St. Roch Cemetery is one of the least visited Cemeteries in New Orleans. Maybe this is why the ghosts of New Orleans feel soo comfortable hanging out in this historic Cemetery.
For almost 100 years, there have been ghost stories coming out of St. Roch Cemetery. And while our New Orleans Ghost Tours do not go to St. Roch Cemetery, it is certainly worth telling you about.
St. Roch Cemetery was founded by Reverend P.L. Thevis in 1874. During one of New Orleans’ Yellow Fever outbreaks, the patron saint of protection from epidemics, Saint Roch, was prayed to and was asked to protect the people of New Orleans during this epidemic. When nobody from the Reverend’s Church died of Yellow Fever, Thevis founded this Cemetery, as part of his promise to Saint Roch. He promised that if Saint Roch would keep his people safe, he would build a chapel to Saint Roch. This Chapel is now inside of St. Roch Cemetery.
Today, St. Roch Cemetery is one of the least visited large cemeteries in New Orleans. Any given day you can go there and find yourself there by yourself. Maybe this is why there are a number of ghost stories associated with St. Roch Cemetery. Ghosts seem to prefer to be left alone. And St. Roch Cemetery is a great place to go and be by yourself.
Perhaps the most famous ghost story associated with St. Roch Cemetery is that of a ghost of a dog which is often seen wandering through the Cemetery. On ghost tours in other cities, like Savannah, we talk about locations that have ghost animals. However, on our New Orleans ghost tours, we don’t get the chance to bring up this subject as there are not any haunted houses in the French Quarter which are haunted by animals..that we know of anyways.
The Ghost Dog of St. Roch Cemetery is described as an unnaturally large black dog. It has been captured in pictures and video, supposedly. I have personally not seen any of the photographs or videos of this ghost.
Now, a rational person would think, “Is it possible that this ghost is simply a stray dog wandering the Cemetery?” And that is a perfectly valid question. Here at Ghost City Tours we are always trying to bring truth and common sense to the stories we tell. And we’d be doing everyone a disservice by saying that this scenario is out of the question. Could the ghost dog of St. Roch Cemetery simply be a stray dog? It is possible.
The only reason we talk about this story is the fact that people have tried to approach this dog, follow it through the cemetery. Just when the dog is cornered and has no way of escaping, it vanishes.
Interestingly enough, the Saint which this Cemetery is named after, Saint Roch, was the Patron Saint of Dogs. Could this explain why the ghost of a dog is seen in the Cemetery? Maybe.
Another interesting ghost story that is told about St. Roch Cemetery is that of a hooded figure that is seen walking through the Cemetery. Now, just a hooded figure walking through the Cemetery would be strange on its own, it doesn’t make it a ghost. So, why do people think that this hooded figure is a ghost? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the fact that he has been seen walking through the walls which surround St. Roch Cemetery. Yeah, that is pretty ghostly if I must say so.
Imagine being a visitor to St. Roch Cemetery. You’re just walking around minding your own business, checking out the tombs and burial vaults which fill St. Roch Cemetery. All of a sudden, you see a man dressed in a black robe, his hood pulled over covering his head. Surely you’d pay attention, it isn’t a sight you see every day. Then, just as quickly as you noticed him, he walks through a wall, or simply vanishes into nothing. If that wouldn’t send a chill up your spine I don’t know what would!
This hooded ghost has even been seen walking through the Cemetery after the gates are locked. Nobody can get in or out, but for some reason, this ghost still wanders the pathways of the Cemetery.
Nobody knows who’s ghost this is. We can assume, based on his clothing, that he was involved with the Church, but we cannot say for sure. If you’re ever in St. Roch Cemetery and see a man in a black robe wandering around, follow him. You may be one of the lucky few people to see the hooded ghost of St. Roch Cemetery.