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After you’ve taken the Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour of the Honey Island Swamp, it’s time to step off the boat, leaving the natural world of the alligators, snakes, and raccoons behind. Returning to your hotel room in the city, you might just be stepping into the world of the supernatural.
The city of New Orleans is perhaps the most haunted city in the United States. Once phantoms check-in, they hardly ever check out. Cajun Encounters has compiled a list of haunted hotels in New Orleans for you to check out this Halloween to make your visit even more “spook-tacular.”
5. Hotel Monteleone
Even some of our ghosts speak French. This Royal Street hotel is supposedly haunted by a little boy named Maurice Begere, who still likes to play pranks on the 14th floor. In the late 1800s, it seems that Maurice’s parents, Josephine and Jacques, were frequent guests of the Hotel Monteleone. They were even more frequent guests of the French Opera House on Bourbon Street. But the opera was no place for three-year-old Maurice, and so he was routinely left at the hotel with a nanny as his parents went to enjoy the nightlife of the French Quarter.
One night when his parents were out, Maurice heard a whispering in his native French language and mistook it for his own mother, whom he thought was hiding from him in the hotel room closet. The babysitter thought that the boy wasn’t right, suffering from delusions and hallucinations as the lad fell gravely ill. His temperature spiked, his little body convulsing with sickness. Though his nanny tried to tend to him as much as she could, the fever was much too high, and Maurice passed away that night. When the Begeres returned from the opera, they were horrified to find that their son was dead. Josephine was so distraught that she demanded her husband bring her back to the Hotel Monteleone every year so that she could hopefully encounter her dead son’s spirit annually. Some years later, she apparently did. The ghost of Maurice appeared to her in the dead of night. Josephine was reduced to tears as she gripped her son’s apparition in a tight embrace. Leaning back, Maurice’s spirit assured her in French, “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m fine.”
It was believed by many that the nanny tried to subdue the child’s fever by placing him in a tub of cold water and that the child was drowned in the bathtub. The legend states that it was later suspected that the nanny was a bit of a serial-killer, drowning several children in the Hotel Monteleone. All the young victims suffered the same mysterious, fevered illness. Legend has it that the ghost of the children often play with the elevators on the 13th and 14th floor. The ghost of the nanny is also believed to haunt the place where she drowned the children, doomed forever more to repeat and retrace her steps in the murdering of the children.
4. Hotel St. Pierre
This property on Burgundy in the French Quarter is said to be haunted by two resident spirits. One is a confederate war veteran who haunts what was the former slave quarters on the properties, thus the cheaper rooms nowadays. The other ghost is that of a middle-aged man that apparently moves objects in the rooms and changes the channels on the TV periodically. One guest reported that, as he started to drift off to sleep one night, he dangled his arm down between the mattress headboard and the wall of the room. Before he fell asleep, he felt a cold, wet, clammy hand grab his own hand from underneath the bed.
3. Maison De Ville
Cottage 4 is considered the most haunted on the property and is said to be haunted by the ghost of a military man in a 1940s WWII era uniform. Guests to the Toulouse Street hotel often catch flashes of the man, who appears and then disappears inside of the rooms. It is said that when the cottage radio is tuned to any station, the ghost, who has a penchant for a long-lost music, will change the radio station to a country station. He is said to appear when seances have been held on the property. Audio evidence has been obtained as well when paranormal investigators claimed that the soldier’s voice has been heard to speak the words: “I need to leave.” Apparently, he had arranged for a late check-out. Investigators have also claimed to have video evidence of the apparition, which catches glimpses of the medals on his uniform. Guests have also reported that men and women in vintage clothing have been seen leaving behind wet footprints in the rooms while bedsheets are often pulled off in the middle of the night.
2. Le Pavillon
Avoid room 301, they say. The hotel claims one spirit that lingers is that of a ghostly, spectral girl, who is reportedly the spirit of a young girl mowed down by a horse and carriage outside of the hotel in the 1800s. Hotel employees often report a ghostly, well-dressed young man in 19th century clothing. The young man apparently plays pranks and disappears as he roams the hallways of the hotel. A visiting doctor once claimed that he awoke in the middle of the night to find a gray-haired old woman crouching at his bedside. Creaking door sounds also seem to be the calling card of the spirits who still reside in room 301. It is also said that the spirit of a “peeping Tom” appeared in the 1960s and can peek in through your hotel room window, regardless of whether you are on the 5th or 10th floor, as if the ghost is levitating outside of your hotel room window, scaling the heights of the grand hotel.
1. The Pontchartrain Hotel
The Pontchartrain Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans, said to host as many as 25 real ghosts likely due to a massive fire that happened in 1929. Of these ghosts includes a pair of sisters who once lived in the building, which was originally built as apartments in 1927. As they did reside on the entirety of the 11th floor, ghost hunters have claimed to encounter full-bodied, spectral apparitions of the sisters.
The legend states that one sister, in a jealous rage, attempted to murder her own sister by an act of arson, setting fire to the apartment floor in which they lived. The fire inadvertently caused the death of a sleeping husband and wife on the floor below the raging apartment fire. The married couple, who burned to death, still haunt the ninth floor near the ice machine. Guests have reported strange occurrences after returning to a ninth-floor room after getting ice (or while at the ice machine itself), including ghostly hands being draped on the backs of startled guests.
Locals also state that former, famed pianist, Tuts Washington, continues to play phantom tunes downstairs in The Bayou Bar, where Tuts played in the 1960s regularly after his rise to stardom in the 1920s and 1930s. It is said that when the mysterious, disembodied tinkling of the ivory keys ring out from downstairs long after The Bayou Bar has closed, it causes at least one apparition of a trio of ghosts to appear. It’s as if the ghostly piano playing summons a man in a tuxedo, with two women (one on each arm) from an unknown room. The spirits of the man and two women can be seen strolling down the hallway and disappearing before reaching Tuts Washington in the lounge below. Tuts, himself, also died whilst playing on stage at the 1984 World’s Fair not too far from his old haunt, The Pontchartrain Hotel. Apparently, old musicians never die in New Orleans; they just get a new gig somewhere.