Once a bar actually referred to as The Morgue Bar & Lounge, this Creole townhouse in the French Quarter has more of a credence to its former business’ name than anyone might actually suspect.
During the summer of 1853, you see, 625 St. Philip was an active morgue.
That summer, New Orleans was once more afflicted by yellow fever. It wasn’t a new disease—since the late 1790s, the Crescent City bore down with dread every Spring in the worry that once more the American Plague would strike again. Yellow fever held no discriminations; women, child, poor, rich, all were possible victims to the sickness should they be nipped by an infected mosquito.
The only people who were pardoned from the deliberating fear of death were those who had already suffered and survived. Yep, the only good thing to come of yellow fever was that if you survived your first bout you were thereafter immune for life. Then again, the likelihood of anyone surviving the disease was slim to none.
Those who were wealthy enough to escape the confines of the city did so, but the majority of New Orleanians didn’t fit that bill. In 1853, of the some 50,000 people who remained in the city, nearly 10,000 died in the span of three to four weeks. One-fifth of the population decimated, just like that.
There weren’t enough places to put the bodies, and residences throughout the French Quarter began to open their doors as makeshift morgues to hold the ever-increasing number of dead. 625 St. Philip Street was no different. Victims of crime, disease, murder and anything else one might be able to imagine were stored here . . . as well as in many other locations dotted throughout the city.
Today, 625 St. Philip Street is no longer an actual morgue nor is it home to The Morgue Bar & Lounge. (It’s actually Flanagan’s Pub and well worth a visit if you’ve got the time). But the hauntings have continued to persist, and many within the city wonder if the property’s time as a morgue aren’t completely responsible for all of the otherworldly phenomena.
Lights dim out in the bathrooms, dousing patrons in complete darkness. In other scenarios when it operated at The Morgue, the bar’s refrigerator would simply cease working . . . Well, until staff realized that the plugs had been pulled from the electrical outlets. The toilets, too, overflowed—but whenever plumbers were brought in, they never found anything wrong with the pipes.
Nope, it seems that the spirits at the now- Flanagan’s Pub are keen to stick around. Perhaps they are simply unable to move on from where they took their very last breath . . . or perhaps they simply believe they are still a part of the living.
Are you hoping to visit this former morgue? We have good news! No, it is not a morgue anymore, and for that we're very sorry. But! As we said, there is some good news here
Today, this former makeshift morgue can still be found...as it its current business is open to the public in the French Quarter. Will you have the good fortune for a ghostly run-in? There's no stopping you from taking a chance! Good luck to you.