New Orleans is steeped in history, fun as all get-out and one inexpensive flight away. Before you make those reservations, though, here are a few fun facts about The Big Easy. It’s flat — as in really, really flat. New Orleans cannot accommodate underground burials, so it is home to some of the most magnificent mausoleums in the world. Oh, and the city is rumored to be incredibly haunted. If you’d like to visit New Orleans, there’s no better time than fall. Grab a drink, take a seat and allow a native to share his or her favorite haunted experience.
LeCarpentier-Beauregard Keyes House and Garden Museum
Once you’re on the block of Chartres and Ursulines Street in the French Quarter, you should have no trouble finding the LeCarpentier-Beauregard Keyes House. It’s the Greek Revival-style home that’s been painted a soft, inviting shade of yellow. Among those who lived in the grand home throughout the years is Confederate Army General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.
Many years later, shortly after World War II, local police began to receive reports of gunfire coming from the home, followed by the sounds of panicked shouting and painful groans. Witnesses claimed to see Civil War soldiers, dressed in their military regalia, staring off into space with vacant expressions. There are those who believed that when historians brought General Beauregard’s belongings back into the home in order to make it a museum, they also brought the energy of the men who died around him during battle.
Whatever the truth may be, make it a point to visit when you’re in town. You never know who you might run into.
Mortuary Haunted House
The Mortuary Haunted House begs the question: Is death the end, or simply the next step in a long and exciting journey? This grand Victorian mansion on Canal Street is a sight to behold. Originally built in 1872 as a family estate, it was eventually purchased as a funeral home. As a funeral home, it had it all: A rear garage for the discrete delivery of bodies, private bedrooms for the bereaved, dining facilities and all the comforts of the finest homes in New Orleans. More than 20,000 funerals are estimated to have been held within its walls.
Stories of hauntings are plentiful, including the legend of a tall, well-dressed man who admonishes those he feels are being disrespectful, and a young boy and girl who enjoy playing pranks on those still alive. Today, the building is open to would-be ghost hunters, and is equipped with more than 30 cameras, built-in microphones and other sophisticated paraphernalia used by paranormal researchers.
Since 1886, Hotel Monteleone has drawn visitors from around the world to the French Quarter. In addition to cocktail lounges and ballrooms, some guests have reported other-worldly features. For example, there is a restaurant door that opens and closes almost every evening, even though it is securely locked. There are ghostly images of children at play, hallways that grow unexpectedly chilly and an elevator that routinely stops on the wrong floor. In 2003, paranormal researchers spent several days inside Hotel Monteleone, and claim to have come into contact with a man who died of natural causes, several former employees and an outgoing toddler named Maurice Begere who died while staying on the property.
New Orleans is so much more than its ghost stories, and if you visit, you may be shocked by all there is to do and see. Still, if you’re there, you might as well catch the New Orleans spirit (and spirits).
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