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New Orleans, The South’s Haunted City

This article was featured on The Dedicated House on Make it Pretty Monday! Thanks, Kathryn!

I’m a bit spooked by New Orleans. Spirits loiter there. As a visitor strolling Royal, Bourbon or Decatur streets, I usually feel a bit uneasy in the Big Easy. I am not a fan of Bourbon Street and have had the impression that all New Orleans is like that one street. But, I was SO WRONG! Here’s the peaceful, serene side of the haunted city.

A Different View of the Haunted City

007 and I were recently invited to New Orleans to attend an art auction. Since it is only a 2 hour drive from home, we decided to go for a long weekend. We stayed in the Omni Royal Hotel on St. Louis Street and from there got to see a much more magical side of the haunted city.

Royal Omni Pool

French Quarter

Mississippi Riverboat Cruise

The only thing that might have made this cruise a bit more authentic to it’s era would be the costumes of the crew. Jazz filled the air. The bar was stocked and the water flowed over the paddle-wheel leaving a gentle wake. The captain told us about the port of New Orleans, life on the Mississippi and the history of the Natchez. The Jazz Punch made you want to hang out on the steamboat for hours.

Natchez

Life Jackets

A ceiling of lifejackets.

A Gentle Wake

Paddlewheel

Bourbon Street During the Day

The first time I walked down Bourbon Street, I remember praying that Jesus wouldn’t come back yet. It was the most disgusting place I’d ever seen and that was 26 years ago. This time in 2016, I wasn’t prepared. We crossed Bourbon Street. If Bourbon Street were Sodom or Gomorrah, I would have turned into a pillar of salt. I had to look back.

Bourbon Street

A woman stood in the street almost nude. She wore only pasties to cover her drug-ravaged, skinny body. Vagrants sat on the sidewalks drinking from bottles in paper bags. I wondered when they had eaten their last real meal.

This time I was not so much disgusted as I felt pity for them. Foggy days and vulgar nights does not make a beautiful life. Tourist want to see this. So these people are deceived into thinking they are entertainment. Or worse, they’ve been there so long, they don’t see a way out. It is so sad to see.

There are good places to eat and some great jazz to tap your foot to on this street. We didn’t want to take the time to search for it. I also realize that there are good, honest, hard working people making a living there. But, the overwhelming darkness I felt while walking across the street was palpable.

My advice is if you visit New Orleans, cross over Bourbon Street and keep walking. Hold your nose (the street smells like urine) and don’t look back. The beings you see may not be poltergeist, but it will definitely haunt you.

Walking Tour through the Garden District

Canal Street Trolley

We scheduled a walking tour that included one of the historic cemeteries in the city. We took the trolley to get there. The trolley was an experience in itself. We rambled through parts of the city I’d never seen. Some updated, some not, with beautiful homes and streets lit with timeless lamp posts. It only cost $1.25 (exact cash only) and is a great way to get a glimpse of the city.

Running of the Bulls in New Orleans

We got off the train near the entrance to the Lafayette Cemetery where our guide was waiting. She was wearing her “Running of the Bulls” outfit from earlier that morning. New Orleans is unique with this annual event. It coincides with the festival in Spain and has become a wild and fun run for participants. “Rollergirls” chase the runners, “goring” them with plastic horns attached to their helmets. We’re putting this on the list for next year!

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Tour Guide

Karen, our tour guide did an excellent job on such a hot summer day. We took a break in the air conditioning of a local coffee shop after touring the Lafayette Cemetery. The gravesite is housed within walls. The air inside is stagnant, without so much as a gentle breeze. Karen was smart to schedule our break immediately following this part of the tour.

Cemetery Gates

Gate to the Cemetery

Cemetery Wall

Walled graveyard.

Fedora Casualty

A fedora casualty.

Fencing in the Corpse

Fenced-in corpse? I thought people were dying to get in the cemetery.

Family Burial Corner

A family corner.

Death Alley

Death Alley

After the cemetery, we headed to the Garden District and this was actually our favorite part of the trip. The history of the homes, not to mention the celebrities who live in them was fun to see. We saw the house where Sandra Bullock entertains people like Leonardo di Caprio. And 007’s favorite was the house where Eli and Peyton Manning grew up. Their parents, Archie and Olivia still live there! What a testament to their family traditions. They could live anywhere, yet choose to live where their kids grew up.

Vault for sale

This vault is for sale and it just so happens that the area code is right here in lower Alabama.

251 Area Code

Garden District Homes

Leonardo di Caprio balcony

Leonardo di Caprio once sat on this balcony. The home of Sandra Bullock.

sandra bullock home

Sandra Bullock’s Victorian Home.

greek revival

Greek Revival

creole

Creole Style Home

coven house

The TV Show, American Horror: Coven was filmed in this house.
architectural mix

A beautiful mix of architecture.

 

Voodoo Tours

We chose not to do the Voodoo Tours. But, as we were walking through the haunted city, we passed the infamous Voodoo Bone Lady. She was conducting one of her tours. Did you know that voodoo/hoodoo dolls with pins were not originally meant as a curse? Their purpose was to bring blessings to those who were stuck with the pins. It is a form of religion brought to New Orleans by slaves. I can’t imagine slaves pinning blessings to abusive masters though, can you? The religion was later mixed with Catholicism where saints were matched with the dolls. There were mediums and Tarot Card readers throughout the city. You see everything in New Orleans.

Voodoo Bone Lady

Tarot Cards

This was a fun and educational trip for us. It’s opened my eyes to a whole different side of the south’s haunted city. I can’t wait to go back. I want to tour more of the garden district. I want to walk Frenchmen Street and pop into some great jazz clubs. I can’t wait to shop in some of the great markets.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that the poltergeists are all toast! Ghostbusters may not have made it this far south, yet! But, in the words of ghostbuster, Dr. Peter Venkman:

“We came. We saw. We kicked its a..!”

 

Linking with these utterly fabulous parties:

Celebrate Your Story,  Mommy MomentsRustic and Refined,  Coastal Charm,

Cooking and Crafting with J&JThe Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays

Inspire Me Monday,  Tickle My TastebudsWow Us Wednesday, Christian Bloggers Community

Full Plate ThursdayWork it WednesdayCreative Spark,  Home Matters, Idea Box,

Poofing the Pillows,  Sweet Inspiration,  DIY Sunday ShowcaseGet Your DIY On,

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Kim Burdette

Kim Burdette

Comments:

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  • Avatar

    Rita C at Panoply

    August 9, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Haven’t ever been to NOLA but hope to include it with an upcoming family wedding. I love gathering info, and the Garden District definitely sounds worth exploring. I’ll take others’ comments and glean more travel info. Thanks for sharing Kim (caught your feature on Kathryn’s blog).
    RIta C at Panoply

  • Avatar

    Carol

    August 8, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    HI, I’m so sorry that your time in New Orleans was limited to tours. We’ve been going to New Orleans every year (except for after Katrina) for over 20 years and never done one. Bourbon Street is my least favorite, especially at night, but even the one time we stayed over New Years, I’ve never seen it like you described. Royal and Chartre and Magazine Street are the streets to stroll. Best shopping, restaurants, galleries. Eating is definitely the best part of New Orleans. NOLA is unique, for sure. We’ve walked all over the city, Garden District, Frenchman’s Quarter with nothing more than a map and it’s always been wonderful. We learned years ago not to go in the summer ~ way too hot and humid. After Christmas or in the spring is best. It can be a magical city. The D-Day Museum is a must. The race track at the Fairgrounds is great too. We restaurant hop so we can experience all the fabulous food in NOLA. I hope you go again and love it.

  • Avatar

    Jenna

    August 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    We used to love to go to Nola and take our bikes and tour the city that way. Haven’t been since before Katrina, and the seedy side of Bourbon Street was always shocking. I’m glad you left that alone and explored more enjoyable areas. I bet it was HOT though! Oh, and how do you sell a tomb, isn’t someone buried there… yikes!

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