Louisiana is a regular gumbo of ghost stories. In a state that has such diverse and interesting cultures that meld into a unique subculture, it's no surprise that it touts some of the best, in my humble opinion, tales of the supernatural our fine country has to offer. There are conflicting theories of why this is. Some say that the ghost stories abound because of the combined influences of the staunch Catholicism of the first French Creole aristocrats and the superstitious native practices and Voodoo rituals of their slaves; the combination making for intensely superstitious storytellers. Others blame it on the many epidemics that spread through the New Orleans area during early settlement, cholera being a common worry. There are the "ancient Indian burial ground" theorists, as I like to call them, who attribute the overzealous ghost activity to payback for the genocide the Native Americans suffered through. Maybe it's Anne Rice's fault, I don't know. All I know is, Louisiana ghost stories tend to be the most complete, and entertaining, of any modern hauntings I have read of or been told about.
Please note that most of these entries were made prior to the catastrophic events of the summer of 2005 in southern Louisiana. I will try to update on what establishments are no longer open after the reconstruction of New Orleans and the surrounding cities ~ed. last updated 1/20/12
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Haunted Louisiana Hotels and Inns
St. Francisville - Myrtles Plantation
- The subject of countless documentaries and ghost story literature, the Myrtles Plantation seems to somehow capture the imagination more than most haunted destinations, probably in due part to it's romantic past that is steeped in the romanticism of the old south. The first antagonist of the story lies in General David "Whiskey Dave" Bradford, who bought a large parcel of land in Louisiana in 1796. In true ghost story drama, he recklessly plowed right into a Tunica Indian burial ground, laying the planks for the plantation's big house. Surviving through the civil war, the picturesque old southern home is surrounded by giant oaks that are bathed in the Spanish moss that is characteristic of Louisiana.
The second antagonist of our story is Judge Woodruff, the owner of the home in 1834. As was not uncommon for the slave owners of the day, Woodruff enjoyed the intimate company of the female house slave, Chloe, with a blind eye turned from his wife. Chloe, with ear pressed against a door, was caught eavesdropping on her master one day. As a punishment, Woodruff cut her left ear off. Possibly in fear of being banished to the fields and replaced by a younger slave girl, Chloe, it is theorized, took harsh action in order to restore the master's trust in her. Apparently an early example of Baron Von Munchausen's Syndrome, she baked a birthday cake for one of the judges two young daughters that was laced with oleander. Oleander is a large bush or tree that grows in the deep south, it's leaves are a deadly poison when ingested. Chloe's plan, which allegedly was to sicken the wife and daughters with the tainted cake, then nurse them miraculously back to health, backfired on her. All three died horrible deaths of cramps and fits. Chloe, when found out, was lynched by a gang in the yard of the plantation: hung from one of the behemoth oaks.
Today a popular bed and breakfast, not in any small part due to the ghost stories themselves, many guests come solely to catch a glimpse of the phantom girls, murdered nearly 200 years ago by their nanny. Some have claimed to have seen them peering from the windows out into the yard, others have seen them frolicking in the green grass outside. All accounts of the girls describe them in long white gowns. The owner and staff aren't immune to the hauntings. Phantom mouths call out their names, phantom hands tug at their clothing.
One lucky photographer caught a shot of what appeared to be a young black woman in slave attire, disembodied, in a dark corner of a porch. Chloe?
New Orleans - The 1891 Castle Inn -
Nestled snugly the luxe Garden District of New Orleans, one can look up the street of the 1891 Castle Inn and see the estates of such notables as Anne Rice and Trent Reznor. Wreaking of money, new and old, there are few places to kick up your feet for the night in this part of town if you happen to be a lonely tourist, desperate to escape the hubbub of The French Quarter. The Castle Inn, however, will oblige you in typical southern fashion, and allow you to soak a bit of the garden district in. Though it may not be as splendorous as some of it's neighboring mansions, it does have the same strange feel as a lot of the old part of New Orleans does: a fading beauty, slightly wilted in the haze of bayou humidity. A Blanche Dubois of a building, it's former glory is evident through some of the wrinkles and cracks of age. Fat white concrete cherubs gaze at you with blank pupil-less eyes from lush semi tropic flora as you enter. The less than pleasant odor of the Quarter is subtly fading into the crisp scents of well cared for courtyards, and their resultant waxy delicate blooms. Inside you are greeted by creaky old furniture, ornate and old, and covered with threadbare brocade, from a time before luxury could be purchased comparatively so cheaply.
If you plan to spend the night, however, beware. You may have to share your room. Henry was a servant who, prior to abolition, was a slave. He was well educated in book knowledge as well as language and cuisine. He had a taste for cigars, and when he passed out one evening, he burned up in the flame of his lit cigar. Henry is said to leave cigar ashes in guest's beds, and particularly likes to haunt the ladies, the same pastime he had in life.
The Bordello Room is said to be the most haunted, as a little girl "speaks to" the women who sleep in this room at night. Some see a slip of the image of a small girl that vanishes. There is a history of a small girl who had drowned close by, who lived in the home.
If you happen to take one of the many fabulous ghost tours the city has to offer, a few stop here, and allow you to peruse some of the accounts of hauntings and odd occurrences left behind in ink by past guests.
New Orleans -
Hotel Maison de Ville
This building was once home to pharmacist Antoine Amede Peychaud, inventor of the "cocktail" (Hooray for Antoine!) A soldier haunts cottage 4, turning the radio to a country station then cranking up the volume.
New Orleans -
Le Pavilion Hotel
One of the multi - haunted hotels in N'awlins, ghosts include: A teenage girl named Ada who was run over in the street in the 1840s, and a rich looking man and his wife in 1920's attire.
Loyd Hall Plantation Bed and Breakfast
Footsteps, phantom fiddle playing, and the smell of food (cookies) being cooked in the wee hours with no one around are among the strange incidents reported here. The namesake of the home was hung as a traitor; reports of his ghost, as well as his niece and her nanny's, have been posted. 292 Loyd Bridge Road Open daily for tours, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. $6.00 Adults/ $3.00 Children 6-12 (318)776-5641
T'Frere's House Bed and Breakfast
A young woman either killed herself or accidentally drowned in a cistern on the property decades ago, while she was running a high fever; the Catholic church ruled her death a suicide and she was never given a proper Catholic burial. Patrons credit her spirit with moving objects - including furniture, walking around at night, and generally being a kind spirit. She has been known for playing the piano and music boxes, and was blamed for changing the color of one guest's wedding punch.
New Orleans - The
Andrew Jackson Hotel
The sounds of boys laughing in the courtyard is attributed to a fire that took the lives of five boys when it was a boy's school in the 1700's. Also, General Andrew Jackson's ghost has also been reported.
New Orleans - Le Richelieu Hotel
Formerly an execution grounds, several Spanish soldiers were shot by firing squad here in the early days of the city. Soldiers in old Spanish uniforms have been spotted by patrons.
New Orleans -
Lafitte Guest House
Room 21 is haunted by a mother and her two children who died in it. One daughter died as a child from yellow fever, the other hung herself as an adult. The grieving mother died of old age in the room (I'm assuming it was a boarding house at the time). The sounds of a woman weeping and a feeling of despair inflict visitors here.
New Orleans -The
One male visitor reported that while staying in a cottage at this hotel, a female apparition floated up into the bed with him from the closet, and did not fade away until after he pleaded with her for several minutes to leave him alone.
New Orleans -
Prince Conti Hotel
A Storyville Madame haunts the Bombay Room ('Storyville', now the location of the nearby housing developments, was once the red light district). She has been spotted in booth #3 and in the bar. Odd equipment malfunctions have taken place in the kitchen.
New Orleans -
This garden district hotel has odd cold spots and an elevator that perpetually malfunctions.
New Orleans - The
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
This grand hotel boasts the ghosts of Confederate soldiers in the hallways, cold spots in the ballroom, and the sound of a little girl crying in a particular guest room.
New Orleans -
Place D'Armes Hotel
A little girl knocks on the guestroom doors at night, wearing an old fashioned nightgown. She asks for her grandmother, then fades away.
New Orleans -
A military hospital during the civil war, sightings of soldiers have happened time and again. One little girl who stepped out of the shower found a pile of blood soaked bandages on the floor that then disappeared. One worker stepped from the elevator into a full scene from a civil war era operating room, that then faded. An old woman awoke one night to find the upper half of a strapping young soldier in bed with her. I stayed here a few years ago, and had no interesting experiences. That is, if you don't count the "phantom" housekeeper who ripped off some of my jewelry...
Sunset - Chretien
A woman killed a pirate on the staircase centuries ago, and stuffed him under the staircase. The blood stains are still visible, people report, and cold spots can be felt on the staircase. Other unusual activity includes the apparition of a woman holding a dead child in it's burial wrappings near the fish pond and civil war soldiers. The sounds of trumpets, and unusual whispering have been reported.
Breazeale House Bed and Breakfast
A former resident, Phanor Breazeale, is credited by current owners with waking them every night at 3 AM by knocking on the door. The smell of perfume was evident during the wee hour visits. They also credit the spirit with alerting them to a potential fire hazard on one occasion. 936 Washington Street 800/352-5631
Louisiana Haunted Tourist Attractions and Paranormal Tours
Save Our Cemeteries Cemetery Tours Great tour! See Nicholas Cage's atrocious pyramid tomb!! This group restores the historic cemeteries of New Orleans, doing preventative maintenance without taking away from the original techniques used. As you can see here, especially post-Katrina, this is much needed in this jewel of an American city:
New Orleans - Haunted History Tour Great tour! I've been on it 4 times!
New Orleans - Bloody Mary's Tours
New Orleans - Nighttime Haunted Swamp Adventure
Minimum of 6 people required, Reservations
required, $25.00 per person without transfers
$45.00 per person with transfers *Call to verify hours during holidays and inclement weather. 1-888-6-GHOSTS
New Orleans - Ghost and Spirits Walking Tours
New Orleans Ghost Tour Been on this one too; also good
Historic New Orleans Tours
New Orleans Spirit Tours
St. Francisville Tours - offers ghost tours, Myrtles Plantation is nearby
Le Monde Creole not a haunted tour, but a hauntING tour of the courtyards of New Orleans, focusing on the life of a real Creole family in French Colonial Louisiana - recommended by Peg the Editor! Unfortunately this tour is defunct, but I left the link up only because now it leads to a bizarre Japanese gaming sight of some sort...
Vacherie, LA - Oak Alley Plantation -
This beautiful plantation home, just minutes from New Orleans, is haunted by a lady in black.
Louise Ramond was a French Creole debutante in the glory days of the old south. When a suitor showed up drunk one day, the indignant Louise spun around to ascend the stairs and leave the suitor behind in her dust.. Louise, instead of looking all cool like she had planned, fell and gashed her leg open; and medicine being what it was in the early 19th century, the wound soon became septic with infection. Louise's leg met the high tech saw that the local surgeon wielded, and soon her leg was residing away from her in the family tomb in New Orleans.
Not considered prime marrying material, Louise chose a life of chastity in the nun hood, and lived to be in her eighties.
Many of the staff, who dress in period attire, have had run ins with the "lady in black". They describe a full apparition who fades into nothing after a few seconds. An unplugged lamp flickered on and off. Tourists have spotted her about the home, especially on the grand staircase, and walking among the stately alley of oak trees the spread seemingly forever before the home's front doors. She made friends with a former guide named Peggy, and would call out her name on occasion.
My personal favorite of the Oak Alley tour, which I took in 1999, was the great card table that was set up out back, from which sweaty and no doubt miserably hot women in eight layers of petticoats dispensed incredibly strong mint juleps from a big thermos. Ghost juice? Perhaps.... but still worth seeing, even if Louise stays in that day.1 hour west of New Orleans
New Roads -
A girl's phantom is seen in wedding attire amongst the grand oaks on the lawn. A young former occupant killed herself by bashing her head against an oak tree on her wedding day rather than wed a man she was arranged to be coupled with. Also, a toddler drowned on the property, and a young man of 25 years drank himself to death here. Tours by appointment only: 8211 False River Rd (From Baton Rouge, take U.S. 190 19 miles west and then La. Hwy. 1 another 8 miles north) 225/638-8410 $10 adults, $5 children 6-12
Baton Rouge - Old
State Capitol Building
The upstairs is haunted by "Pierre", a state senator who keeled over dead of a heart attack after arguing a case one day long ago. Doors open and shut themselves. Security guards report motion sensors that are often tripped when no one or nothing is around, and an apparition was spotted in the former senate room.
The site of the Battle of New Orleans, visitors claim to have seen ghostly civil war soldiers, a headless ghost on the levee at night, and the noises of cannons and guns have been heard
New Orleans - Delta Queen Steamboat
Former (deceased) owner Mary Green, who swore she'd never leave the paddleboat life, has been spotted in the halls and lounges - and is described as "benevolent". She is said to have alerted a crew member of a potentially disastrous problem, and even caused a crewman to meet his future bride. (800)543-1949 for tickets
Destrehan Plantation -
"The most haunted house on the Mississippi." Located on the historic River Road, this indigo and sugar plantation saw much tragedy over the years. A slave uprising in 1811 resulted in the execution of 21 young black men at this plantation, their heads cut off and put on pikes along the river road as a grim warning to others. Nicholas Noel, a former resident, led a less than perfect life here - losing his 15 year old child bride first wife not long after their wedding, his second wife to yellow fever not long after that , his two siblings passed in New York City at early ages, and last but not least - he lost his right arm in some farm machinery. The back hall is reportedly the most frequently haunted, by tall, dark, and French accented owner Jean Noel Destrehan. Visitors have also encountered a handsome young ghost who happens to be missing his right hand. Two little girls have been seen playing in the house, then vanishing. A slight young woman has been spotted on the grounds, possibly the dead child bride.
Houma - Southdown
There are reportedly unexplained figures that appear in the windows, day or night.
New Orleans -
Beauregard -Keyes House and Museum
The former home of both famed Confederate Genereal Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and author Frances Parkinson Keyes, has had many reports of odd occurrences. A bizarre reenactment of a bloody Civil War battle supposedly took place in the parlor, to the horror of some visitors, then faded away. Former world class chess champion and raving maniac Paul Munri is also blamed for haunting the place. Munri snapped one day and ran down Ursaline naked, wielding and axe, and looking for someone to kill. He liked to play piano, and piano playing, as well as a man's screams can be heard at night. The sounds of shots and the smell of gunpowder have been reported in the garden. 1113 Chartres Street
New Orleans - St.
Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Marie LaVeau, the Voodoo queen of old New Orleans (whose great grandson, incidentally, is the chief of police) is said to watch over her much photographed tomb in the form of a crow.
New Orleans - St.
During rainstorms in the early morning, it is said you can hear the long dead Pere Dagobert singing the "Kyrie". He led a funeral mass from the cathedral to St Louis Cemetery #1 in 1769. The dead were a group of rebels who were executed and left to decompose in Jackson Square as a warning to other insurgents. St Louis Cathedral is in Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter
New Orleans - Le
Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
The courtyard is said to be haunted by the apparition of a bride who fell to her death there, whose reflection has also been spotted in the fountain. Cold spots are also reported. The theater is haunted by an old man in archaic clothing who sits randomly in seats, reading a newspaper. Odd occurrences have happened to the actors, such as equipment malfunctions.
Morbid Tourist Tip: Visit the Jayne Mansfield Death Crash Site near the White Kitchen Restaurant in Slidell, Louisiana. Thanks to Roadside America for these directions: Drive from Biloxi toward New Orleans along old Highway 90. The spot is just before The Rigolets Bridge (I can't find any evidence that the aforementioned restaurant still exists ~ed.)
New Orleans -
Bottom of the Cup Tea Room
This shop, the oldest tea room in the US, boasts a female ghost named Julhunts who will appear and brush past patrons. You can have your tea leaves read here, as an added bonus. 732 Royal St. 504-523-1204
New Orleans - Flannagan's Cafe & Pub
Angela, a sister of a former owner who killed herself in the ladies room, is said to still make appearances. 625 St. Philip Street
Slidell - Pizza Hut
An angry spirit locks women in the ladies room and flings objects, including hot coffee. Cold spots are felt. There are 3 Pizza Huts in Slidell - I don't know which it is: Crossgates Shopping, 1532 Gause Blvd, or 129 Highway 190 W
Baton Rouge - Spanish Moon
This nightclub is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young man and has strange occurrences of glasses being thrown from shelves, beer tappers turning themselves on, and odd noises. 1109 Highland Road (225) 383-MOON
Metairie - Odin's
This tavern is haunted by the image of a man in the mirror, cold spots, lights that turn on and off and noises, strange apparitions. 3613 18th St
New Orleans - The
Morgue Bar and Lounge
This building, the city's first integrated mortuary, housed many of the yellow fever victims of 1853. The ladies' room is haunted by the daughter of a former mortician, who was known for stealing belongings from the corpses. The ladies room was formerly a body holding room, and patrons have complained of belongings mysteriously going missing there. The barroom has also been the site of unusual occurrences. 626 St. Phillip Street. The Morgue closed in 2003; it is unknown if a new establishment has opened at the address.
New Orleans -
O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub
Haunted by up to five different ghosts, they include: a former owner who is searching for something, a different former owner who killed himself here after murdering an employee, the wife of yet another former owner, the murdered female employee (from former owner #2), and the spirit of a little boy. 514 Toulouse Street
Ruston - Stowe's
Formerly a Confederate hospital, clanging and the sounds of dragging are frequently heard in the vacant upstairs. 210 West Park Ave
Baton Rouge -
Louisiana State Police Headquarters and Barracks
Formerly the state penitentiary, the execution chamber and morgue - which are currently offices - experience phantom footsteps, and radios that turn themselves on. 7919 Independence Blvd
Arcadia - Bonnie
Parker and Clyde Barrow death site
phantom gunshots are said to be heard here at night. This site has a map to the deserted road that holds a stone marker.
Baton Rouge - Highland Road, near the Lee Drive intersection
The ghosts of a raggedy Confederate squadron are said to cross the road, often in early fall. Occasionally a single soldier will be seen. One incident in 1999 of a bleeding man in a civil war uniform in the middle of the road in late afternoon warranted several calls to local police by area drivers.
Bossier City - KCS Railroad Tracks
A young mother with her children were said to have been hit on the tracks after their car stalled, and blood curdling screams have been heard around 10PM - 12AM.
the bayou, the loup-garou is a legend of a werewolf like creature that
exsanguinates then eats it's victims. A mixture of French and American Indian
folklore, it is said you can kill a loup-garou, and return it to it's life as a
human. However, you can't tell anyone about it for a year and a day, lest you
become the next werewolf. This story is also told in upstate New York, northern
Michigan, and Canada.
Doyline - Potter
In the mid 1970's, a group of teenagers crashed their car into a tree on the road on homecoming night. All four died, and local legends say that blood runs from the tree, which until recently was still commemorated with a cross, on homecoming night. It is said the sound of the two girls crying can be heard. Doyline is east of Shreveport
Michelle's School of Dance -
Patrons claim to have spotted the apparition of a little girl talking to one of the (live) children. 151 North 10th St
Houma - Bayou
A ghostly hitchhiker is said to exchange a treasure for any traveling companion you wish to dispose of.
Houma - Coteau
Near the sheds in the surrounding farmland, odd specters have been seen from the road. Others report that these figures at times will run in front of your car.
The area is said to be haunted by a tall man in a top hat; the feeling of a train rumbling toward is reported.
- Highway 810
A red barn along the road is the spot where it is said if you park, a phantom knock will sound on your windows. Local legend states that a black man was lynched with meat hooks inside the barn.
Lake Charles -
Old Railroad Tracks near the Rice Factory
The road that is crossed by train tracks that lead to a rice factory is said to be the site of an awful train vs. car accident in the 1950's that killed a family of four. A young girl's spirit has been reported, the feeling of being smothered has been felt, and spook lights have been witnessed.
A drive by killing took the life of a local tavern owner many years ago here. It is said at times he can still be seen, re-enacting his death throes on the spot he died. Others say that in the 1st week of March, phantom blood stains appear on the spot.
The ghost of a man in Confederate military regalia has been seen fading in and out, walking along the street.
New Orleans - The Lalaurie House
This private residence has quite a history. Read the story from my old website here. 1140 Royal Street
New Orleans - Bourbon Street
The ghosts of mobsters beating each other with curtain rods is reported on the most drunken street in the U.S.
New Orleans - Odd
Fellow's Rest Cemetery
This oldest fraternal cemetery of the south is home to the ghost of a woman in white and an elderly gentleman, dressed in a dapper 3 piece suit. Both have been spotted during the day. The bottom of Canal Street, behind a bus stop. Across the street is a plaque dedicated to Jazz musician Emile "Stalebread" Lacourne.
New Orleans -
This street is said to be haunted by none other than Jean LaFitte - it's namesake.
Northshore Regional Medical Center
A ghost of a construction worker named Reggie is blamed for elevator malfunctions. His apparition has appeared in the elevator at times. The OR staff has seen an odd dark shadow.
Jefferson Parish/ South of New Orleans - Dumpster Diving, Chicken Loving Sasquatch
A bigfoot that smelled like a cross between "a stink bug" and "rotten eggs" was claimed to have been seen pilfering Popeye's Chicken and biscuits from a garbage can, frightening a local man
Rayville - Holly
Ridge railroad tracks
Orbs have been spotted along the tracks here.
Shreveport - The
Forbing Woods Railroad Tracks
A red light is said to float about, halting the sounds of toads and crickets as it goes by. The spirit of a young lawyer who killed himself n the tracks has been spotted during a full moon. A blue spook light has also been seen.
The ghosts of a young black man and a former owner's daughter, "Addie", have been seen here. Addie died in childbirth in the home she grew up in, and is entombed on the grounds. The epitaph reads, "Weep Not For me, I am not dead, I only sleepeth". ( This is a privately owned residence, but Tonia was nice enough to email me and tell me that it is for sale and located off of Hwy 90 near the Garden City exit. Please do not go here without permission. Besides, if you contact the realtor - you might score a tour of the home...)
later wrote: "Actually, there really is so much more to it than that. The
house was actually used as a civil war hospital. While yes there is a female
presence there, there are many others. All seem friendly, and some even unaware
of their current state. Actually, the owners have never hidden anything, and
have been quite open. Pretty much have to be when there is a grave in your yard.
If you haven't read
Ghosts Along the Bayou, the owners story is included in
that. There have been many fatal accidents in front of this home.
Personally, on prom night, we had a blow out with brand new tires, right in
front of this house." Thanks again, Tonia!
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The Shadowlands : an invaluable resource on the net for ghost hunters !!
Weird Travels, The Travel Channel
Travel Channel Secrets, The Travel Channel
Foreman, Laura ed. ; Haunted Holidays: Discovery Travel Adventures. 1999,Discovery Communications Inc.