Life

Why New Orleans Is America’s Best Halloween Destination

Forget Christmas. Halloween is the best, most joyous, funnest time of the year. Sure Christmas has gifts, but Halloween has candy. Real candy, not that crap called candy cane. Because when mint is the main ingredient in a treat, it’s just mint, okay? Mint isn’t true candy. Mint is for your stank breath and that’s all. We’re getting sidetracked, but I’m not budging on this.

Back to Halloween! All the fun of eating candy and dressing up in sexy or puntastic costumes is great, but the best part of the holiday is being scared shitless. Having that sweet, sweet adrenaline rush straight to your brain and thinking, “OMG! WTF!” It’s an incredible surge — best recreated again and again and again in… ye old city of New Orleans!

Why New Orleans? Simple. All the “haunted” sites mixed with the allure of “Louisiana Voodoo” makes the Big Easy the perfect city for some frightful fun. Check it out:

HAUNTED HOTEL

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Saltwater swim 🏊

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This place is crawling with prostitutes and salty dead soldiers. My type of jam.

To start things off right, you’ll want to book a room at Dauphine New Orleans. That’s, of course, if you’re ballsy enough. The 200-year-old building that houses the hotel and May Baily’s Place is a hotspot for g-g-g-ghost sightings with many reportedly spotting apparitions roaming the hallways, courtyard, and even guest bedrooms.

I can’t personally confirm the stories because my stay at Dauphine didn’t include any ghosts shaking my bed as others have reported. I think it’s because I told the g-g-ghosts beforehand to “chill” and that “I’m too tired for all the bullshit tonight.”

As old as the building is, it’s no wonder it’s haunted, though. The hotel/bar was originally a convent-turned-hospital during the Civil War. So it’s likely the site of many dead Confederate soldiers still mad they lost the war. Then you have your dead prostitutes also lurking about and looking for some action. Yes, ghost prostitutes. So hot.

It’s true, before May Baily’s was a bar, it used to be a brothel where visitors would come far and wide for some sexy time in the French Quarter. Today, those same ladies of the evening still hang out and scaring men that enter the bar.

ST LOUIS CEMETERY #1

It’s the playground for the most powerful voodoo priestess NOLA has ever known.

A Halloween trip isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t include a stop to the graveyard. But the St. Louis Cemetery #1, located in the historic French Quarter, isn’t just any cemetery. It’s where Marie Laveau calls her resting place. Laveau, as any American Horror Story fan will tell you, was a “powerful voodoo priestess” residing in New Orleans in the 1800s.

Followers sought Laveau’s services for things like love, protection, and payback. She’s often called the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Even to this day, believers visit Laveau’s grave with requests and offerings, marking XXX on her tombstone with the belief she’ll grant your wishes. Believers also claim that Laveau haunts the cemetery — sometimes as herself and sometimes as her pet snake.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Laveau hovering about or slithering around, but I did feel a cold chill in the air. Could’ve been weather-related but maybe it was just one of the other 100,000 bodies buried there trying to “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” the situation.

THE HAUNTEDEST HOUSE IN ALL OF NEW ORLEANS — LaLAURIE MANSION

This place was literally a house of horrors.

While you can’t actually go inside, you can stop by Delphine LaLaurie’s mansion. LaLaurie is the infamously cruel slavemaster who reportedly tortured the shit out of her slaves. I mean, slavemasters were already pretty monstrous, but legend has it the depraved LaLaurie was especially malicious. You can read about it here because I damn sure won’t be including it in the piece.

Anyway, LaLaurie ended up fleeing New Orleans when her house of horrors caught on fire. Legend has it that the house is supremely haunted and part of why Nicholas Cage thinks he’s cursed. Cage purchased the mansion in 2007 but lost it two years later when he fell behind on mortgage payments. The home was later put on the auction block. A Texan energy trader owns it now and has no plans of opening it to the public.

HAUNTED BAR

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Still one of my favorite cities in the world

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A building this old has to be haunted, right?

While other spots may have ghosts and shadows, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop reportedly houses a full-bodied apparition of Jean Lafitte dressed like a sailor. The pirate previously owned the building located on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Philip Street in the early 1800s. The building now stands as the oldest building in New Orleans and is currently being used as a bar. According to an eyewitness, ol’ Lafitte likes to stand in dark corners of his former place and creepily stare at people until he’s noticed, only to disappear into the shadows the way ghosts normally do.

HAUNTED MUSEUM

*shrugs*

Go to The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum if you want to hear the bone-chilling groans of a dead pharmacist. The Museum was originally Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr’s shop back in the 1800s before he sold it to his protege, Dr. Joseph Dupas. Legend has it a demented Dr. Dupas loved performing gruesome experiments on pregnant slaves and would often conduct voodoo ceremonies at the now museum. Visitors claim a dead Dr. Dupas wanders the museum in a brown suit and can sometimes be heard groaning from the third floor. Spooky AF.

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