained guides draw upon more than 17,000 documents, photographs, and talking parrots to paint fascinating pictures of the enduring structure. A brilliantly recreated picket fence stands as a small-scale preview to the towering columns that brace a structure packed with a variety of artifacts, many of which are original to the home. The plantation is a National Trust Historic Site, and the tour contains extensive information on the Weeks family, the home's influential original owners.
Now in its second year, the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade benefits Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and the Big Buddy Program—whose children receive costumes collected during the 10/31 Consortium club's costume drive. These costumed children march in the parade each year, in keeping with the organization's efforts to preserve the practice of trick-or-treating.
The parade follows a surprise theme each year, and community individuals and Krewes, who drive and march along a downtown route, contribute and construct colorful floats. The 10/31 Consortium organizes this annual parade in an effort to nurture community creativity and inspire local youth.
Spirit Expeditions specializes in haunted walking and shuttle tours of historic cities throughout America. On the two-hour tour, guides narrate spooky tales of serial killers, Freemasons, and the strange occurrences at the spookiest locations in each city. Along the way, guests conduct their own ghost hunts.
Spanish moss drops from the branches of Afton Villa Gardens’s 250 live oaks, brushing the shoulders of Apollo, Diana, and other faded statues of Greek gods. The vitality of the greenery stands in stark contrast to the remnants of past grandeur dotting the landscape. A Gothic Revival mansion stood in the center of Afton Villa Gardens 130 years ago, but crumbled in a 1963 fire. But signs of the estate remain: classical statues carved from Italian stone dot the 250 acres of fertile land, and the mansion’s brick foundation now supports English wallflowers, wild ferns, and exotic Post-it notes.
As the newest residents and caretakers, the Trimble family pays homage to the past not only by preserving the ruins, but by nurturing plants typical to 19th-century southern gardens and West Feliciana parish. Camellias and sweet olive border a formal boxwood parterre, and honeysuckle and silverbell compete for the affections of bumblebees beneath cherry trees. Visitors are welcome to tote along food and beverages to savor a picnic lunch on the idyllic grounds.