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Top Ten Haunted Houses

 

Haunted New Orleans

New Orleans is often call "The Most Haunted City In America"with urban legends and all kinds of scary ghosts and reported often, real haunted houses, haunted mansions, and Plantations.

Many often a few make the claim of being "the mos realt haunted house in New Orleans." And there's quite a bit of anecdotal evidence to support those haunted ghost filled claim.

So please read a collection of facts and fictions of haunted real ghost filled tales that www. haunteneworleanstours.com has compiled from our readers as our readers selection of the" Top Ten Most Real Haunted Houses in New Orleans 2006".

1. LaLaurie House

The following is excerpted in its entirety from Old New Orleans: Walking Tours of the French Quarter, by Stanley Clisby Arthur, © 1990 by Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, Louisiana, @ pages 96-99:


" 'THE HAUNTED HOUSE’ 1140 Royal Street


The three-story building at the southeast corner of Royal and Governor Nichols street, to some the most famous private residence in old New Orleans, gained its eerie title, ‘The Haunted House,’ from an oft-repeated tale in which spirits of tortured slaves clank their chains during the midnight hours in remembrance of awful punishment meted out to them by their mistress – a high-bred lady of old New Orleans who had been charged with finding an uncanny delight in dealing inhumanly with her slaves.


Like all such tales, the story has grown in ferocity through its countless retellings and the probabilities are that even the original story of over a century ago was a gross exaggeration. It now appears that the mistress of this home was the first victim of yellow journalism in this country and that she was far from being the ‘fiend’ tradition has labeled, or should we say, libeled her. The facts of this ‘strange true story’ are as follows:


The traditional tales of the Vieux Carre have it that this house was built in 1780 by two brothers, Jean and Henri de Remarie, and that such guests as Marshal Michel Ney, Napoleon’s famous commander; the duc d’Orleans, later, Louis Philippe, king of France; and the Marquis de Lafayette have slept in this mansion. But we are compelled to make the pertinent observations that Marshal Ney never came to Louisiana, that Louis Philippe was here in 1798, and that Lafayette visited New Orleans in 1825 – yet the ‘Haunted House’ was not built until 1832!


There are those who denounce historical accuracy when it destroys fallacious tradition … those who claim that a good story must never be sacrificed and crucified on the cross of truth. Much as one admires the colorful tradition of old New Orleans, our mission is to give a factual history of the landmarks of the Vieux Carre. So, to stick to fact, we must point out that the lots upon which the ‘Haunted House’ stands were purchased by Mme Louis Lalaurie, September 12, 1831, from Edmond Soniat du Fossat, and the house then built was not ready for occupancy until the spring of 1832. As it was part of the tract given the Ursuline nuns, this was the first, and only, house built on this particular site.


Mme Lalaurie was one of five children born to Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable, two who stood high in the social life of old New Orleans. One of their daughters was christened Marie Delphine Macarty. She first married, on June 11, 1800, Don Ramon de Lopez y Angula, the ceremony being performed at the St. Louis Cathedral by Luis de Penalver y Cardenas, the first bishop of the diocese of Louisiana, and the marriage certificate was signed by the celebrated Fray Antonio de Sedella. The husband was described in this document as Caballero de la Royal de Carlos, Intendent of the Provinces, a native of the community of Regno,Galicia, Spain, and the legitimate son of his Lordship Don Jose Antonio de Lopez y Angula and Dona Ana Fernande de Angule, daughter of Dona Francisca Borja Endecis.


Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, on March 26, 1804, Delphine Macarty’s husband was recalled to the court of Spain, the letter carrying this royal command stating that the young Spanish officer was ‘to take his place at court as befitting his new position.’ At this time Don Ramon was consul general for Spain in this new American territory. While in Havana, en route to Madrid, Don Ramon suddenly died and a few days later his daughter was born in the Cuban city. This infant was baptized Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angula de Candelaria, but she became best known in later years as ‘Borquita,’ meaning ‘little Borja,’ from the fact that she was named after her father’s grandmother.


Left a widow, Delphine Macarty and her baby daughter returned to New Orleans. Four years later, in 1808, she again married, choosing for her husband a prominent banker, merchant, lawyer, and legislator named Jean Blanque, a native of Bearn who had come to Louisiana with Prefect Laussat in 1803. At the time of his marriage, June 16, 1808, Blanque purchased the residence at 409 Royal Street and in this home Delphine became the mother of four other children: Marie Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laure, Marie Louise Jeanne, and Jean Pierre Paulin Blanque. In that stylish Royal Street home or in the ‘Villa Blanque,’ a charming country place fronting the Mississippi River just below the city limits, Delphine Macarty Blanque divided her time, both places frequented by the socially elect.


Jean Blanque died in 1816, and Delphine Macarty remained a widow until June 12, 1825, when she again married. Her third husband was Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie, a native of Villeneuse-sur-Lot, France, who came to New Orleans to establish a practice. Borquita, the daughter by her mother’s first marriage, became the wife of Placide Forstall, member of a distinguished Louisiana family, and Jeanne Blanque married Charles Auguste de Lassus, only child of Don Carle de Lassus, former governor of Upper Louisiana, and later governor of the Baton Rouge post of West Florida when they were under Spanish rule.


The Lalaurie mansion was erected in 1832 and for the next two years was the scene of many fashionable affairs, for the Lalauries entertained on an elaborate plan. On the afternoon of April 10, 1834, an aged cook set fire to the house during the absence of her mistress. When neighbors rushed into the mansion to fight the fire and try to save the furniture and other valuables, slaves were found chained in their quarters. Although the fire was extinguished, the indignation of those who found the helpless slaves blazed high and a newspaper editor, Jerome Bayon of the Bee, published a heated account of the happening and quoted those who had investigated the Lalaurie slave quarters. This newspaper account roused public indignation to such a pitch that on April 15 a mob, led by irresponsibles, charged the house and began to wreck it. The rowdies were finally dispersed by a company of United States regulars who had been called out by a helpless sheriff.


During the excitement Madame Lalaurie and her husband took to their carriage and, with their faithful Creole black coachman Bastien on the box, swept through the howling, cursing rabble and, with the horses lashed to a the full gallop, made her way out of the city. It is supposed the carriage reached Bayou St. John where a lake craft was secured, for on April 21, 1834, the Lalauries were in Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain, at the home of Louis Coquillon. There Madame Lalaurie signed a power-of-attorney placing her son-in-law Placide Forstall in charge of her affairs, while her husband signed a similar document in favor of his wife’s other son-in-law, Auguste de Lassus. From Mandeville the Lalauries made their way to Mobile, where a ship took them to France.


Neither Delphine nor her husband ever returned to New Orleans. She remained in Paris, living there honored and respected in spite of the lurid tales that lived after her in New Orleans. Following her death on December 7, 1842, her body was secretly returned to New Orleans and buried in St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.


The Lalaurie mansion was sold to various owners but the tale that it was ‘haunted’ and the midnight rendezvous for ghosts grew in the telling as only such stories can grow. The principal ‘ghost’ is, according to the most frequently quoted tale, that of a little girl slave who, to escape the whip of her mistress, climbed to the roof and jumped to her death into the courtyard below. Another tale, equally untrue, was that the mistress of the mansion buried all her victims in the courtyard well. The general impression that the place was haunted was sufficient to keep superstitious blacks from passing the house after nightfall.


In the days of Reconstruction following the Civil War, the old Lalaurie mansion became the Lower Girls’ School. During the government of the carpetbaggers, whites and blacks were taught in the same rooms until the formation of ‘The White League’ in 1874, when the white element marched on the house and expelled the black pupils. In the 1880’s the mansion became a conservatory of music. No matter who has lived in it since, or the manner of business that was carried on in the ground-floor stores, the name ‘haunted’ has clung to it in spite of the testimony of those inhabiting the place that ghosts have never disturbed their slumbers.


Tradition has it that the handsome entrance door ‘was hammered out of iron by the slaves Madame Lalaurie kept shackled to the anvil.’ This must be taken with several generous pinches of salt, for the doors is not of iron but wood and the decorations on it were not cared but put on by appliqué, a sort of plastic wood applied and formed as a sculptor would lay on modeling clay. These ornamentations show, in the lower oblong panel, Phoebus in his chariot, lashing his griffins. Scattered over the door are urns, flowers, trumpet-blowing angels, a beribboned lyre, an American eagle bearing on its breast the shield of the Union, leaves, scrolls, and whatnots – a marvelous example of some unknown craftsman’s art. To save the door from the knives of souvenir-hunters, one owner painted it a dingy brown-black.


George W. Cable’s Strange Stories of Louisiana, and Judge Henry C. Castellanos’ New Orleans As It Was, contain full accounts of the Lalaurie episode. My account, differing in many respects from those of these earlier writers, is based on recently found documents, notarial acts, and family documents.”

Delphine LaLaurie and her third husband, Leonard LaLaurie, took up residence in the house at 1140 Royal Street sometime in the 1830's. The pair immediately became the darlings of the gay New Orleans social scene that at the time was experiencing the birth of ragtime, the slave dances and rituals of Congo Square, the reign of the Mighty Marie Laveau, and the advent of the bittersweet Creole Balls. Madame LaLaurie hosted fantastic events in her beautiful home that were talked about months afterward. She was described as sweet and endearing in her ways, and her husband was nothing if not highly respected within the community.

At the same time, it is said, Madame’s friendship with infamous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, began to grow. Laveau lived not far from LaLaurie’s Royal Street home and the two women became acquainted when Laveau did Madame’s hair occasionally. It is said that under Laveau’s tutelage, Madame LaLaurie began to act upon her latent interest in the occult, learning the secrets of voodoo and witchcraft at the hands of a might mistress of the craft.


There are reported incidents of people seeing, feeling and hearing the ghosts of tormented slaves in the LaLaurie home, and there are even reports of the Madame herself being seen there. The docile house servants who entreated the assistance of outsiders when the house was about to burn to the ground are said to often return to their task - running and slamming doors and shouts are heard repeatedly. Nor are the spirits of the restless dead quiet: the reports of moans and weeping outnumber all others. Furniture moves about by itself, people feel the touch of unseen hands, and there are several who have seen the ghostly faces of the dead peering from the upper windows and the chamber of horrors that became the crucible of their miserable lives.

New Orleans is one of the oldest and most multi-faceted cities in the United States, and there are other tales, similar to those of the LaLaurie home that, sadly, have made their way into our history. But the gruesome horror of this particular event was so ghastly that it stains the city's memory to this very day.

More Info and links on New Orleans Most Haunted House , the Lalaurie House

Madame Delphine LaLaurie and the Crucible of Horror.

A TALE OF TWO TALES: THE TRUTH ABOUT MADAME LA LAURIE?

 

2. THE SULTAN'S HOUSE
THE GARDETTE-LAPRETE HOUSE

The Sultans Ghost-This ghost is one of New Orleans most famous ghosts. He is said to roam the halls of the four story house located at 716 Dauphine Street. The house is situated on the corner of Dauphine and Orleans Avenue. The Sultan was from Turkey. He rented the house from the owners, the La Prete family, for his large family and harem. It is said that he was a dangerous and cruel man who was not above kidnapping women off the streets of New Orleans and torturing them into submission and then adding them to his harem. One afternoon the Sultan met his fate in a cruel and hideous manner and so did everyone in his household. It has been recounted through the years what took place that afternoon as seen by a neighbor. The neighbor was strolling down the sidewalk beside the house when she noticed blood draining from the building. She immediately contacted the authorities who in turn broke down the door.

Upon entering they discovered a gruesome scene. Body parts and blood were everywhere. Every member of the household had been murdered but the Sultan was no where to be found. Only later did they discover his body in a shallow grave behind the house. He had apparently been buried alive. No one was ever charged with these murders. Several different stories circulated for months after the murders but nothing was proved. It remains one of the city’s most intriguing mysteries. To this day it has never been solved.

Mansion of prominent Creole Jean Baptist Le Prete, built in 1836. Taken over by wealthy Turkish prince in latter half of the 1800s along with the Sultan's large harem and group of eunuch servants. All were found slaughtered and butchered by the police; the Sultan's body was found buried in his garden. No arrests were made. Now ghosts roam the halls and screams can be heard.

Life with an 'Exotic Ghost'
By: Lorena Dureau
Feb. 11, 1979
The Times-Picayune

The imposing pink building with black iron-lace "frills" on the corner of Orleans and Dauphine streets has dominated the French quarter for more than 150 years not only in height, but in legend and mystery as well. Although a plaque by the entrance calls it "Le Prete House," (spelled Le Pretre by some) it is more commonly referred to as "The Sultan's House" by native New Orleanians in honor of the exotic ghost believed to inhabit it.

Over the many generations the building has stood there, it has run the full circle from riches to rags and back again - from a luxurious town mansion of the 1800s to a dilapidated tenement of the mid-2oth century and now to a proximity of its former glory, as one of the most charming buildings in the present Quarter. But in all those years of ups and downs, it has never ceased to catch the eyes of passers-by, whether it is because of its architectural merits or its reputation for a ghostly past.

In between the extremes of its kaleidoscopic history, a large and varied number of people have either inhabited or visited that fascinating old mansion. During the period in which Jean Baptiste Le Prete used it as his town home, from 1839-1878, some of the most prominent men and women of the last century met there. The famous Citizens Bank of New Orleans, which played an important role in the financial development of this city, was officially organized at a meeting held in one of its spacious parlors. (By an ironic twist of fate, it was to this very same bank that Le Prete later lost the house!)

Unfortunately, once the property passed on to new owners, it did not fare as well as it had in its earlier days. When William Nott chose it as the subject of his "In La Rue Orleans" in 1922 for the May 21 Sunday edition of The Times-Picayune, he called attention to the neglected building and lamented its sorry state, writing "…time has left its scars on those high flung walls and though the interior has lost much of its plaster and every vestige of paint, the building as a whole is in fairly well-preserved condition but gives only the slightest hint of its former glory."

Despite its humbled state, however, the aging yet still sturdy house went on to nurture aspiring artists in the 1940s when it became the New Orleans Academy of Art, until the school was forced to close because so many of it s students were being drafted into the armed services.

By the 1960s, the ancient manor, time-weary and weather-beaten, had drawn more and more unto itself seeming to dissolve gradually into its own shadows. Many a vagrant, daring enough to brave its legend in return for a comfortable spot to loiter for a few hours, paused at that lonely, dimly lit corner.

But of all its countless inhabitants, the most remarkable was the strange Turk who took up residence there while it was still in its heyday, supposedly during the middle of the 19th century. According to the legend, he still resides there - that is, his ghost does.

The story that has persisted down through the years is that a wealthy Turkish merchant, recently arrived in New Orleans, sought out Le Prete and asked him for the use of the house on behalf of the brother of a sultan. Since Le Prete spent most of his time on his plantation in Plaquemines and only used the French Quarter house as a place for entertaining during the social season (usually when the French opera was in town), he was perhaps only too glad to lease the place for the off-season. What no one suspected, was that the brother had fled to America with large quantities of gold and jewels as well as at least half a dozen wives that he had stolen from his elder brother, the sultan.

So it was that the brother, self-proclaimed as a sultan, moved in with his fabulous treasure and his bevy of sensuous maidens and set up house in Oriental splendor where he was known to entertain quite lavishly on occasions.

One fateful night, however, goes the story, the gay laughter suddenly turned to frenzied shrieks and the merrymaking to noisy confusion, when a band of assassins, believed to have been sent by the rightful sultan to avenge the wrongs done him, burst in on the party and, with merciless swords, cut down the upstart and the harem girls he had "defiled."

Of course, as in the case of so many legends, there are come conflicting details. There are those who say all this really happened in 792, but the place referred to as the Sultan's House was not even built until 1836. Also, although city maps show that there was a house on that corner as far back as 1780 or earlier, it was only a small dwelling of brick and wood, owned by a free black woman, Victoire Dutillet (or Durrilet), who sold it in 1811 to a woman by the name of Francois Darby. The latter lived there until her death in 1816. However, by the time the present edifice was built in 1836, the earlier dwelling seems to have disappeared since the building plans make no mention of having to tear anything down on that lot before beginning construction.

There is also some question as to the whys and wherefores of that horrendous crime. Although the majority of people accept the version that the foul deed was done by the sultan's hired henchmen who had tracked down the younger brother from Turkey to New Orleans in a sworn vendetta, others argue that the real culprits were closer to home, mainly the very crew of the ship which had brought the wayward Turk and his stolen cargo to port.

Whatever the motives of the assassins, robbery was certainly one of them. After the unfortunate victims were buried in the patio, the assassins looted the house and carried off not only the gold and jewels, but everything else of value. leaving only the ransacked rooms and telltale bloodstains along the length of the great staircase to bear mute testimony to the violence that had transpired there.

For a long time afterward, people insisted that an occasional tinkle of Oriental music or the faint odor of heavy incense would come floating out of the house, and some declared that they heard shrill, unexplained screams coming from different parts of the huge four-story mansion. Over the years, the "sultan" himself has been glimpse walking around the rooms, appearing and disappearing without a word, as if still bewildered by all that happened there.

Although they have never met and their experiences while living in the so-called Sultan's House are almost 30 years apart under entirely different conditions, Virgie "Gypsy" Posten, former tenant, and Jean Damico, one of the present owners of the house, have come to the conclusion that they have probably both seen the same ghost.

Today, with its rosy exterior and shiny black iron-grilled balconies spanning the full circumference of its upper floors, the place hardly looks "spooky," yet when Virgie Posten rented the downstairs front apartment back in the end of the 1950s, it was rundown and resembled the typical haunted house. "I didn't know about the legend, or even that the place was supposed to be haunted, " recalled Virgie Posten, who is now a successful dancer, choreographer and dance therapist with countless appearances all over the United States and abroad to her credit. "I was just starting out in my career and the cheap rent appealed to me, as well as the fact that it was close to Prima's 500 Club, where I was doing an Afro-Cuban act at the time.

"I have never said anything much about this before since I was afraid people would think I was some kind of kook or just looking for publicity," she confessed, "yet the truth is I moved out of that place a few months afterwards because I saw a man in my apartment on two different occasions and could never really explain how he could have gotten in or out of there so quickly without a sound.

"My two-room apartment had only one door, which opened into the main hall only a few yards from the foot of the enormous central staircase that wound its way up to the floors above. I always kept it locked, and even if whoever it was had had a key, I think I would have at least heard it turning in the lock. Yet there was nothing. Only silence. One minute he was there…the next he was gone! He didn't seem hostile. He'd just stand there and look at me, but it was terribly eerie and nerve-wracking!

"After that second time, when I woke up in the middle of the night and saw him standing at the foot of the bed staring at me, I made up my mind to get out of there," continued the still-attractive brunette. "There was no sign of him when I turned on the lights and got up to check, but I abandoned everything there the next day and went to stay temporarily with a girlfriend until I could find another place to live. Of course, I still wasn't thinking about ghosts," she added.

"It wasn't until a few days afterward that I happened by chance to see an article in the newspaper about the house and its legend. Then I realized where I was living. The description that the paper gave of the "sultan" - how he was supposed to have been 'to the blond side,' despite his Turkish origin - seemed to fit the person I'd seen and set me thinking.

"My third and last experience, however, was the most frightening of all," she went on. "That was the night my girlfriend and I stopped by the house to get a few of my things, which I'd left there until I could move them out. We were standing in the dimly lit hallway in the empty house, as I locked the door, when we suddenly heard a blood-curdling scream come out of the inky blackness somewhere at the top of the staircase just a few feet from us! It was petrifying - a long shrill scream that ended in a horrible gurgle! We ran as if the devil himself were after us to the street door. For a moment we even got wedged in the doorway, as both of us tried to get out at the same time! We laugh about it today but it was pretty frightening at that moment!

"The very next day I got my things out of there."

The present owners of the house, who are gradually trying to restore it to its former glory, say that, as far as they known, none of the tenants in their eight apartments has ever moved out because of the ghost.

"The place really looked like a haunted house, with dead vines running up and down its sides and sadly in need of repairs, when my husband Frank and his partner Anthony Vesich Jr. bought it in 1966," pretty blond Jean Damico recalled. "People would look a little curiously at us whenever they knew we were the owners. Some even told me how they used to cross the street and pass it on the other side."

Mrs. Damico, who lives in the penthouse apartment of the building, went on to confide that she, too, has had a weird experience since she has been living there, which she has never been able to explain. "One night less than a year ago, I woke up with a feeling that something was different in my room," she recalls. "There at the foot of my bed, I thought I saw the figure of a man. Thinking my eyes were playing tricks on my, I closed them for a moment and then opened them again to refocus, but the figure was still there. When the form suddenly seemed to move toward my side of the bed, I panicked and turned on the light on my night table. Imagine my surprise when there was no one there! My husband laughed at me when I told him, but I know I saw somebody! Come to think of it, I had the impression that he was light haired. I hadn't thought of that detail until just now, as I look back on it!"

From her lofty iron-grilled balcony, Mrs. Damico pointed down to a strange tree growing horizontally out of an inner wall flanking the patio."They say the 'sultan' was buried there, and it's possible, since the original plans of the house show that the room you see on that spot now was a later addition to the house. It looks as if the tree is trying to crawl out from under the bricks and reach the street wall, doesn't it?"

The home was constructed in 1836 by a wealthy Creole man named Jean Baptist La Prete and it was a luxurious mansion that was rivaled by few other houses in the French Quarter. It was the center of Creole culture in the French Quarter of the middle 1800's, but unfortunately, the wealth and power of many of these families started to decline in the second half of the century. La Prete was one of these who lost much of their fortune and found that he was forced to rent out his wonderful home.

His tenant was a mysterious Turk who claimed to be a deposed Sultan of some distant land. The Turk brought with him a fortune in gold and established a line of credit at all of the banks. He used his wealth to transform the Creole house into an eastern pleasure palace. The doors and windows were covered and blocked, heavy incense filled the air and men patrolled the grounds with curved daggers in their belts. The iron gates around the property were chained and locked and the house became a virtual fortress.

A harem was moved into the house, consisting of women of all ages and sizes and even young Arab boys were used to fulfill the Turk's less seemly desires. But one night everything was destroyed....

One morning, neighbors passing by the house noticed that trickles of blood were running out from under the iron gates. The authorities were summoned but could raise no one, so they forced open the doors and went inside. At some point in the night, a massacre had taken place. Blood splattered the floors and walls... headless bodies and amputated limbs were scattered about... and all of them had been butchered by sword or axe. The bodies and limbs were scattered about in such a way that no one could learn which bodies belonged to what person.
And the horror didn't stop with murder... the beautiful harem girls, the Arab boys, and even the guards, were raped and subjected to vile sexual assaults. The scandal was so horrendous that the details of that night have still not been chronicled completely to this day!

The Turk's mutilated body was found in the garden, where he had been buried alive.

The identity of the murderers and rapists has never been discovered. Some say they were the members of some pirate's crew who had business with the mysterious sultan and some say the crimes were the work of the Turk's own family, seeking revenge for the theft of the family wealth.
But I don't imagine we will ever really know.....

What we do know is that the La Prete house is a very haunted one... and remains so until this day.


Residents of the house have seen figures wearing strange oriental clothing and have heard the sound of footsteps in the hallways and screams echoing inside of the rooms.... as if the terrible events of yesterday are still taking place there!

 

3. The Beauregard-Keyes House

The Beauregard-Keyes house in the New Orleans French Quarter has a reputation that is known to be very haunted.

Historically Known to be haunted The Beauregard-Keyes House, was built in 1826 for wealthy auctioneer Joseph LeCarpentier. It is a fine example of a raised, center-hall house. It derives it's name from two of its former residents, Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard and author Frances Parkinson Keyes.

General Beauregard and his family lived in the home from 1866 to 1868 while he was president of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad.

Mrs. Keyes used the home as her winter residence for 25 years, where she wrote many of her books including Dinner at Antoine’s, The Chess Players, Madame Castel’s Lodger, and Blue Camellia.

In a house as old as the Beauregard-Keyes House, you know there'd be a ghost or two haunting it. Aside from a few run-of-the-mill vaporous presences, Orbs and sounds the Beauregard-Keyes House, located at 1113 Chartres St., claim some that one of the city's more spectacular haunting's occurs here in the early morning hours.

Many supernatural sightings revolve around the mansion's most auspicious resident. Some of the local folks say that this haunted Creole mansion comes alive in gory battle of warfare, when a supernatural version of the Battle of Shiloh rages in the main hall. It has been said that "Men with mangled limbs and blown-away faces swirl in a confused dance of death," wrote Victor C. Klein in his 1996 book New Orleans Ghosts. "Horses and mules appear and are slaughtered by grapeshot and cannon. The pungent smell of blood and decay permeates the restless atmosphere."

The Beauregard-Keyes house is also well known as the sight of a haunted bloody mafia massacre. It has been said that in the beautifully hedge garden, you can smell fresh gunpowder, and you can hear shots being fired while in the house from the garden. Many say they have seen strange shadows and figures moving, running madly around the garden fountain in their eternal dance of death.

One strange haunted tale tells of Paul Munni, a world-class chess master. Munni was said to have went insane while living in the beautiful home. In his crazed wild insanity, Munni ran naked from the house, to Ursaline Street with an large axe, He was looking to kill anyone he would find. And the first to cross his path would die. The police subdued him and that's where the tale ends.

The Beauregard-Keyes House- Patrons to the museum have reported that after closing one evening they stayed to take photos of the house. When the photos were developed there were some mysterious unexplainable images in them. In the pictures there appears to be two civil war era soldiers standing in front of the window looking out. The guests were sure that no other people were in the museum at the time that the photos were taken. This former hotel was also the site of a mafia massacre. It is said that at times you can smell gunpowder and hear gunshots in the garden area of the hotel.

See real ghost photos and read more about the Beauregard-Keyes House visit here.

 

4. Griffin House

A often spoken of in hushed tones is the Griffin House. This grand home was originally built by Adam Griffin in 1852, and as the ghost tale goes, it was abandoned by Griffin after only a few months of him living there. This was the begining of the War between the States, and Griffin was said to have fleed before the Union occupation occured.

Located at 1447 Constance Street Griffin House still stands in it's ageless beauty. Whether it is still haunted or not, remains quite another unsolved mystery, but the stories that have been told about the place over the many many years can still raise the hair on your neck.

Built as an elegant private home with high ceilings and spacious rooms that were perfect for dress balls and fancy parties, but there was little in the way of festivity going on here in 1862 when the Federal Army took over New Orleans. When General Benjamin Butler's Union troops occupied the city in the early years of the war, they began selecting large homes and buildings in which to house men and supplies. The house on Constance Street was one of the buildings selected for occupation.

During the occupation period of the Civil War, the large Mannor house was used by Union troops as a barracks and munitions storage. However, the first soldiers who entered the house heard a chilling sounds, that of rattling chains and groaning coming from upstairs. In the third floor attic, they found several slaves shackled to the wall and in a state of advanced starvation. Some of them even had untreated, maggot-infested wounds. They were removed to a field hospital where they could be better taken care of and the house was turned into a barracks for soldiers and prisoners.


While the Union troops were staying in the Griffin House, two Confederate deserters dressed in stolen Union uniforms had been caught looting homes. Since looting by either Union or Confederate soldiers was an offense punishable by death, the two were arrested by the Federal Army.

While being held for trial and feeling that they might receive mercy, the pair attempted to keep up the ruse of being Union soldiers since they also faced death from the Confederates if found to be deserters. Sympathetic Union soldiers supplied the two men with whiskey and they repeatedly sang "John Brown's Body", a popular song among Union soldiers.

This was still an attempt to convince all that they were Union soldiers. However, once the pair realized that they were not to receive leniency and would be shot, they decided to commit suicide. They bribed a soldier to smuggle them two pistols and, lying on a bed facing each other, each fired his pistol into the other's heart. It is said that the two bled so profusely that the blood was seen seeping through the floor of the room and down the walls of floor below.


Since the end of the war, the Griffin home has housed many different commercial businesses. Those employed there throughout the years have reported seeing and hearing the two soldiers standing in Civil War uniforms singing "John Brown's Body" while holding whiskey bottles in their hands. There have also been reports of hearing the sound of marching feet, always accompanied by singing voices.

 

After the war, the building was used for commercial purposes as a lamp factory, a mattress factory and a perfume bottling plant. In the 1920's, it was a union hiring hall and one previous owner of the house was an old man who rebuilt air conditioners... until he disappeared one day without a trace. The old man always claimed that he had "seen things" in the house, but when pressured to elaborate, he always refused.

Over the years, there have been many reports of a haunting in the house. All through the various owners, the ghosts remained a constant force. Occupants spoke of hearing heavy boots coming from the third floor, the rattling of chains and screams from the dark attic. Neighbors and passersby also claimed to see two white-faced soldiers in blue uniforms standing at the third-floor window. Both of them were said to be holding a bottle in their hand and singing the words to "John Brown’s Body".

Several incidents took place in 1936, during the period when the house was used a lamp factory. One night, a maintenance man was working there alone. It was just shortly before midnight and he was working on the second floor. To his surprise, a nearby door opened up on its own. As he stood there in shock, the sound of a pair of marching boots stomped into the room with him. Then, a second pair of boots joined the first and the pounding footsteps became almost deafening. Terrified, he scrambled for the staircase as the sound of the boots began to fade away. The footsteps were immediately followed by the spectral sound of drunken laughter and then the refrain of "John Brown’s Body". The maintenance worker claimed to still be able to hear the horrifying voices as he ran down the street. Nothing, including the promise of increased wages, could convince him to return to the house again.

Shortly after taking possession of the house, the owner, Isadore Seelig, arrived at the factory one morning and was nearly killed. He and his brother were standing in the front hall talking when a huge concrete block was hurled at them from the head of the stairs.

"It didn’t fall," Seelig later reported. "It was thrown. It never struck a stair as it came and it landed just where we had been standing. My brother saw it coming and pushed me out of the way. It probably would have killed us if it had hit us."

The two men charged upstairs to find out who was there and discovered the place to be empty. In one area, where the floors had been freshly painted the day before, they found not a single footprint.

"The upper windows and doors were all locked," added Seelig, "and when we went upstairs no one was there, and no one had been there. No such blocks had been used in any of the repairing around here either."

A few years later, when it seemed impossible to keep tenants in the place, the structure was turned into a boarding house for a brief time. A widow rented out one of the second floor rooms and settled in quite comfortably. Everything seemed very quiet for some time until one afternoon when she was sitting by the window with her sewing. She happened to look down and noticed that there was blood on her arm. Thinking that she must have accidentally scratched herself, she wiped the blood away but in an instant, it was back! Before she could wipe it off, another drop of blood appeared on her arm, then another, and another. She quickly looked up and saw the blood was oozing through a crack in the ceiling directly above where she was sitting. As she tried to understand what was happening, she heard an eerie sound coming from the third floor... the faint strains of "John Brown’s Body" being sung by two drunken men!

The widow began to scream and she ran shrieking from the house, never to return. Her relatives later came back and packed up her household for her. They encountered no dripping blood in the house but as they were locking the front door, they claimed to see two soldiers in blue uniforms looking down at them from the attic window.

In the late 1970's, Kathleen and Anthony Jones bought the house with the intention of restoring it. In an interview with authors Richard Winer and Nancy Osborn, they said they had experienced nothing strange at the old place.... but for some reason, they never occupied the house.

Residents of the decaying neighborhood weren't speaking much after the 1970's, but one anonymous witness told an interesting story. He said that the rundown area (near a housing project) had deteriorated to the point that any abandoned house in the neighborhood had become fair game for drug addicts.

The house at 1447 became one of these, but within a month, even the addicts had deserted it. They claimed they saw two white men there in "police uniforms" that walked through walls and sang "old timey songs"!

Residents reported seeing what appeared to be droplets of blood drip from the ceilings and two soldiers peering at them from outside the windows. He was forced to abandon the building also.


In recent years, the house has been fully renovated and has been occupied by a nice normal family who have not had any sightings of the ill-fated pair of soldiers up to this date.

5. Marie Laveau House

Laveau House Legend has it that MarieLaveau lived in a house at 1020 St. Ann Street. best known and most revered practitioner of voodoo in the city, and some say the "founder" of New Orleans voodoo, was Marie Laveau, a free woman of color born in 1794 in Haiti. Laveau was also a devout Catholic; it was this unique blending of Voodoo rituals and Catholicism that would differentiate New Orleans voodoo from other forms of the practice.

About 1875 the original Marie Laveau I, bereft of her youth and memory, became confined to her home on Rue St. Ann and did not leave until claimed by death some six years later. "It was then," reports Tallant (1946, 73), "that the strangest part of the entire Laveau mystery became most noticeable. For Marie Laveau still walked the streets of New Orleans, a new Marie Laveau II , who also lived in the St. Ann Street Cottage."

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits asserts: "One popular legend holds that Marie I never died, but changed herself into a huge black crow which still flies over the cemetery." Indeed, "Both Maries are said to haunt New Orleans in various human and animal forms" (Guiley 2000). Note the anonymity inherent in such phrases as "popular legend" and the passive-voice construction "are said to." In addition to her tomb, Marie also allegedly haunts other sites. For example, according to Hauck (1996), "Laveau has also been seen walking down St. Ann Street wearing a long white dress." Providing a touch of what literary critics call verisimilitude (an appearance of truth), Hauck adds, "The phantom is that of the original Marie, because it wears her unique tignon, a seven-knotted handkerchief, around her neck." But Hauck has erred: Marie in fact "wore a large white headwrap called a tignon tied around her head," says her biographer Gandolfo (1992, 19), which had "seven points folded into it to represent a crown." Gandolfo, who is also an artist, has painted a striking portrait of Marie Laveau wearing her tignon, which is displayed in the gift shop of his New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum (and reproduced in Gandolfo 1992, 1).

With a bit of literary detective work we can track the legend-making process in one instance of Laveau ghostlore. In his Haunted Places: The National Directory, Hauck (1996) writes of Marie: "Her ghost and those of her followers are said to practice wild voodoo rituals in her old house. . . ." But are said to by whom? His list of sources for the entry on Marie Laveau includes Susy Smith's Prominent American Ghosts (1967), his earliest-dated citation. Smith merely says of Marie, "Her home at 1020 St. Ann Street was the scene of weird secret rites involving various primitive groups," and she asks, "May not the wild dancing and pagan practices still continue, invisible, but frantic as ever?" Apparently this purely rhetorical question about imaginary ghosts has been transformed into an "are-said-to"-sourced assertion about supposedly real ones. In fact, the house at 1020 St. Ann Street was never even occupied by Marie Laveau; it only marks the approximate site of the home she lived in until her death (then numbered 152 Rue St. Ann, as shown by her death certificate). That cottage, which bore a red-tile roof and was flanked by banana trees and an herb garden, was demolished in 1903 (Gandolfo 1992, 14-15, 34).

Many of the tales of Marie Laveau's ghost, if not actually invented by tour guides, may be uncritically promulgated by them. According to Frommer's New Orleans 2001, "We enjoy a good nighttime ghost tour of the Quarter as much as anyone, but we also have to admit that what's available is really hit-or-miss in presentation (it depends on who conducts your particular tour) and more miss than hit with regard to facts" (Herczog 2000). Even the author of New Orleans Ghosts II-hardly a knee-jerk debunker-speaks of the "hyperbolic balderdash" which sometimes "spews forth from the black garbed tour guides who are more interested in money and sensationalism than accurate historical research" (Klein 1999).


One alleged Laveau ghost sighting stands out. Tallant (1946, 130-131) relates the story of an African-American named Elmore Lee Banks, who had an experience near St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. As Banks recalled, one day in the mid-1930s "an old woman" came into the drugstore where he was a customer. For some reason she frightened the proprietor, who "ran like a fool into the back of the store." Laughing, the woman asked, "Don't you know me?" She became angry when Banks replied, "No, ma'am," and slapped him. Banks continued: "Then she jump[ed] up in the air and went whizzing out the door and over the top of the telephone wires. She passed right over the graveyard wall and disappeared. Then I passed out cold." He awakened to whiskey being poured down his throat by the proprietor who told him, "That was Marie Laveau."

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:Sg2_VqBumI4J:www.csicop.org/sb/2001-12/i-files.html+1020+St.+Ann+Street&hl=en

Some believe Laveau materializes annually to lead the faithful in worship on St. John's Eve. The ghost is always recognizable, they say, thanks to the knotted handkerchief she wears around her neck. A man once claimed to have been slapped by her while walking past her tomb. It is also said that Laveau’s former home at 1020 St. Ann Street is also among the French Quarter’s many haunted locales. Believers claim to have seen her spirit, accompanied by those of her followers, engaged in Voodoo ceremonies there.

7. The Hermann-Grima Historical House

820 St. Louis Street, built in 1831, HERMANN-GRIMA HOUSE is one of the most significant residences in New Orleans. This handsome Federal mansion with its courtyard garden boasts the only horse stable and functional 1830s outdoor kitchen in the French Quarter.
Painstakingly restored to its original splendor through archaeological studies and careful review of the building contract and inventories, the museum complex accurately depicts the gracious lifestyle of a prosperous Creole family in the years from 1830 to 1860.

On October 15, 1850, Mrs. Albert Grima died in the Hermann-Grima house at the age of 96. During the month of October, the museum is transformed to reflect the funeral and mourning customs of this time period. Vignettes include Mrs. Grima’s funeral in the front parlor complete with wooden casket, mirrors draped in black crepe, and examples of mourning clothing, jewelry and dolls. Afew Locals state that they think Mrs. Grima's ghost stays just to see who comes to morn her.

The Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses offer a focus tour examining the challenges, contributions, and living conditions of African Americans in the urban setting of New Orleans, a city that was simultaneously a major slave trading center and home to one of the largest populations of Free People of Color. The African American focus tour is available, to the general public, daily in February at noon at the Hermann-Grima House (1831) and at 3:30 p.m. at the Gallier House (1860). Upon request, it is available for group tours throughout the year

Many say that the ghosts, with their well bred southern manners live here and do their best to help the living, who they graciously share this house with.They seem to be pleased with the wonderful renovation job done. Caretakers find that these unseen presences like to scatter fragrant rose and lavender around the rooms to freshen and air. On cold winter mornings, the living often find that the ghosts have lit the fireplaces to warm the rooms, and keep them cozy.

Official Web site www.hgghh.org/index.shtml

 

8. 1891 Castle Inn Of New Orleans

The 1891 Castle Inn is a 9,500 square foot Gilded Age mansion, offering nine suites and rooms, steps off St. Charles Avenue, the route of the world-famous streetcar and the Mardi Gras parades.

The 1891 Castle Inn offers the best of both worlds -- tucked neatly in the Garden District, one of the most beautiful and exclusive neighborhoods in the world -- yet minutes from the French Quarter.

Among the many often told of ghosts who appear and make themselves at home in this Garden District B&B are a servant employed in the mansion who was killed in a fire and a girl who drowned in a pond on the original plantation grounds.

Guests and employees reported strange and unexplained encounters: Objects moving by themselves, electric lights and appliances turning on and off on their own, unexplained sounds, lots of footsteps, water faucets turning on and off in empty bathrooms, and brief glimpses of a "transluscent man" standing in corners and on the front porch late at night.

1891 Castle Inn Of New Orleans ghost story: /www.castleinnofneworleans.com/ghost.html

1891 Castle Inn Of New Orleans Ghost testimonials: http://www.castleinnofneworleans.com/ghosttestimonials.html

The Castle Inn is for sale!

You may purchase the entire property as a residence, without license, for $1,800,000.00. We are extremely haunted with two main spirits so be prepared to "share" the property with its long-term residents.

The property boasts nine bedrooms, 11 full baths, one half bath, an au-pair suite, front office, large kitchen, living room, sun porch, laundry area, front parlor (currently set up as resident manager apartment) -- 35 plus rooms including baths and hallways. Full basement, small rear garden.

Located in the exclusive Garden District, 50 feet from St. Charles Avenue (streetcar line and best Mardi Gras parade route.) Next door to the mansion featured on MTV's "Real World, New Orleans."

Official Web site www.castleinnofneworleans.com

 

9. Lanaux Mansion

Guests at this historic Lanaux Mansion, 500 Esplanade Avenue, on the edge of the French Quarter you step into a world that exists primarily in history books and romantic novels.

A massive restoration in the 1980s resulted in an antique setting that's elegant without being too opulent--both classy and comfortable at the same time. Built in 1879, the property is adorned with cast-iron filigree balconies and cypress wood shutters, and many of the original owner's belongings are on display throughout.

Throughout the French Quarter visitors have reported ghost sightings at the Lanaux Mansion, where the ghost of the mansions original owner is dressed in formal regalia and wanders the hall,. built by a wealthy lawyer and businessman named Charles Johnson. It is his ghost that is said to haunt it and encountered most often.

The Lanaux Mansion has an intriguing story beginning with original owner, lawyer Charles Andrew Johnson. A gentleman bachelor with dreams of a beautiful home and family, he built his glorious eleven thousand square foot mansion. However, the goal of having a family with which to share his large and lovely home was never realized by this very private man. Although he lived alone until his death, Mr. Johnson was known to have hobnobbed with Confederate General Robert E. Lee and other prominent men of the time.

Mr. Johnson bequeathed his mansion to the woman he purportedly loved in silence, his partner's daughter, Marie Andry Lanaux. In the late 1980s Ruth Bodenheimer began her painstaking restoration of this pristine building. Ms. Bodenheimer has lovingly restored her home to its original state. The guest rooms are graced with vintage Johnson; his furniture, artworks, books, and mementos are displayed throughout.

Whe Ruth Bodenheimerexplored the attic it proved to be a true journey back in time when she discovers a painting of Johnson by the woman who inherited the house from the original owner. It was headed for the trash, but it now hangs proudly in the house. She even held a party to celebrate his coming home.

Official Web site www.historiclodging.com/lanaux.html

 

10. The Degas House

From October 1872 to March 1873, French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas, whose mother and grandmother were born in New Orleans, the Musson Family, whose business was cotton. While he resided in the House, Degas created at least twenty-two works of art including the detailed scene of Michel Musson's office.

Maria Desiree Musson, Degas's maternal grandmother, died suddenly in 1819, at the age of twenty-five. The architect Benjamin Latrobe, who was then working in New Orleans, wandered by chance into her funeral Mass at the St. Louis Cathedral. "The Church was filled with her friends," he noted, "each of whom carried a lighted taper, and the service was long & loud." Grief-stricken, Germain took his children, including Celestine and her older brother Michel, back to France to be educated. There Celestine fell in love with her neighbor, a young banker called Auguste Degas; it was said that their romance bloomed in the garden between their houses.

Celestine was eighteen when they married, during the summer of 1832. Her father's sale of a young slave girl in New Orleans boosted her already respectable dowry. At the birth of her eldest child, Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, in 1834, she had not yet reached her twentieth birthday. To celebrate the birth, and to link his eldest son to the "mother country," Edgar Degas's father arranged that a house in New Orleans, a Creole cottage on North Rampart Street, be purchased in the newborn's name.

The early loss of his mother scarred Degas for life. Motherhood, from that time forward, was always associated in his mind--and in some of his greatest paintings--with mourning.

Degas in New Orleans
Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable By CHRISTOPHER BENFEY (C) 1997 Christopher Benfey All Rights Reserved ISBN: 0-679-43562-X

Guided tours are conducted by Appointment Only. Tour length is approximately one hour and includes a viewing of our award-winning documentary, "Degas in New Orleans, a Creole Sojourn.

"The first x-ray images of one of the strangest paintings by Degas reveal the 19th century artist's obsessive reworking of an image for over 40 years, most of his painting life.

There isn't a ballet dancer, a racehorse or a woman in a bath tub to be seen in The Young Spartans, but something about the groups of adolescent girls and boys shaping up to one another - the children of ancient Sparta, with the rock in the background from which unwanted babies were hurled - haunted the artist.

Decades of alterations left a most peculiar painting, still unfinished when Degas died in 1917, which has been in the National Gallery's collection since the early 1920s. The number of girls in the group on the left varied, as the x-ray shows. On the canvas the result is that the four surviving girls have at least 10 legs.

Degas was infamous for meddling with his paintings for years, on occasions even after they had been sold. He kept some canvasses in his studio which he worked on for years or even decades.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1335194,00.html

For many years locals in the Neigberhood would often coment on the fact that the house was actually haunted. Some often say by Degas looking for his mother Celestine DeGa .

It is conceivable that Degas’ great inner understanding of his mother’s suffering heightened after she died an early death in 1847, he was thirteen. How she died is uncertain, but it is possible she died in childbirth, having already painfully miscarried three of eight pregnancies since her marriage at sixteen years of age.

Although Degas never spoke of his mother, Daniel Halévy, who knew Degas’ mother extremely well, was convinced that the artist was deeply affected by her premature death and some conjecture Haunted by her memory. Degas kept a picture of his dead mother and looked at it in secret. This detail seems to contradict the fact that Degas never spoke about his mother, but it in fact justifies it as her loss was too painful to communicate in words.

Built during the original development of the Esplanade Ridge Neighborhood, the Degas House . Built in 1852 by architect and developer, Benjamin Rodriguez, who was a driving force behind the development of the Esplanade Ridge Neighborhood. He built this House as his home. Written accounts from the time testify to the Mansion's beauty. It was known as one of the most impressive residences in the area. The grounds occupied most of the entire block. The original Mansion was cut into two during the1920s, and one wing was moved twenty feet to the side. Thus, the structure was reformed into two residences. An award winning restoration was completed on the main Degas House, and the second portion of the original Mansion was purchased and is currently being restored. This portion contains Degas' bedroom and studio.

Many people report that have toured the house that they feel a presence of great emotion, love and most important a tortured soul.

Rated 5 Stars by Fodor's
As seen on 'If Walls Could Talk,' Home & Garden Television

Offical Web Site Degas house. www.degashouse.com


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