Saturday, October 31, 2009
Can be found across from the Convent of Ursula in the French Quarter.
Address: 1113 Charles Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
This grand mansion, built in 1812, is a strong candidate for being the most haunted house in New Orleans. A General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard lived in this house until 1869. General Beauregard was the commanding officer of the southern troops at the bloody battle at Shiloh.
* At 2:00 in the morning, on foggy, moonlit nights, General Beauregard and his troops materialize out of the wood paneled walls along the hallway near the ballroom. The living are treated to the clattering footsteps of his entire phantom troops. All the soldier apparitions and the General appear in full Confederate dress uniform, and then slowly turn bloody and tattered, as if they are revisiting their bloody battle.
* Also, an apparition fiddler player and dancing entities have their own dance party in the ballroom, complete with fiddle music, perhaps reenacting a happier time.
Friday, October 30, 2009
615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, Louisiana.
The St. Louis Cathedral Basilica can be found near the corner of Peron Antone Alley and Chartres Street, directly across from Jackson Square.
This beautiful 1850 Cathedral Basilica is the landmark structure of New Orleans, with its two side steeples and central bell tower with its steeple. It is designed inside along the lines of traditional large churches of its time, with a central main altar, two side alters, a beautiful pipe organ, that has recently been rebuilt due to water damage from Katrina, a vestibule and other statues of importance, breathtaking ceilings and lovely decor. The lovely Cathedral Garden can be found behind the Cathedral-Basilica, on Royale Street.
On this plot of land, there have been 4 churches, built to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the people of New Orleans. The first structure arose in 1718, a crude wooden structure, a temporary solution for a people really in need of spiritual teaching. The second church was a proper building of brick and timber, which served the people well, from 1727 until it was burned to the ground during the horrible fire of 1788, which destroyed most of the French Quarter. But not to worry, the Spanish built a glorious cathedral, which was finished in 1794, and declared a cathedral in 1793 by Pope Pius. While the two side rounded steeples were in this original building, the central bell tower was commissioned in 1819, designed by well-known architect, Ben Henry Latrobe, who also designed the White House. The bell and original clock came all the way from Paris.
By 1849, a larger cathedral was needed for a growing population. During this 1850 ambitious renovation, the central tower collapsed, causing the whole cathedral to be redone, loosing much of the original Spanish architecture. However, the new design was solid and beautiful, creating a house of worship that has endured over 150 years!
This solid, beautiful 1850 cathedral was upgraded to a basilica in 1964, by John Paul 11.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
St. Louis Cathedral Basilica is considered by many to be one of the most haunted buildings in New Orleans. It has long been the center of spiritual worship of God for the people of New Orleans, and has been blessed with some dedicated people and priests who have served the Lord with fervent dedication in ministry.
Story of Pere Dagobert and the slain men.
The trouble began in 1764, when the King of France quietly gave the colony of New Orleans and his Louisiana property to the King of Spain in The Treaty of Fountainbleu, neglecting to tell his Creole subjects in New Orleans. Imagine the alarm when the Spaniards arrived in 1766, took down the French flag and replaced it with a Spanish one. thinking that they were being invaded, the people got together, and formed an army, led by 6 prominent, Creole gentlemen. The Spanish at the end of the skirmish left in haste, escaping to Cuba. In 1769, a fleet of 24 Spanish ships carrying battle-ready troops and a fiery new governor of Irish decent, Don Alejandro O'Reily, retook New Orleans. The new governor had his troops chase down the 6 leaders of the rebellion, and shot them without due process of law, leaving their bodies in front of the church.
The new governor forbade anyone from moving the bodies for burial, but decreed that they were to be left to rot in front of the church, to teach everyone a lesson. Anyone caught moving the remains would suffer the same fate. This was abhorrent not only to the residents and Pere Dagobert, but also the Spanish, who also were Catholics.
The beloved Pere Dagobert visited this arrogant, merciless governor twice, pleading to be allowed to give these men a proper burial. However, the governor refused him both times, and threatened to shoot Pere Dagobert if he came back again to ask for the bodies.
Pere Dagobert knew what he had to do, and he wasn't afraid. During a big storm, Pere Dagobert gathered all the families, had the remains put into pine boxes, led a funeral, and sang boldly the mass, in his clear, distinctive voice. He led the procession down to St.Peter's cemetery, singing all the way, where the remains were buried in unmarked graves. No one stopped them. While Pere Dagobert was replaced by the new Spanish monk, Pere Antoine, brought over from Spain in 1769, Dagobert lived until he died of natural causes. He was buried under the main altar.
The graves of the 6 men were never marked, and eventually, the cemetery was closed, and other buildings were constructed on top of it. Hopefully an attempt was made to move most the remains, but unmarked graves can't be found easily. Throughout the years, bones have been dug up inadvertently during construction projects. Uh Oh!
Story of Pere Antoine -
Pere Antoine started off on the wrong foot in every way, being fresh off the boat from Spain, and determined to establish old world, harsh Catholicism in a new world setting. Known as the Spanish bigot, he caused pain and trouble. He even tried to establish a Holy Court of Inquisition in Louisiana, but luckily failed. All his misdoings and the harm he caused, became a source of great shame, after he underwent a spiritual renewal, that changed his perception of what his ministry should be. Once he found the right path, he focused on his ministry with all his heart and soul. He became a true spiritual leader, prayer warrior, counselor, teacher, and had a vigorous outreach program for the sick, the poor, the imprisoned and the slaves, working tirelessly for their benefit. He ministered to Protestants and Catholics or anyone in need, while living a simple life-style. He died at the age of 81, and was deeply mourned by the whole city of New Orleans. He too is buried in the cathedral, and his portrait hangs in the vestibule, giving everyone a clear picture of what he looked like; A tall, thin man, with dark brown eyes, a flowing white beard, wearing a traditional black monk robe and sandals.
He was instrumental in the lives of several well-known residents, performing the sacraments, teaching and counseling them;Ttruly a spiritual father to such parishioners as Marie Laveau, Madam LaLaurie, & Aimee Brusle
Story of Marie Laveau -
Marie Laveau - Her full story can be found on the St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 story on this website. Marie followed two religions:Catholicism: Worship of Jesus, and Voudou: Worship of the dark powers. She had her bases covered spiritually, or so she thought. Marie was a devout Catholic, and worked with Pere Antoine in his ministry to the poor, and the sick. She helped to nurse yellow fever patients, by the side of Pere Antoine. Despite her good works, displaying her Catholicism, she was denied a marked tomb when she died, because of her other darker activities in her Voudou worship business.
Story of Aimee Brusle -
A devout Catholic, daughter of a successful baker, she grew up under the influence of the good Pere Antoine. She married a Jewish merchant, Edward Gottchalk, probably against the wishes of her family, and despite Pere Antoine's advise, who also may have had an insight into the young man's character. The marriage turned out to be an unhappy one, as her husband kept a mistress down the street. She had several children. Her youngest daughter, Theresa, died of yellow fever. Her son, Louis Moreau Gottschak who had inherited her musical talent, was a child prodigy in music. His father sent him to Paris at the age of 8, to study with the masters there. He became the first American artist of great acclaim.
Anna felt trapped, and depressed, but consoled herself by playing the newly installed cathedral organ, which eased her great remorse temporarily.
She fought against her depression the rest of her life, by spending hours in the cathedral-basilica, playing the organ, while her husband continued with his business and mistress, and her children grew up.
Story of Ben Henry Latrobe -
Ben Henry Latrobe, the designer of the first bell tower, died before his labor of love was finished. His bell tower also collapsed during the revamping of the cathedral in 1849.
Story of Jean Delachaux -
He was the person sent to Paris to purchase a bell and clock for the original tower. This tower eventually collapsed, and a new one was built in 1849. While the original bell was reinstated, perhaps a newer clock was installed, which seems to be a point of concern for this dedicated soul.
Story of Delphine Macarty LaLaurie -
She led a double life; Being a well-respected, wealthy woman, married to a pillar of the community, hosting parties for the in-crowd at the time, while having a sadistic side seen in slave abuse, mutilation and torture. Her two worlds were destined to collide, after a fire in the kitchen brought light to what she was doing to her slaves. She and her husband quickly left New Orleans, two steps ahead of the authorities, with tattered reputations and ruined lives, taking respite, some say in Paris. Others say they fled to a friend's mansion somewhere in Louisiana.
When Madame LaLaurie died in Paris, her remains were buried in St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, not far from the family tomb of Marie Laveau.
Pere Dagobert and the entities of the 6 executed men whose graves were probably disturbed over time are present in the St Louis Cathedral-Basilica.
When the St Louis Cathedral-Basilica is closed for the evening, witnesses have heard the fine voice of Pere Dagobert singing a funeral mass, starting at the main altar. As the singing travels down the aisle toward the doors, witnesses have seen a bright light moving from window to window. The disembodied singing continues down the alley toward the area where St. Peter's Cemetery used to be located.
Often, on rainy afternoons, the entity of Pere Dagobert has been seen by the living, still praying for the people of New Orleans, and probably for peace for the 6 entities who are linked to him.
Whenever the entity Pere Dagobert manifests itself, the entities of the 6 slain men are not far away, shyly standing in the shadows, ready to assist Pere Dagobert, eternally grateful to him for a proper Catholic funeral. It is also thought that these 6 entities are self-appointed guardians of the building.
The entity of Pere Antoine - Appears in full bodily form, looking like a real person; exactly like he is pictured in his portrait: Witnesses see a tall man, with brown eyes and a flowing white beard, wearing a black robe and sandals.
It is thought that he may still be really ashamed of his earlier folly, or that he chooses to continue to serve this congregation that he had dedicated himself to serve in Christ.
The good Pere Antoine often is seen walking slowly down Pere Antoine’s Alley, deep in prayer, reading his book of prayers.
He is also seen deep in thought, walking through the Cathedral garden.
During all times of the day, tourists and locals have seen this entity hurrying through the streets of the French Quarter, on a mission of need. They have also seen him in unexpected places.
A woman in high heels was hurrying down Pere Antoine’s Alley, tripped and was headed for a bad fall, when she was caught by a robed man, Pere Antoine, who helped her onto her feet, and then disappeared before she could thank him. She felt a peace all afternoon.
When the children's choir is rehearsing for a performance, the entity of Pere Antoine likes to appear, sit in the pew opposite the altar, and loves to listen to their voices.
During the holidays, the entity of Pere Antoine is an active spirit, appearing in the choir loft, and will hold a white candle during Christmas Eve Mass while walking down a side aisle-way.
Regrets about their lives have kept some parishioners tied to this world:
The entity of Madame LaLaurie - this detailed yet probably see- through apparition is trying to receive forgiveness for her despicable brutality.
Witnesses have seen her in a third row pew, kneeling and fervently praying, gazing up at the central altar.
Witnesses have seen her, looking forlorn, walking back and forth in the area of one of the confessional booths, looking for a priest to absolve her from her dastardly deeds.
The entity of Marie Laveau - appears in a full, human-like state, looking very real to the living. She is a restless spirit annoyed with the living, and probably afraid to go to the other side.
When she isn't walking around St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, reliving her VouDou practice, or visiting places she liked while alive, she is in the Cathedral-Basilica, praying on her knees, twice a day, early morning and evening, perhaps seeking forgiveness for her Voudou practice.
The entity of Aimee Brusle - Can't let go of her grief, disappointment and deep regrets and go to the other side. She is seen, dressed in a dark, full dress from the mid 19th century.
The entity of his forlorn personality has been seen by witnesses in the organ loft, who looks downat the living with a depressed demeanor, though sometimes she is angry and frustrated.
Others observe that she seems to want to communicate with the living.
Her soft sobs of grief have been heard in the Cathedral vaults.
The entity of Ben Henry Latrobe - Was terribly disappointed about dying before his labor or love was finished. Was most active during the final days of construction of his tower.
A strange atmosphere of a haunted space was felt by the living in the tower area.
Workmen would only work there with a partner, as his presence was strongly felt, and sometimes seen if they stayed too long. it probably was like having someone look over your shoulder.
Tools and objects of the workmen would be moved by unseen hands.
Strange sounds were heard as well.
Sometime the bell would faintly sound, when no wind was present, like someone wanted to hear it ring.
�� The entity of Jean Delachaux - A man who is dressed in early 1800's attire
The entity of Jean Delachaux has been seen by witnesses when the clock is chiming, inside the alcove of the cathedral-basilica, studying his old fashioned watch, checking to see if the time on his time piece matches the time on the clock, that he didn't personally choose, and perhaps has issues about its quality and dependability.
http://stlouiscathedral.org/ * en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_Cathedral
Thursday, October 29, 2009
499 Basin Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
St Louis Cemetery Number 1 can be found just northwest of Basin St, and just 1 block west of N. Rampart St, which is the furthest inland border of the French Quarter. It is 8 blocks from the Mississippi River, being the riverside border of the French Quarter. St. Louis St. borders the cemetery's eastern side, while its western and northern sides have the Iberville public housing as its neighbors.
NOTE: Because of its closeness to the Iberville public housing, which in the past has housed a few people who like to rob tourists in the narrow alleys between vaults, there is a high wall surrounding the cemetery, and the cemetery closes at 3:00 sharp. It is strongly recommended that tourists visit via a tour group. When the gates are locked, the cemetery is left to the restless spirits who walk its paths.
Tom and I took the Haunted Cemetery Tour, run by a preservation group. No ghost stories were told, but we learned a lot about this cemetery and the people whose remains are in these vaults.
DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:
St Louis Cemetery Number 1 is one of three Roman Catholic cemeteries which make up Saint Louis Cemetery. It opened in 1789, to replace the old Saint Peters Cemetery, once located closer to the heart of the city. New Orleans was redesigned after the huge fire of 1788. It was thought that it would be healthier to have the cemetery further away from where people lived.
Though this high walled St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 is only one square block in diameter, it is the resting place of over 100,000 departed New Orleans citizens, due to burial customs, based on practicality. Because New Orleans has issues with high ground water, and a lack of land for burial, nearly all the graves are in above-ground vaults, which offered a variety of choices, showing the creativity of the human spirit. One does see one or two very old slab graves, with a slab of cement, bricks on top of the burial site, to keep the coffin(s) from popping out!
The traditional family vault ranged from simple to very grand: The deceased was placed in a wooden coffin, that was put in the above ground rectangular slot in the vault, and kept there for a year and a day. The coffin was then removed, and the bones were put in a bag, labeled and shoved to the back of the vault, leaving room for the next family member who may pass on. Sometimes the vault had another slot for an emergency, in case a death happened in the family or group before the year and a day time frame had elapsed. The grander the vault, the more slots were available. Sometimes, another vault space was borrowed in cases of multiple deaths in one year.
There were also group vaults, where a group of families or an organization got together and bought a large vault for their final resting place. These group vaults took on a variety of shapes in this cemetery of house-like vaults, which altogether resemble a neighborhood of structures for the dead.
Alleys and pathways wind around the various vaults of the very prominent, making the way to the very back of the cemetery, to the resting place of the lowly of their society. The paupers field area of unmarked graves is located here, for people who couldn't afford to buy a vault, and had no one to offer a space in another vault for burial. Also in the back of the cemetery is where the Protestant and Jewish minorities were buried, separate from the Catholics, yet still allowed in the cemetery.
St Louis Cemetery Number 1 is the final resting place of a variety of characters; some of the very notable, others that were flawed yet good citizens, and some very infamous characters with personal issues as well.
In the notable category:
One can find the family vault of Etienne de Boré, King's Musketeer turned sugar entrepreneur and Mayor of New Orleans.
One can find the family vault of Paul Morphy, a world famous chess champion.
Also of note is the large memorial vault honoring the remains of the men who died in the Battle of New Orleans.
Flawed yet good citizens:
Bernard de Marigny is best known for his love of gambling, and bringing the game of Hazard (craps) to New Orleans, though he also served honorably on the New Orleans City Council and as President of the Louisiana Senate. Because of his debts from gambling, Bernard sub-divided part of his plantation into sixty ft lots, which he sold to individuals for home development, becoming a real estate broker for a time, making money to feed his habit and support his luxurious, spoiled life-style. At the end of his life, he died without money because of his gambling, which eventually ate through the family fortune.
Infamous characters with personal issues -
Model citizen turned Brigand, Barthelemy Lafon - Got off to a great start, as an architect, engineer, city planner for the City of New Orleans, making some great contributions. In 1803, when Americans began to flood New Orleans, he became Deputy Surveyor of Orleans County, and developed new housing and buildings in the Lower Garden District. However, after the Battle of New Orleans, he gave up his gifts and service, and joined the notorious Lafitte brothers, becoming a pirate and smuggler, being seduced by the thrills and easy, ill-gotten money. He died from yellow fever.
Voudou Priestess - Marie Laveau -She and then her daughter sought fame and attention through practicing Voudou "magic" for both the good of people and to bring negative consequences to those whom she thought deserved it. She developed a huge following and cult practice.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
There are numerous reports of paranormal activity, earning this cemetery the honor by some as the most haunted cemetery in the United States. Here are just a few.
When a grave isn't properly respected as a person's remains, and honor due them is missing, entities have become restless, and haunt the area.
((Liberty Hall * Gettysburg National Cemetery & Devils Den * Rose Hills Cemetery * The General Wayne Inn)
Sometimes having personal regrets about life's choices can cause restless spirits. (Dupont Mansion)
Voudou Priestess - Marie Laveau -
Marie began life as an illegitimate daughter of a neglectful plantation owner and a free creole women. She married at 18 to a Haitian free man. Marie became a hair dresser to the wealthy after he died. She began to practice Voudou, and developed a huge following, by doing both good works, and other not so nice acts through her supposed magical powers, conjured up from a dark power.
Her practice was based on elements of the Catholic religion, African religion and culture. Realists say that the results of her magical powers were based on the information she was able to gather through her hair dressing occupation and the vast network of informants made up of the creole servants, working in the wealthy households. Others say she actually used the black arts of darkness.
Why? Perhaps she was trying to get even or have power and respect from her father's class, and society in general, becoming something above her lowly beginning. Her many followers came from all walks of life, from the wealthy to the poor.
She did volunteer to take care of the sick along side the priest during the many epidemics which rolled through New Orleans, perhaps to develop good PR among the people, or perhaps because she did have a heart and a will to do good, underneath all her issues, and her quest for power and fame. When she died, her daughter, also named Maria took over her mother's Voudou cult.
Marie Laveau was buried in an unmarked tomb, not in the family vault. Because of the fame and attention she received through practicing Voudou " black magic", the authorities didn't want to turn the cemetery into a shrine for her followers. Her daughter Marie, also a Voudou Priestess was buried in the family vault years later, which may seem unfair to Marie Laveau, and perhaps has some regret about becoming involved with Voudou, as she is also seen praying twice a day at Saint Louis Cathedral-Basilica.
Entity of Henry Vignes' - Victim of a betrayal of a trusted person.
Henry was a seaman, who foolishly gave the papers to his family's vault to his landlady, who owned the building where he lived. He trusted her to be in charge if he died at sea. She proved to be of poor character, and she sold his vault for her personal gain. When he suddenly died, before he could seek justice, there was no vault to put him in, so he was buried in an unmarked grave in the back of this cemetery in the pauper's field area.
Suffering a sudden, unexpected death, especially at the hands of another can cause restless spirits.
(Fort Worth Steakhouse * County Line BBQ * O Henry's Roadhouse Building * White Eagle Pub & Hotel)
Entity of a young man - known as Alphonse - Never has gotten past his own demise, causing him the loss of loved ones.
He is lonely and misses his loved ones terribly. He seems to long for his home, and mourns his own death. This entity behaves like his life was suddenly taken from him, perhaps the victim of a member of the Pinead Clan, or a disease.
Like many cemeteries, there are restless souls here who cannot give up this world for the next for a variety of reasons. The entities described below go all the way and appear in a solid, human-like living form, and speak clearly to the living. They are mistaken for being real people. Perhaps they feel it would be rude not to do so, or are so upset they are willing to gather the energy to give the living the full paranormal experience.
Two of the entities were restless and upset, because they were buried in nameless graves;
one in an unmarked tomb, and
one in an unmarked grave in the pauper's field section of unmarked graves, at the very back of the cemetery, next to the Protestant and Jewish section.
The Entity of Marie Laveau - Was not a happy camper, for a very long time.
. * Her distinctive apparition had been seen in the area of her unmarked tomb, probably fuming, frustrated with the living, and longing for the fame and power she enjoyed during her life-time as a Voudou Priestess.
* Perhaps she has regrets about turning from her Catholic faith, dividing her worship with the black arts, causing her burial to be anonymously.
* She has been seen, in a foul mood, storming along a pathway, chanting curses, aimed at the living.
* She slapped a man who was passing by the area of her unmarked tomb. Perhaps he unknowingly stepped on her grave. Perhaps he looked a lot like someone she was furious with when she was still alive.
* Many believe that her death didn't stop her from practicing her black magic, using the powers of darkness. Some say she turns herself into a black crow or a big black dog. Both such animals have been seen roaming the cemetery. Many people leave notes, requests, and offerings on the family vault for her.
Entity of Henry Vignes' - In search of a vault for his remains.
Appears to the unsuspecting tourist or tour guide in a full, solid form, looking very much alive. He is described as tall, dressed in a white shirt, with piercing blue eyes, still looking for his family's lost vault, or a place in someone else's vault, so he could be properly buried.
It has been reported by witnesses, who are visiting the cemetery that the entity of Henry will approach the unsuspecting person, and ask if they know where his family's old vault, for the Vignes family, is located. He then walks away and suddenly disappears.
Sometimes this entity will tap the living on the shoulder, and ask, "Do you know anything about this Tomb here?"
At family funerals, Henry has asked the mourners if there is any room in the vault for his remains.
Lonely entity of a young man - Alphonse
This entity of this young man will walk up to the visitor, looking like a real, live person, will take their hand into his ice cold hand, and with a big smile on his face, ask for help in going to his home. He will start to cry and then disappear.
This same entity is very much afraid of the Pinead family vault, and warns visitors to stay away from it.
The entity of Alphonse has been seen carrying vases and flowers from other vaults to his own, perhaps to try to make himself feel better.
Evidence abounds, pointing to the restless ones who walk its pathways, searching for the something that keeps them in this world.
Throughout the years, the living have gathered evidence of Orbs, taken photos with entities in full form, recorded EVP"S, and experienced strange paranormal activity.
The entity of Henry Vignes' image has been seen photos, wearing a dark suit with no shirt. On EVPs, he pleads with the living, "I need to rest!"
The entity of Alphonse will also appear in photos, and his voice has been recorded on EVPs as well.
The restless, bitter entity of Marie Laveau - May have mellowed a bit. While her angry presence has been seen and heard by many eye witnesses throughout the years, she may have found some peace. Perhaps to try to calm her spirit, a plaque about Marie and her Voudou practice was placed on the outside of an unmarked tomb that possibly is her resting place, though none knows for sure. People have marked 3 XXX's on the outside of the vault, leave a note about their request, and leave an offering. When they believe that their wish came true because of her, they draw a line through the three X's.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
240 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
THE 200 year old ABSINTHE HOUSE Bar has long been found on the corner of Bourbon St and Bienville St.
“EVERYONE YOU HAVE KNOWN OR EVER WILL KNOW, EVENTUALLY ENDS UP AT THE OLD ABSINTHE HOUSE”
".....But our business is with the heart of things; we must go beyond the crude phenomena of nature if we are to dwell in the spirit. Art is the soul of life and the Old Absinthe House is the heart and soul of the old quarter of New Orleans."
This two-story, Spanish-style building that was constructed in 1806, is now owned by Tony Moran, who has three different service businesses in this building, making good use of its space. The outside of this building is very appealing, in great shape, as is the inside of this classic New Orleans structure.
Coming through the front door, the visitor enters JEAN LAFITTE'S OLD ABSINTHE HOUSE Tavern
On the first floor, the room in the front is still the home of The Jean Lafitte's Old Absinthe House Tavern. Its decor is a wonderful mix of the past and present. Along with the antique chandeliers, an 1860's lovely copper-colored wooden bar that can seat 50 patrons, marble fountains and brass faucets, one sees jerseys and helmets of beloved football heroes and legends, hanging from the bar's cypress beams up above it all. The walls are covered with business cards of their patrons. The walls throughout this incredible building are covered in the framed photographs of several of their famous patrons.
This original copper-colored bar was recently returned in 2004, after it was moved out during Prohibition.. After a 3 million dollar restoration project done in the tavern and restaurants, the bar once again is in its original place in this tavern.
This tavern makes old favorite drinks the old fashioned way. Patrons enjoy such drinks as there standard signature special, Absinthe House Frappe ( made with Herbsaint), Planter's Punch and Mint Julep.
TONY MORAN'S RESTAURANT is also on the first floor, located in the room at the back of the building. The upscale Tony Moran's Restaurant, offers fine Northern Italian Cuisine.
On the second floor is another upscale restaurant called Jean Lafitte's Bistro, which serves the fine flavorful New Orleans Cajun and Creole specialties. The combination of the Hand painted murals and the early 19th century art displays found in the dining room add so much to the "old world elegance decor" enjoyed by the patrons, and perhaps some visiting entities.
This two story building was originally built in 1806 by two Spanish Brothers, Pedro Front and Francisco Juncadelia as their importing firm's headquarters and place of business. They were very much like the neighborhood grocery store, trading through the barter system, for food, tobacco and Spanish booze. It is said the the 2nd floor area is where Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson planned the defense and victory strategy for the upcoming battle with the British in the Battle of New Orleans.
In 1815, the nephews of family member, Senora Juncadelia, became the owners. The first floor was transformed into a coffee house and saloon, called "Aleix's Coffee House". In the 1860's, the business at this coffee house sky-rocketed, after its saloon mixologist Cayetano Ferrer made a new drink, The Absinthe House Frappe, using a popular narcotic-like spirit, absinthe, which was very popular in Europe. This drink became so popular, that the owners of this coffee house changed their name to THE ABSINTHE ROOM. A special bar was built to serve this drink; the copper-colored wooden bar with its antique fixtures now seen in this tavern today.
Unfortunately, the side effects caused by its narcotic elements could be serious, causing hallucinations, delirium, madness and even death. Absinthe was outlawed as a dangerous drug in 1912, but safe substitutes such as herbsaint are used now.
However, it wasn't until the Prohibition era, that the authorities threatened to burn down the building, to make them an example of what would happen to those still serving absinthe. The bar owners quickly moved their copper-colored wooden bar out of the building to a warehouse in New Orleans, opening The Absinthe House Bar in the warehouse. It wasn't until 2004, that this original copper-colored bar came back to its original home.
THE ABSINTHE ROOM, eventually changed to THE ABSINTHE HOUSE, and was the favorite pub of many famous and well-known people, during its 200 year old history, including Oscar Wilde, P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Jenny Lind, Enrico Caruso, General Robert E Lee, Franklin Roosevelt, Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra. Indeed, the walls throughout this incredible building are covered in the framed photographs of several of their famous patrons.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
It seems that many entities who enjoyed THE ABSINTHE HOUSE building while alive, still like to visit in their afterlife, perhaps reliving the good times they experienced in this building.
Patrons and staff have had experiences with such famous entities as Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Andrew Jackson, "The Beast" Benjamin Butler, and even Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
The entity most encountered seems to be Jean Lafitte, especially on the 2nd floor. The members of the staff have many stories about this entity, who visits the tavern area, and especially likes the Bistro on the second floor, when he isn't checking out the living at his old Blacksmith Shop.
Other paranormal activity experienced by unseen, unknown presences.
Bar doors open and close by themselves.
Moving bottles and glasses around the bar area have been reported.
Chairs have the tendency to move back and forth, like a group of entities get together after closing hours.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This 1883, grand-looking Italianate mansion, is a glorious 3 storied, European-style Guest House, offering 20 rooms, from "very simple, to very grand decor", rooms, that each have their own style; something for everyone's budget! Besides offering warm southern hospitality, New Orleans style, The Columns' guest rooms have lovely antiques, amoires, unique fireplaces, old fashioned bath tubs to be enjoyed by their guests.
Lovely Italianate columns across the porch, and dentils along the roof line greet the visitor. A lovely wide veranda porch, called the grand front gallery, surrounds the mansion on two floors, making it perfect to eat outside on a warm evening, at their restaurant, which serves a delicious variety of the best of Creole, Cajun and Continental style cooking.
Going inside and touring the first floor is a glorious experience. Besides the glorious collection of antiques, the ceilings, walls and floors are quite impressive, in such rooms as Albertine's Tea Room, (dining and event room), Drawing Room, Victorian Lounge and Side terrace. One sees great artistic detail from the Italianate, pre-Victorian era in the rooms found here.
Tea Room: Is graced with overhead fans, concave mirrors, Victorian fanciness and French-stained glass.
Victorian Lounge: The Victorian Lounge is the perfect gathering place. It's decor is quite impressive, looking very much like a traditional European Pub. Besides a glorious dark wood bar and back, one is blown away with the glided bronze chandeliers, dark, carved woodwork. Such well known people who were guests on a holiday, enjoying good company and a drink here, include Cameron Diaz, John Goodman, Michael Jordan, Clint Eastwood, Rod Stewart, Michael Coustenu, Brooke Shields, and Harry Connick Junior.
Most impressive is the massive central mahogany staircase which leads up to the other floors, in full view of the "extraordinary square domed stained glass skylight in a stylized sunburst motif," found in the ceiling.
The downstairs is welcoming to all kinds of events, parties, celebrations and inspires a healthy night life at The Columns. Weekly musical entertainment ranges from traditional jazz to the swift beat of Brazilian samba. Restored period rooms are available for group events and dinners. Locals love to attend the Victorian and Christmas dinners, and other special holiday-theme buffets! Besides the other rooms already mentioned, there is also the Avenue Room and the ballroom area as well that are popular for a variety of events.
The Columns was the dream home of tobacco merchant, Simon Hernsheim, who spared no expense to create this beautiful abode in 1883, that was also built for entertaining friends and guests. In 1898, this mansion passed from the Hernsheim family, to a series of several other owners, who also used it as a family home. Probably in the early 20th century, it became an upscale boarding house, to help with the upkeep of this large property. From a boarding house for the well-to-do, it eventually was transformed into a small hotel.
The current owners, Claire and Jacques Creppel, have owned it and loved it since they purchased it in 1980, as a fixer-upper opportunity. In 1982, the property was chosen and listed on the prestigious National Registry of Historic Places. To fund their continuing restoration efforts, they have made the most of all the mansion's features and strong points; having fun serving the locals and visitor's alike, while making money at the same time!
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
One can speculate that the entities who stay here once lived here themselves over the mansion's long history.
Restoration of an old home can please the original entities, bringing energy to their beings, who are enjoying the building, and helping the living on occasion.
Perhaps some spirits have attached themselves to some of their former possessions; perhaps antiques found in the mansion. (Brumder Mansion * That Steak Joynt * MacArthur Military Museum * Governor's Mansion)
3 known gentile spirits, with impeccable southern manners seem to be sharing the mansion with the living.
A Male Entity - described as a well-dressed gentleman, becomes the kindly spectral host, checking up on the guests. (Olde Pink House * Bullock Hotel * Berkeley Plantation * Monmouth Plantation)
A Female Entity - likes to float happily around in a white attire, being noticed by the living in the ballroom, and garden area; two places a lady of the house would love to visit, watch the current activities, and remember her own wonderful experiences she lived there while alive... (Glen Coe * Mordecai Manor * T'Freres House & Garconniere)
Little Girl Entity - Perhaps the victim of disease or a dumb kid accident, has been seen walking around the third floor, in the area near the balcony. (Saint James Hotel * Robert E. Lee Mansion)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The smaller, the creepier. Lafitte Guest House is a 14-room Civil War-era mansion gives each guest the experience of owning a private villa in the heart of the French Quarter. Just don’t be surprised when the ghosts don’t obey that privacy. Young “Marie”, who allegedly died of yellow fever in Room 21 the mid-1800s, is popularly thought to roam the halls, flipping light switches as she goes. Meanwhile, her distraught mother can still be heard crying from time to time.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Le Pavillon Hotel
Sitting on the edge of downtown New Orleans, near the French Quarter, this hotel is one of the most haunted in the city. Over the years, paranormal experts have supposedly documented over 100 ghostly encounters from floating apparitions to spectors that have actually sat on the beds while guests tried to sleep. A room on the third floor is even said to smell of the rose perfume one ghost girl wears, who occasionally appears physically asking for a ride to the ship terminals.
This AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel has rates starting at $159 a night. They also offer a package called “Le Pavillon Haunted Experience” which includes a “seance-inspired” turndown service in the evening starting at $249 per night.
Le Pavillon Hotel
833 Poydras St
New Orleans, LA 70112
Friday, October 23, 2009
Constructed in 1775, the building was first a home to prosperous merchant Samuel Hermann, then it became a Civil War bordello frequented by Confederate soldiers.
Many report this French Quarter hotel is still home to the ghosts of many of these ladies-of-the-night, who often dance around the property. It’s said a dark-haired gentleman in a military uniform has also been spotted in the courtyard.
Rates for the hotel start at $209 a night. They also have a Halloween 2009 package that includes 2 nights courtyard accommodations, daily continental breakfast and two tickets to the Ghosts & Spirits Walking Tour, among other amentities, for $480 (double occupancy).
Dauphine Orleans Hotel
415 Dauphine Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This gorgeous hotel has been featured in several movies, ranging from Double Jeopardy (featuring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones) to the more recent 12 Rounds (featuring WWE wrestler John Cena). But the real reason most people stay here is the frequent sightings of the spectral kind.
In March 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days investigating the hotel and reportedly documented over a dozen ghosts. Other supposed haunted encounters include a locked restaurant door that opens on its own and an elevator that stops on the 14th floor with sounds and images of children playing in the halls.
Find out for yourself with nightly rates starting at $219, or indulge in the Halloween Murder Mystery Weekend 2009 package for $499 a person.
214 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Another beautiful French Quarter hotel, this lodging celebrates the haunted legends of New Orleans by offering a “Phantom of the Bourbon Orleans” package that includes two tickets to the French Quarter Haunted History Tour, breakfast and more for only $195 a night. Room only rates start at $135 a night.
But those that stay here may have ghostly encounters without even leaving the hotel.
Many have reported seeing and hearing spectral children running in the hallways. A lonely figure of a woman is said to haunt the elevator, as well.
Both are attributed to the hotel’s past life as a convent.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
717 Orleans Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This beautiful hotel in the French Quarter offers great amenities like free WiFi and continental breakfast in its low rates that start at $79 a night.
But it was once a Confederate hospital, and is reportedly still home to many a soldier ghost. Building #5 is reputed to be the most haunted, and over the years, guests have reported everything from ghostly apparition sightings to actual physical encounters that even include moaning sounds and mysterious blood stains that appear and disappear on their own.
1024 Rue Chartres
New Orleans, LA. 70116