Last year, New Orleans celebrated its Tri-Centennial. After 300 years, this city has seen a large enough share of ghosts and witches to now be called, “the most haunted city in America.” These haunted tales have been passed along for generations and always seem to resurface around Halloween.
You may recall the infamous tale of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, or the tragic story of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan. And, what other city in America would be home to the First Lady of Voodoo – Marie Laveau!
I live near some of the older cemeteries in the city and often marvel at the beauty, peace and tranquility of these hallowed grounds. After researching the history of these cemeteries, I came across an article about, “The Feast of All Souls,” or “All Souls’ Day.” In the early history of the city, this day was dedicated to celebrating the lives of family and friends who had passed on. The day was spent in the cemeteries – cleaning tombs, manicuring lawns and placing flowers. The respect for those who passed is still apparent by the care of family tombs that now date back several centuries.
On a larger scale, Halloween in New Orleans takes on a more festive feel, similar to Mardi Gras Day. Frenchmen Street in the Marigny neighborhood is alive with spooky, costume-clad revelers as music blasts out from Jazz clubs and bars. A week earlier to get the haunted season rolling, the Krewe of Boo (a family-friendly event) parades through the French Quarter and the CBD before ending in the Warehouse District (October 19th). A week later, Vodoo Fest is held (October 25th to 27th) in City Park, just to the south of Scout Island Scream Park that operates throughout the month until November 2nd.
Celebrating our haunted past is like most things in New Orleans – a time to be festive and have fun! To learn more about the city’s spooky history, try a Ghost Tour with New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours.
Schedule your tour today by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or by calling 504.503.0199. Your guided tour will put all of this haunted history into perspective with New Orleans’ Joie de Vivre.
– Peter A. Boese