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Fort Monroe, Virginia
February 13, 2007
From journal Haunted History in New Orleans
March 3, 2005
We gathered, as per instructions on our reservations, under the clock facing Jackson Square outside of St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter. We weren't the only ones with this perfect idea for Halloween; lots of other costumed people waiting for tour guides. However, we did have one step up over those just walking up for the tour; we'd saved $3 per ticket by booking online (or you can print a $3 coupon to bring with you). Plus, those of us who'd booked online got free beads that had been "blessed by a voodoo queen."
It was a perfect night for a tour – dark, warm, and sultry in the way that only New Orleans can be, despite the plethora of Halloween party-makers in the area.
Now, all of the Haunted History Tour guides are extremely qualified, but we lucked out and got the guy who looks like a vampire - he was decked out in buckled leathers, sharp teeth (we're still not sure if they were artificial or if he had actually had the dentistry work done on them!), and sharp finger nails. He looked as if, if we didn't behave, he'd drag us off into a handy alley and drink our blood himself.
The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, not only debunking myths about vampires in general, and particularly films about vampires (New Orleans-filmed Interview With A Vampire receiving particular attention and also taking up a few of the stops), but also providing a large amount of knowledge about New Orleans history, and in particular, giving us several skin-crawling tales of horror from around the French Quarter. (I'd repeat some here, but it would be far more fun for you to experience this tour in person!)
The tour ended at a cool local hangout bar away from the bustle of Bourbon Street. Next door to the bar was a leather shop, for which our guide warned us, "Go in there if you're curious, but be careful about trying out any merchandise while you're in the store."
Compared to my earlier tour (a cemetery tour), this one had much less walking. However, while not in any way a particularly stressful walk, it should be noted that French Quarter sidewalks are not exactly "walker-friendly" - they're uneven, often in varying shades of repair, and not all corners have sloped edges to the sidewalks. I would not recommend the tour to anybody who is mobility-challenged. (However, you may want to check out their video instead if this is your case).
The Haunted History Tour company offers a wide variety of walking tours around the city, including ones of cemeteries, the Garden District, and others, including the city's only Pirates Tour. Many of their staff members are experts in local supernatural lore. It was a fun time!
From journal Laissez les bon temps roulez! - New Orleans
August 6, 2004
On the ghost tours, you'll hear tales of horror at the lalaurie mansion, the axe murderer who stalked his victims and then killed off the entire family and the woman who haunts the bar where you'll stop for a visit.
The picture here is at that very same bar which used to be a house of ill repute. The story goes that there was a prostitute working there who fell in love with a soldier. They were to be married but he wanted to go on one final mission beforehand so they could later live in financial comfort. The young woman was apprehensive so she made him promise to come back to her. When he finally was to arrive home, she put on her white dress and ran down to happily greet him, only to find that he had indeed returned, but he was dead in his coffin.
The young girl, distraught, locked herself in her room for weeks refusing to eat until finally, one day overwhelmed with her sorrow, she hung herself from the tree by the stables. It's said that she haunts the courtyard.
Take a look at the righthand side of the picture directly behind the plant, taken of that very tree; do you see what I see?
At Least Do This:
Go on the vampire tour and hear tales of the Count St-Germaine's reputed brief stay in New Orleans and learn about the filles de cassette or 'casket' girls of Ursuline Convent . What really lies on the third floor? And why does it remain off limits to anyone save high ranking members of the church?
make sure you pick up a coupon before you take the tour. it'll save you some money.
I took a cemetary and voodoo tour with another company, and the tour guide wasn't half as good as the ones with this company. the guides were well informed, entertaining and very funny. if you're going to be a tourist for a couple of days, why not make yourself obvious and take one of the tours. it beats spending the entire time drinking on bourbon st.:P
From journal Criminals and Pirates and Prostitutes, Oh My!
January 26, 2003
Our guide, dressed as his favorite local historical figure, pirate Jean Lafitte, took us on a 2.5-hour walking tour of his favorite haunted places in the French Quarter. We visited Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith’s Shop on Bourbon Street, which is now a bar and was never a blacksmith’s shop. It’s one of the only buildings in the French Quarter that survived catastrophic fires in 1788 and 1794. The LaLaurie House, at 1140 Royal Street, is home to one of the best-known horror stories and haunted happenings in New Orleans. Julie, an octoroon, who died trying to prove her love to her wealthy lover, haunts the Bottom of the Cup Tearoom at 732 Royal Street. We visited several other haunted places, and ended the tour in Pirate’s Alley. Each tour guide has their favorites to show and they do vary their routines.
The tour meets in front of Rev. Zombie’s Voodoo Shop, 723 St. Peter Street. Just show up 15 minutes prior to any tour. Discount coupons are available in several brochures, but the best was a $5.00 off coupon I got from www.neworleans.com
Click the link for 101 Cool Things, #48 is coupons for attractions, lodging, dining, etc.
From journal New Orleans through a Yankee's Eyes
January 3, 2002
From journal New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl