People travel to New Orleans every year in astonishing numbers. Yes, for Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and the occasional Super Bowl. But, there are many who come to New Orleans for more than just a party. They come to the Cities of the Dead for the history and the ghosts.
Some who come to New Orleans just want the touring experience and to hear all of the ghastly stories of New Orleans’ dark past. A dark past that particularly features the twisted tales of Delphine LaLaurie and the wandering ghost of Marie Laveau. The tours offered by us, here at Ghost City, are tailored made for these story seekers.
But Ghost City is not all about the tours, as we also offer the New Orleans Ghost Hunt Experience. This is the only real ghost hunt available in the City of New Orleans. If you want an overnight adventure, then Ghost City’s hunt is for you. We even provide all the paranormal hunting equipment that you could possibly need!
Aside from our haunted house at 1022 Royal Street, there are other locations in New Orleans for you ghost hunter enthusiasts to explore. Places open to the public! So, you don’t have to worry about being chased off by some angry old lady—well, not any living ones at least.
The locations that we at Ghost City are going to share with you are on public land. Meaning, they are open and free to all and you can even bring your own ghost hunting equipment.
Are you a neophyte when it comes to ghost hunting; well, then we recommend that you go on our Ghost Hunt Experience. As you will be given a tutorial about the equipment used in searching for all things that go bump in the night. And, how to properly use the equipment in locating paranormal activity.
Have you been on a ghost hunt already, and are now set for your own solo adventure? Then, you are in luck ’cause we know the places you should explore in New Orleans, but first you gotta have the right gear. So, just in case you need a refresher, as in what you should bring on your adventure, here’s a quick rundown.
Ghost Hunting Checklist:
* K2 EMF Meter
* Spirit Box
* EVP Recorder
* Mel Meter
* Full Spectrum Video Camera
For more information about ghost hunting equipment, we recommend visiting Ghoststop. They even sell kits.
Once you are ready and have your gear, you can begin planning your hunt. As promised, below you’ll find the best places in New Orleans where you can investigate the paranormal.
In a city with a past as blood filled as New Orleans, of course, there would be a designated place to have a duel. In fact, during the nineteenth-century New Orleans was believed to have held more duels per day than nearly any other place in the world. Remember, these were Frenchmen, and thus, they usually did not duel not with guns but with swords, musketeers style. Although, pistols were at times used too and became all the more fashionable after Louisiana came under American leadership in 1813.
Most of the city’s duels occurred at the poetically named location of Duelling Oaks (yes, two Ls). Duelling Oaks is located in the tranquil City Park, a place where young couples have picnics and families hold reunions and BBQs. It’s a place where children are free to play and fly kites. A place where retirees can talk about the good ol’ days, while they fish for nothing in particular.
But, the Norman Rockwell images you see at City Park today did not exist in the nineteenth-century.
Swordsmanship was the glory of the era and young, rambunctious men itched to showcase their skills, taking insult over the slightest display of impropriety. Two of the more common events that would lead to duels were suiters quarreling over a young lady, and of course, the ever classic, a heated political disagreement.
Whatever the source of the rivalry, the duo would inevitably find themselves under the Duelling Oaks in City Park. Apparently, duels became so commonplace that on certain days there would be as many as ten duels, a record first set in 1839 on a Sunday. Yes, that’s right: there were ten duels on one Sunday. Perhaps, this was not the best way French Catholics could have spent the Lord’s Day.
Many of New Orleans’ most notable men of high society faced their own mortality at the grounds of Duelling Oaks. For what, pride? These foolish men, whose blood soaked into the grounds of City Park, died in vain. It is because of their sinful pride that many of their spirits haunt the Duelling Oaks to this very day and make this location a particularly haunted one.
The slave masters of New Orleans were no saints, but despite their corrupt mindset, they generally adhered to the rules of the Code Noir (Black Code). According to the Code Noir, slaves were allowed to rest on Sundays after Mass. And, while the foolish slave owners dueled under the oaks in City Park on Sundays, the free people of color and the enslaved gathered together to celebrate the day.
Both the enslaved people and the free people of color would gather in the French Quarter at Congo Square. It was at this location that the people who were the real heart and soul of New Orleans would come together with friends and family. This was a time where they could let go of the pain and fear and become their true selves, if only for just one day of the week,
Congo Square was more than just a place to visit one’s family, it was a place where they could embrace their culture. A place where they could freely dance and play music. They could also shop for goods and charms. These charms would later come in handy for the rituals that would be performed until nightfall.
Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, was no stranger to Congo Square. She lived just a block away, and she regularly set up shop every Sunday to sell her highly coveted charms and cures. Laveau also used these days of celebration to gain knowledge from the slaves. The slaves would share with Laveau all of the gossip about their owners, and Laveau would then, in turn, use this information on the owners (her clients) to blow their minds during “psychic” readings.
In the evening hours at Congo Square, if you listen closely you may still here the ghostly whispers of the people who found Congo Square to be a safe haven, as their spirits still celebrate every Sunday. Some who have visited Congo Square have reportedly heard a disembodied collective voice, chanting “Queen Marie! Queen Marie!” a rallying cry shouted aloud as they all praised the Voodoo Queen.
Just south of the French Quarter, resting alongside the Mississippi River, you will find the picturesque park of Woldenberg. The park was named in honor of the philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg, who was a catalyst in developing the New Orleans riverfront.
While the park has only been open to the public since 1984 (since New Orleans hosted the World’s Fair), its history goes back almost to the city’s beginning when it was the former site old wharves and warehouses.
The park’s history, like most of New Orleans’ past, is a dark one filled with nightmarish sights and tales. This stretch of the riverfront was once the area of New Orleans’ port where slaves were brought after serving their quarantine in Algiers (across the river).
The site of Woldenberg Park was also home to New Orleans first burial grounds. Not just for the slaves, but for all of the souls who departed this earthly plane. As you might imagine, having a cemetery next to a river was a horrible idea. It’s been said that bodies often floated up from their eternal resting place, bones protruding from the muddy ground.
It’s for this twisted history that Woldenberg Park is the perfect location for ghost hunting. There are so many lost souls roaming about that one is almost certain to experience something paranormal while walking its grounds.
If you do not mind traveling slightly outside the City of New Orleans for your ghost hunting adventure, then we recommend the Chalmette Battlefield. The historic battlefield is only six miles from the French Quarter’s Jackson Square, just a quick sixteen-minute drive, less even if your Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe (fellow Pulp Fiction fans get it).
The Chalmette Battlefield was the site of the infamous Battle of New Orleans, which occurred on January 8th, 1815. Some argue that the Battle of New Orleans was a futile act of violence, as the treaty was signed months before the conflict took place.
But nothing was going to stop either side from fighting—pride and glory were on the line (a recurring theme). Despite the fact that the War of 1812 was over, with the Americans victorious over the English, this superfluous battle favored the English, as they heavily outnumbered the Americans.
Somehow, the Americans prevailed yet again. People were astonished by this latest triumph, calling it a miracle. Some accredited this miracle to New Orleans’ Ursuline Sisters, who gathered the night before the battle at their Convent’s statues of the Our Lady of Prompt Succor. It was there that nuns prayed for the help of the Virgin Mary, and their prayers were answered and swiftly at that.
If you visit the Chalmette Battlefield today, you will undoubtedly encounter some sort of paranormal activity, as the battlefield just might be one of the most haunted places in all of South Louisiana. So, be sure to prepare yourself for this hunting expedition.
If you are new to New Orleans, or just new to ghost hunting, then you should join Ghost City Tours on our New Orleans Ghost Hunt Experience! As previously mentioned, Ghost City is the only company in New Orleans to offer a real ghost hunt.
If you think that you’re up for it, our ghost hunts are held Thursday through Monday, with each hunt starting at 10:00 pm. The experience takes place overnight, usually wrapping up by 2:00 am. Our one-of-a-kind paranormal hunting adventure takes place at 1022 Royal Street, one of the most haunted locations in the French Quarter.
Ghost City also hold public hunts across the country. So, stay tuned as we roll out our announcements for the 2017 season.