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Do you believe in ghosts? All it takes is one encounter to make you a believer, and New Orleans is overflowing with ghost stories.
New Orleans, Louisiana (or NOLA), is a paranormal hot spot and has earned a top spot as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. If you ever wanted to have a paranormal experience, there’s a good chance you’ll have one in New Orleans.
This article will cover some of the most haunted places in New Orleans. From haunted restaurants to historic homes, we’ll cover all the spooky things that have made the Crescent City a popular spot for ghost tours.
- Most Haunted Places in New Orleans
- 1. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
- 2. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
- 3. Bourbon Orleans Hotel
- 4. Gardette-LePretre Mansion
- 5. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
- 6. Muriel’s Jackson Square
- 7. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
- 8. Andrew Jackson Hotel
- 9. LaLaurie Mansion
- 10. Mortuary Haunted House
- 11. Old Absinthe House
- 12. Hotel Monteleone
- 13. St. Roch Cemetery
- 14. Hermann Grima House
- 15. Place D’Armes Hotel
Most Haunted Places in New Orleans
1. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Address: 425 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70112
As the oldest cemetery in New Orleans (1789), you can bet there are a few ghost stories and creepy things going on here. After all, this New Orleans cemetery houses over 100,000 dead souls, and it’s still an active cemetery.
Some of New Orleans’ most famous residents are buried here, including Etienne de Boré, the first mayor of New Orleans, Homer Plessy, the plaintiff from the famous civil rights case, and Delphine LaLaurie, a horrible woman we’ll get to in just a bit.
Perhaps the most famous burial in this cemetery is the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. It’s popular to lay an offering of flowers or money at her tomb as a peace offering, though it’s not always effective. She’s been known to scratch, pinch, or shove people, so she’s not the friendliest of spirits.
This is one cemetery in New Orleans that’s not freely open to the public, and to get inside, you’ll need a licensed tour guide. You can jump on this tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, which offers many ghost tours a week.
As a bonus, you’ll also see the future final resting place of Nicolas Cage, who purchased a pyramid-like tomb right next to the Voodoo Queen herself. That kook.
2. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Address: 941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar was rumored to be the home base for Jean Lafitte’s illegal smuggling operation, which may be the reason he’s one of the ghosts seen here.
He’s often sighted lurking in the corner near the piano. Rumor has it that he buried his treasure here, so maybe he’s keeping watch over it?
Not all of the spirits here are friendly, though. As you’re sipping on your spirits, you might just catch a glance at a pair of glowing red eyes emanating from the fireplace. If you’re one of the “lucky” few who have seen these sinister eyes, you’ll know that this is one of the most evil spirits in NOLA.
Take a haunted pub crawl through the French Quarter to see for yourself. This ghost tour also stops off at multiple haunted New Orleans hotspots close by, including many on this list!
3. Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Address: 717 Orleans St, New Orleans, LA 70116
If you really want to immerse yourself in some haunted New Orleans history, book a stay at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
The building was originally the Theatre Orleans and had a very successful run as an international theater until 1881, when the Sisters of the Holy Family purchased it. The first African-American convent turned the theater into an orphanage for young girls and also the first Catholic school for African-American girls in New Orleans.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that it became the hotel it is today. The ghosts of children who once lived here can still be heard; their disembodied laughter is known to echo down the hallways.
Room 644 specifically is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a former nun who committed suicide here. Though the nuns have never confirmed or denied that it happened, guests and staff have seen the ghost of a woman in a habit standing next to the bed so many times that many believe the story to be true.
One of the most haunted places in the hotel is the ballroom. Known as the lonely ghost dancer, this ghostly woman in white has been seen dancing underneath the ballroom’s crystal chandelier, just dancing like no one’s watching.
4. Gardette-LePretre Mansion
Address: 716 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Also known as the Sultan’s Palace, the history behind this house is a little fuzzy. What we do know is that a merchant named Jean Baptiste LePretre owned the house from 1839 until 1878.
At some point, LePretre rented his home to the brother of a sultan, who moved in and surrounded himself with a harem of women, gold, and jewels. He threw multiple parties and seemed to enjoy life in the Big Easy.
As the story goes, it’s believed that the sultan’s brother was actually on the run. Clearly, he was not doing a very good job at laying low.
One night, a group of assassins entered the home and slaughtered everyone inside. When officials came to the scene, they found a note that read, “This is what happens to traitors.”
Many believe the ghost of the sultan’s brother still resides here. On some nights, you can even smell the incense that the sultan’s brother used to burn.
It’s a private residence now, so you can’t go inside, but you can take a French Quarter ghost tour that will pass by and share the full story.
See Related: Most Haunted Places in the U.S.
5. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Address: 1427 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
You’ll find Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the historic Garden District neighborhood of New Orleans.
Earlier, I mentioned that you can find Homer Plessy’s grave at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Well, you can find Judge John Howard Ferguson in this Garden District cemetery.
Flanked by a mixture of ancient oaks and blooming magnolia trees, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 was the first cemetery in New Orleans where non-Catholics could be buried.
Anne Rice was heavily inspired by this particular cemetery and included it in many of her works. The cemetery also makes a cameo in films like Double Jeopardy and the television show The Originals.
It ended up being the burial spot for hundreds of people who died of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through the city from 1817-1905, and many of those yellow fever victims are believed to haunt the cemetery today. You can take a tour of the Garden District, which includes a stop at this cemetery.
6. Muriel’s Jackson Square
Address: 801 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Tucked away in the corner of Jackson Square sits one of the most haunted restaurants in the French Quarter.
After the Great New Orleans Fire destroyed most of the city in 1788, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan took the opportunity to purchase the property in Jackson Square and turn it into his dream home. He spent years building a home he was proud of…only to lose it in a poker hand in 1814.
Rather than move out of the home he worked so hard for, he took his own life on the second floor (where Muriel’s Seance Lounges are).
It seems that Mr. Jourdan still can’t seem to leave his French Quarter home, even after all these years. The staff have grown fond of him, even setting a table just for him every night with bread and wine just for him.
The restaurant is included in this walking ghost tour, but I’d recommend you make a reservation at Muriel’s and enjoy a meal for the full experience. It’s not every day you get to dine at one of the most haunted restaurants in the French Quarter!
7. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Address: 514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Not much has changed in the former home of Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr., America’s first licensed pharmacist. Visiting the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is like taking a walk through a time capsule.
The museum is overflowing with hundreds of artifacts ranging from surgical devices to apothecary bottles and potions used by Voodoo practitioners. Even if you don’t have a paranormal experience, you’ll walk away with a great appreciation for how far we’ve come in the medical field.
Prior to 1804, anyone who apprenticed for six months could make and sell their own medicines without any regulations or standards. It wasn’t until Louisiana passed a law in 1804 requiring a licensing examination for pharmacists that America began to see the early foundations of what would become our medical system.
Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr. was the first to pass the three-hour oral exam, becoming the first licensed pharmacist in the country. He and his family lived in this French Quarter house until 1855, when they sold it to Dr. Joseph Dupas and his family.
The ghostly happenings of the museum are believed to be Dr. Dupas, who is seen wearing a brown suit with a matching hat. He likes to move things around and throw books from their shelves, often triggering the alarm systems in the middle of the night.
8. Andrew Jackson Hotel
Address: 919 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Another haunted hotel in New Orleans is the Andrew Jackson Hotel. About a century before it was the hotel we know today, it was a boarding school and orphanage for young boys who had lost their parents to the yellow fever epidemic.
Unfortunately, a fire broke out one evening, killing five of the boys inside. Their spirits continue to make their presence known, though they seem to be having fun.
The ghosts here are known to turn on the television and watch cartoons. Doesn’t sound too scary, right?
Well, Room 208 is the most haunted room at the hotel, and if you book this room, you might encounter Armond, one of the boys killed in the fire. He’s a bit of a prankster and enjoys pulling the blankets off of you while you sleep, snickering all the while!
See Related: Most Haunted Hotels in the U.S.
9. LaLaurie Mansion
Address: 1138 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Few places in the French Quarter can compare to the pure evil that resided in the LaLaurie Mansion. There’s no way to sugarcoat this one, so viewer discretion is advised.
Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy New Orleanian and a slave owner. She moved into the French Quarter mansion in 1832 and was known to host many lavish parties and be quite the socialite. But behind closed doors, she was pure evil.
She kept her slaves in deplorable conditions and even performed sadistic experiments on them in the attic. Neighbors even saw two young slaves jump off the roof to their deaths just to escape this woman.
One night, a fire broke out and quickly swept through the home. When firefighters arrived, they discovered seven slaves chained up and horribly mutilated.
It’s widely believed that a slave who was chained to the stove had finally had enough and set the place on fire. Good for them.
When word got out, an angry mob of 4,000 people stormed through the home, looting and destroying anything the fire had spared.
The loathsome Madame LaLaurie fled to Paris to escape the angry mob and eventually died there. Her body was brought back to New Orleans and buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
The horrific history of the LaLaurie Mansion was the inspiration for the third season of American Horror Story, where Kathy Bates plays a fictionalized version of her. The building that stands today was built in 1848 and has since become a private residence (that, at one point, Nicolas Cage owned).
While you can’t go inside, there are many ghost tours that pass by. Some of them go into more grizzly details of the horrors that went on there.
10. Mortuary Haunted House
Address: 4800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119
At the dead end of Canal Street in New Orleans lies The Mortuary, a haunted house that draws attention every Halloween…but not every scare is by a paid actor. This is one haunted house that’s actually a haunted house.
This building was the largest funeral home in New Orleans for almost a century. Flanked by cemeteries on all sides, the funeral home had a solid run for 80 years before finally being converted into a haunted house attraction.
Resident ghosts here include a female spirit and two young children. The woman keeps to the top floor and can be heard crying, presumably for her husband.
The two children are known to play harmless pranks on the living, and you might even hear the sounds of laughter when you realize they’ve moved one of your belongings. The Mortuary doesn’t offer ghost tours anymore, but the escape rooms are open year-round. During Halloween, it’s one of the most popular haunted attractions in New Orleans.
See Related: Do You Need a Rental Car in New Orleans?
11. Old Absinthe House
Address: 240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70112
The original building was built in 1752 but was another victim of the 1788 Great Friday Fire. It was rebuilt in 1806 and had a successful run as a grocery store for about 40 years.
In 1846, it became Aleix’s Coffee House, a popular speakeasy for locals to swing by and enjoy a few cocktails, maybe a few drugs, and absinthe, which was growing in popularity at the time. It was renamed in 1874 to “The Absinthe Room” and became known for its signature drink, the Absinthe House Frappe.
Today, the Old Absinthe House is the place to be. Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Franklin Roosevelt, and Frank Sinatra are just a few of the famous names who have sidled up to the bar here.
It was also rumored to be the location where Andrew Jackson met with the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte to discuss the pirate’s aid prior to the Battle of 1815. Maybe that’s why Jean Lafitte is one of the many ghosts that have been seen here.
Other ghostly sightings include Andrew Jackson and even Marie Laveau, our favorite Voodoo Queen. Take a historic pub crawl through New Orleans and treat yourself to an absinthe cocktail from this historic bar.
12. Hotel Monteleone
Address: 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Jacques and Josephine Begere and their son, Maurice, were staying at the hotel one night in the late 1800s. They had left him with a nanny while they went to enjoy a night at the opera, but Maurice developed a fever and died in his room.
Josephine never got over the loss of her son. She returned to the hotel every year, hoping that Maurice would appear to her. One year, he did.
While Josephine was staying on the 14th floor, her son appeared to her and said, “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m fine.” Which allowed the grief-stricken mother the opportunity to move on.
Maurice seems to enjoy the 14th floor and has been seen by several guests over the years.
One guest woke up to find the ghost of Maurice walking at the foot of her bed, only to quickly disappear when he was noticed. You can request a room on the 14th floor of the Hotel Monteleone if you want to see for yourself!
See Related: Best Spring Break Destinations for Families
13. St. Roch Cemetery
Address: 1725 St Roch Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Reverend P.L. Thevis prayed to St. Roch to protect his congregation from the yellow fever epidemic. In return, he would build a shrine in his honor.
St. Roch is the patron saint of protection from epidemics, a good patron saint to keep in mind these days. After no one from his congregation died from yellow fever, he made good on his end of the deal.
It’s one of the least visited cemeteries in New Orleans, and you could very easily be the only one during your visit. Well, aside from the ghosts in this haunted cemetery, that is.
But this isn’t your normal ghost; the ghost at St. Roch Cemetery is actually a large black dog! He has been seen frolicking around the cemetery, and when you go up to him, he will vanish into thin air. Perhaps his owner is buried here, and he’s staying loyal even in the afterlife.
14. Hermann Grima House
Address: 820 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112
The Grima family was a large, wealthy Confederate family who abandoned the home when Union soldiers took over NOLA during the Civil War. The soldiers moved into the house and used the home as barracks, and even did a little target practice on the walls. You can still see some of the bullet holes during your visit.
It seems like the Grima family still resides here, and they seem much more friendly than the ghosts of the Union soldiers. Take a tour of the Hermann-Grima house to learn more.
Ghosts of the Grima family are known to fill the rooms with the smell of roses or lavender and heat up the house during winter. Thoughtful, right?
Well, the Union soldier ghosts aren’t as friendly, and they’ve been known to punch and pull at guests who enter the wine cellar or walk up the grand staircase. Guess they’re not a fan of what they might regard as reb’ sympathizers!
See Related: Best Halloween Cities to Visit in the US
15. Place D’Armes Hotel
Address: 625 St. Ann St., New Orleans, LA 70116
If you’re looking for another haunted hotel in New Orleans, the Place d’Armes Hotel might give you more than you bargained for! Once the home of the first school in French Colonial Louisiana, the original building went up in flames in the 1700s, killing many of the students and teachers inside.
One of the most frequent ghostly sightings here is a bearded fellow who many believe to be the headmaster of the school. He’s often seen enjoying the scenery on the balcony and is known to get pretty chatty with the guests.
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- About the Author
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Jacks is a New Orleans native passionate about exploring the Arctic region. She’s a frequent writer and contributor to Only in Your State. A mediocre ukulele player, photographer, and artist, she thrives on spontaneous solo adventures and encourages everyone to follow the deal, not the destination. When she’s not traveling, she’s feeding the neighborhood crows, squirrels, and bluejays that have befriended her, much to the dismay of her cat, Tugger.