Meet the Friendly (and Not So Friendly) Ghosts of New Orleans
It's October, and Halloween is on the horizon. Large spiders and cobwebs cover landscaping, skeletons are perched in shadowy windows, and jack-o'-lanterns sneer at passers-by from porches. Celebrate the spookiest day of the year by traveling to one of the country’s most haunted cities, where you can soak up eerie historical facts and rendezvous with apparitions. The stops in each city are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 howls, with 5 being the creepiest.
Get Cursed by a Voodoo Queen
Time commitment: 2 hours
Haunted History Tours’ cemetery tour heads to Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, where voodoo queen Marie Laveau is buried. She’s known to pace the cemetery adorned in a white-and-red turban, sputtering curses at onlookers. It’s said that Marie’s 12-foot black snake was buried with her, and that the creepy pet slithers among tombstones that have been around since 1789.
Level of creepiness: 4 out of 5 howls
Make Friends with Cordial Specters
Hermann-Grima Historic House
820 Saint Louis Street
4-minute walk from Reverend Zombie’s Voodoo Shop
Time commitment: 45–60 minutes
The ghosts at Hermann-Grima Historic House, which was built in 1831, are a little unorthodox. Instead of trying to scare you away, they welcome you by lighting the fireplace and filling the air with the scents of lavender and rose.
Level of creepiness: 1 out of 5 howls
Eat Creole Favorites with a Dead Restaurateur
813 Bienville Street
4-minute walk from Hermann-Grima Historic House
Arnaud’s has been serving creole favorites alongside french 75 cocktails since it was founded in 1918 by “Count” Arnaud Cazenave. While you’re eating oyster and gumbo, the Count may appear to make sure your meal is up to his standards. And if it’s not, he won’t hesitate to rearrange things until they’re in their proper places.
Level of creepiness: 3 out of 5 howls
Play Hide-and-Seek with Childish Spirits
214 Royal Street
2-minute walk from Arnaud’s Restaurant
The Hotel Monteleone, featured on Travel Channel’s Weird Travels, has been offering both the living and the dead a place to stay since 1886. Listen for a jazz singer howling throughout the night, and head to the 14th floor to spot cheerful childish spirits playing hide-and-seek.
Level of creepiness: 5 out of 5 howls
Photos: centry by Jennifer Williams under CC BY-SA 2.0; The Hermann-Grima House by Reading Tom under CC BY 2.0; Arnaud's for French 75s by Ann Larie Valentine under CC BY-SA 2.0; hotel monteleone lobby by Britt Reints under CC BY 2.0
Curl up with more spooky reads from the The Guide: