Haunted History Tours in NOLA Review - Good Stories, Good Fun

Do ghosts really haunt many of the buildings in New Orleans? Why is it known as the most haunted city in America? I have personally never had a documented ghost sighting, so I can't say for sure.  But after taking an educational walking tour with Haunted History Tours,  I could become a believer.

 

Dominic Verdi, our guide, walked our group of 18 guests through the New Orleans French Quarter and shared stories of the occult with us. He assured the group members that all of the spirits haunting the French Quarter are friendly and no one has been hurt by a spirit. We stopped outside of many locations, but unfortunately were not able to enter the reputed haunted buildings. Perhaps that was for the best?

 

Dominic's first story involved the Spanish and French in 1769.  Alejandro O'Reilly, the Spanish governor at that time, executed a group of French leaders and hung their bodies on a street now known as Frenchman Street as a way of showing the French who was in charge. But because of a subsequent hurricane, a French priest was able to rescue the bodies and took them to a local church for a proper burial.  Today, many folks claim to hear a Catholic song being sung around the church in a baritone voice in the morning. Ghost? Maybe.

 

 

The site of many duels

 

Our walk took us past many historical buildings, shops, gardens, and night spots in the French Quarter. Then we heard the tale of St Anthony's Garden on Royal Street.  This garden was the scene of many duels by swords during the 18th century.  Nearby residents report the sound of clanging metal coming from the garden. Ghosts? Maybe.

 

 

Voices of children have been hear here

 

The Andrew Jackson Hotel on Royal is a great place to stay - if you don't mind the ghosts.  The building was an orphanage for boys six to 12 years old.  Sadly, many were killed in the great fire of 1794. Folks staying at the hotel often report the sounds of children voices and see spirits floating in their rooms.  One couple in 1990 reported that someone or something had taken their picture from above their bed while they were sleeping.  Guests also report that the channels on their television sets are mysteriously switched to the cartoon channel.  The young boys apparently like cartoons. Ghosts?

 

 

The Hotel Provincial

 

The Hotel Provincial on Chartres Street was a hospital during the Civil War.  The conditions in the hospital were horrifying.  A guest at the hotel recently reported being approached by a ghost resembling a doctor who says he had come to cut the guest's leg off.  Other guests have reported getting off the elevator on the second floor and walking into a civil war hospital room. It makes you wonder....

 

 

Strange shadows have been reported in the Beauregard-Keyes House

 

The Beauregard-Keyes house is said to be haunted by multiple spirits.  People have reported seeing the General walking through the house talking about the bloody Civil War Battle of Shilo where he was the commander of the Confederate forces.  A group of Mafia members were assassinated there in 1919.  It has been said that you can smell fresh gun powder in the garden and you can hear shots being fired while in the house. Strange shadows have been reported in the house as well. We were not allowed into the structure, but perhaps that is for the best.

 

 

The Lalaurie Mansion has a gruesome history

 

Our guide repeated reminded us that he had toned down some of the gory details of a number of incidents because of the children on the tour. One of the most gruesome stories involves the Lalaurie Mansion on Royal Street built in 1830.  At that time it was the largest house in the French quarter.  Delphine LaLaurie was a really gruesome person who apparently tortured and murdered many of her slaves.  She escaped New Orleans before she could be prosecuted for her evil deeds.  The house was vacant until 1870 when the city took it over and set up a girls school.  This did not last long as the girls were petrified by the sight of tortured black men walking around. 

 

Someone bought the building and tried to open a furniture store.  But in the morning the furniture was found to be covered with blood and feces.  The owner spent a night sleeping in the store and woke up covered with the blood and feces.  Could it be a ghost? We were told that the actor Nicholas Cage bought the building, spent a night there, and never returned.  A Mr Wayland owns the building now but does not live there.

 

 

Many spirits have been sighted at the back of the Turtle Bay Bar

 

We stopped at the Turtle Bay Bar which is reported to have spirits. While they sold spirits to drink, we didn't see any floating around the area. Our guide told us that many people take photos there and see orbs and other visual evidence of spirits in the photos.

 

We learned that “Romeo hooks” were placed strategically on poles to deter men from reaching the windows of marriageable women

 

 

After the tour, later in the day,we asked our Uber driver if New Orleans was haunted.  She said yes and told us that she used to work at a hotel and reported that the elevator would mysteriously stop and open and close on different floors..  She was told that spirits haunting the hotel caused the elevator to act strangely.

 

Well, we did not see and spirits on our tour, but did learn a great deal more about the history of New Orleans and its ghost stories.  Our guide Dominic was a college professor who took a scholarly rather than dramatic approach to the subject matter. Contact Haunted History tours to be treated to an interesting two and a half hours with history and solid ghost stories that will make you think and wonder. Ghosts? Maybe.

 

Rev Zombie's Voodoo Shop in the heart of the French Quarter

 

By the way, our tour began at Rev. Zombie's Voodoo Shop on St. Peter Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Haunted History Tours also offers Voodoo Vampires, and Cemetery Tours. Visit Haunted History Tours.

 

 

PHOTOS BY DIANNE R. DAVIS OR BURT DAVIS

 

 

 

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