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The Spooky Side of New Orleans

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Did you know New Orleans is considered the most haunted city in America? The spooky factor comes from many ghost stories, voodoo lore, and weird sightings throughout its history. If you’re looking to get spooked, French Quarter Phantom Tours can show you the way.

Altered version of original photo by Clark Mills licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Jackson Square

701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Most people visit Jackson Square to see the iconic Andrew Jackson equestrian statue or the artists and tarot card readers, but it has a spooky history of its own. In the early days of New Orleans, Jackson Square was the location for punishments and executions. One enslaved man, Louis Congo, was given an unthinkable choice: remain enslaved or become the executioner. He chose the latter. From 1718-1762, Louis had the sole authority to carry out whippings, hangings, and worse to residents of all races in Jackson Square. For example, if you were caught stealing, you might have been branded with a fleur de lis. If you were a slave and caught running away, you might have had your hamstrings sliced. By far the worst punishment was "Breaking on the Wheel," which included a massive lazy susan device where victims were strapped to the wheel and surrounded by people with large Mallets (called cudgels). They would spin the wheel and beat the victims to death. Enjoy the surrounding shops and rose bushes but remember, this wasn't always such a fun place. It’s also the starting point for the carriage drivers if you want a horse-drawn carriage tour of the French Quarter.

Altered version of original photo by Kimberly Vardeman licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Muriel's Jackson Square

801 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan built his grand home in present-day Jackson Square, restoring it after a huge citywide fire in 1774. Pierre had a bit of gambling problem, and in 1814 he wagered his home in a poker game and lost. Pierre was so devastated about losing his home that he committed suicide there before he was forced to leave. Muriel’s Restaurant is on the site of the former home. Pierre’s ghost still haunts the place in the form of a sparkly light moving around the restaurant’s “Seance Lounge”. It’s believed there might be a few other ghosts lingering around the restaurant as employees and visitors have reported objects being moved around, hearing voices or knocks on the wall when no one is present, and seeing strange shadows. If you’re interested in trying for a paranormal experience, most have taken place in Muriel's Seance Lounge, so reserve a private experience there for lunch or dinner.

Altered version of original photo by Jeremy Thompson licensed under CC BY 2.0.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Located at the former pharmacy of Louis Joseph Dufilho Jr., America’s first licensed pharmacist, this museum showcases tools used for old medical practices like bloodletting and leeches (yes, they have a jar of live leeches). Along with dispensing medicine in the 1800s, Dufilho used to perform exploratory surgery on women, many of which resulted in their death, and he would bury the bodies in the walls of the pharmacy. Eventually, he contracted syphilis and legend has it that he became crazier and crazier and his experiments got stranger and stranger. Some say eerie groans and other sounds can be heard from the vacant upper floors. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and at 1pm there is a first-come, first-serve guided tour included with your admission price that is not to be missed for more spooky details.

Spend the night at a Haunted Hotel

Altered version of original photo by David Ohmer licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Andrew Jackson Hotel

919 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Many of our tour guests have captured photos of apparitions of children here during our tour. The site was originally a boarding school and orphanage that opened in 1792 for boys who had lost their parents to yellow fever. The fires that consumed much of New Orleans in 1774 also laid rest to the boarding school with five young boys inside. Request room 204--it seems to be the most haunted.

Altered version of original photo by Chris.j.cook licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Hotel Monteleone

214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Hotel Monteleone is one of the premier haunted hotels in New Orleans. In 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days at Hotel Monteleone and the team made contact with more than a dozen spirits. Among them were several former employees, including a man named William “Red” Wildemere, who died inside the hotel of natural causes. Another spirit is that of a friendly toddler named Maurice Begere who died in the hotel, and his distraught parents returned frequently in hopes he might visit them. Maurice eventually appeared to his mother and comforted her, and to this day, guests report seeing him near the room where he died. Book your room on the 14th floor where many have had paranormal experiences.

Altered version of original photo by Brian Lauer licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Hotel Provincial

1024 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

This hotel is often named one of the most haunted hotels in the world and is a frequent stop on local ghost tours. Several of the buildings were used as a Civil War hospital and there are reports of the spirits of Confederate soldiers wandering the hallways. Guests have claimed seeing pools of blood on the floors, blood-stained sheets, and sounds of wailing and painful groans throughout the night. Among the wilder reports over the years, one group of guests swears the elevator doors opened to a vivid scene of a bloody military hospital floor before closing again. Request your reservation for building 5 where most of the paranormal activity is reported.

Inspiring Strolls

To see some of the sights mentioned above and much more, join us for our spookiest tour. Offered each night at 6pm and 8pm, our Ghost and Vampire Tour is ranked by TripAdvisor as one of the top ten ghost tours in the world. We pride ourselves on having superb guides, local historians and master storytellers who have been with us for years. Many hold degrees in subjects such as History, Theater, Forensic Anthropology, Literature, Theology. Each guide has crafted their tour to include their favorite stories. Our tours are reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone with a lot of good laughs mixed in, so don’t worry about getting too spooked (they are also family-friendly).