Ten Haunted Houses
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,
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".
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Delphine LaLaurie and the Crucible of Horror.
TALE OF TWO TALES: THE TRUTH ABOUT MADAME LA LAURIE?
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
By: Lorena Dureau
Feb. 11, 1979
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
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!)
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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!
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,"
"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
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
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
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!
The Beauregard-Keyes House
house in the New Orleans French Quarter has a reputation
that is known to be very haunted.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
real ghost photos and read more about the Beauregard-Keyes
House visit here.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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"!
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.
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.
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."
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
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."
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.
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
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.
Web site www.hgghh.org/index.shtml
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
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
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.
Castle Inn Of New Orleans ghost story: /www.castleinnofneworleans.com/ghost.html
Castle Inn Of New Orleans Ghost
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."
Web site www.castleinnofneworleans.com
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.
Web site www.historiclodging.com/lanaux.html
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.
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
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
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.
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
Rated 5 Stars by
As seen on 'If Walls Could Talk,' Home & Garden
Web Site Degas house. www.degashouse.com
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