St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo 1: L. e. Dubin
Photo 2: Country Heritage Tours
Photo 3: Aeron Alfrey
New Orleans has a long-stand history of haunting stories in the United States. The city is considered a place where the dead never rest. Or in other words, no ground can hold them forever. New Orleans is home to America’s some of the most heavily haunted places, and one of the most prominent is St. Louis Cemetery. As the name suggests, the cemetery is home to hundreds of dead people, and some of them are said to be restless. The site has been in the news for more than 200 years for the paranormal activities happening here. The deceased buried at the cemetery include many wealthy landlords to poor people to the famous Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen, who used to practice Voodoo magic is Orleans. You can only enter the cemetery with a licensed tour guide.
Is the St. Louis Cemetery Really Haunted?
A big yes! A cemetery that is more than 200 years old, it’s pretty natural to be surrounded by spirits, but only those who believe can see them. The site is mainly visited by ghost hunters or those who want to investigate the haunted tales of the cemetery. One of the major theories behind ghost sighting is the number of voodoo rituals that have been performed here over hundreds of years.
When you think about the fact that the cemetery is around three centuries old, it’s understood that there have been thousands of people buried there. The number of ghosts is also higher if not the same. Below are some of the most famous ghosts you may spot in the cemetery:
1. Marie Laveau
Undoubtedly the most famous spirit of the cemetery is the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, who spent her whole life in magic, herbal medicines, and fortune-telling. According to several visitors, Marie’s spirit can be seen not only in the cemetery but also at her home on St. Ann Street in the city.
Dressed in red clothes with a white turban, Marie’s spirit appears out of nowhere and disappears quickly. We cannot be sure about whether her spirit causes any harm to people. Some people have mentioned that they’ve seen her, but she didn’t even come close, but others claim to get touched, pinched, or even scratched by her in the cemetery.
The most interesting thing among all is the practice to mark Marie’s tomb three times when you request her to grant your wish. People believe that if your wish is granted, you are supposed to return to the tomb with a gift. This practice led to extreme destruction of the tomb and surroundings. As a result, the Archdiocese of the city decided to close the cemetery and today, only licensed tours can go inside.
2. The Spirit of Alphonse
Another ghost that has been haunting the cemetery is of Alphonse. It is believed that the spirit of Alphonse is wandering around only to find a place where it can rest. Several people reported that Alphonse’s spirit once took a visitor’s hand, asking him to take him home. It has never been cleared which home does he talk about.
It is thought that he was betrayed or murdered by someone belonging to the Pinead family. The belief came after a fact that whenever a visitor comes close to the tomb of the Pinead family, the ghost of Alphonse appears out of nowhere to warn them to stay away. It’s clear from the stories that he has a grudge against the family due to which he lets his anger out on the visitors, but why he behaves so? Nobody has ever been able to find an answer.
3. Ghost of Henry Vignes
The tragic story of Henry Vignes can never be forgotten. In the 19th century, he worked as a sailor in New Orleans. Being a nomad who had to travel frequently, he never truly had a home he could call his own with no family by his side. He was finally able to reside in a local boarding house. The only thing that made him extremely worried was to save the important papers of his family tombs.
Before leaving for the sea once, he handed the papers over to the owner of the boarding house with a promise that they’ll take care of documents. To his bad luck, the owner betrayed him and sold the documents to the higher bidder. This tragedy took a toll on Henry’s health, and he died of sickness soon after what has happened. With no money left to build his tomb, he was buried in the cemetery with no mark. Today, according to many people, the blue-eyed spirit of Henry wanders in the cemetery asking everyone where his tomb is located. Sigh!
Other Ghosts of Cemetery
There are many other famous folks wandering in the cemetery. Some visitors have seen their spirits as well. These ghosts include the following:
• Paul Morphy: A world-renowned chess champion
• Bernard de Marigny: A famous gambler of New Orleans
• Barthelemy Lafon: An architect and a city planner of New Orleans
Visiting St. Louis Cemetery
You can only visit the cemetery with a licensed tour guide. There are many tours available in New Orleans to take you around the cemetery costing as low as $20 per person (adult). Make sure not to enter the cemetery at night as you might get caught by a spirit if not a security guard. Instead, book one of the many ghost tours that are considered the best way to go inside the cemetery. Chose your tour and enjoy your spooky trip to the St. Louis Cemetery!