I love when people email questions seeking advice on planning their trips to haunted places. Here’s an email I recently received from someone planning a trip to haunted New Orleans:
My name is Kaylie, and my best friend and I plan on taking a haunted trip to New Orleans during the end of July and early August. We have read reviews of a handful of haunted hotels, but we would like your opinion on where we should stay and what the best tours are. We have had this trip planned since we graduated high school and are finally able to put the talk into action. We have looked at Andrew Jackson, Le Richelieu, Le Pavillion, and Provincial. Since we are college students, we would rather the cost be more like Andrew Jackson, but we want to make sure we get to experience the paranormal activity that the hotels and attractions “offer.” Your advice and guidance is greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time,
Kaylie, thank you for valuing my opinion and taking the time to solicit it. Here’s my take:
HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS DISCLAIMER
The first thing I have to comment on is this part of Kaylie’s email: “…we want to make sure we get to experience the paranormal activity that the hotels and attractions ‘offer.'”
I don’t know of any hotels or tours in New Orleans that “offer” paranormal activity. I don’t even know of any that claim too. Since no one can summon paranormal activity on demand (and if they claim they can, beware, be very aware…that’s some hoaxy fraud stuff going on right there), there’s no guarantee you’ll experience paranormal activity.
The best you can do is put yourself in the places where others have reported having experiences, but don’t expect anything. You can hope for something, but expecting it will leave you disappointed very fast because ghosts do things at their own pace and rhythm. They might not want to manifest when you’re there. That’s fine. You have to respect that first and foremost.
Okay, with that said, here’s how I respond to the rest of Kaylie’s email:
HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS HOTELS
The French Quarter may well boast the largest number of haunted hotels in the smallest area. I swear, it seems there is a haunted hotel on every block…if not more than one on every block.
I’ve visited the French Quarter a few times, but have only stayed at one French Quarter hotel: the Hotel Monteleone. (The other times I visited, I stayed with family.)
We didn’t experience any paranormal activity when we stayed at the Hotel Monteleone. (But they were kind enough to place us on the
thirteenth fourteenth floor, one of the allegedly most active floors.)
And that’s just it. Staying in a haunted hotel doesn’t guarantee you’ll experience activity.
So my advice, Kaylie, is to pick a hotel with a haunted history that’s within your budget and book it. Paying more for a room won’t make more stuff happen, you know? Nor will it increase the likelihood of it happening.
If the Andrew Jackson interests you, and it’s within your price range, my advice is to go for it.
HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS TOURS
Another thing we have not done in New Orleans is take any ghost tours. So, sadly, I don’t have any great advice on which tours are the most satisfying.
Also, I’m not always comfortable recommending tours anyway. What may appeal to me, may not appeal to others, and vice versa.
However, I will contradict myself a bit and recommend the tour of Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 for anyone interested in cemeteries. As I mentioned above, we didn’t take that tour. However, as we were leaving that cemetery after my ancestors guided me there, we saw the tour starting. The guides seemed very well informed and if we’d had more time I would’ve booked us a tour. It’s not solely a ghost tour, though. It just happens to take place in the cemetery.
I do have a couple other thoughts on tours for Kaylie:
- Ghost Tour Directory is probably her best bet for quickly seeing all the ghost tours and walks offered in New Orleans. There are a bunch, and not just ghost, but ones exploring the witchcraft, voodoo and vampires New Orleans is also famous for.
- If she has an Apple device (iPod, iPhone, or iPad), she might want to download the Wicked Walks New Orleans app. It gives you the chance to give yourself a self-guided tour of some of New Orleans most haunted sites, particularly bars. (Not sure if Kaylie and her friend are of drinking age, but haunted pub crawls are always a fun way to experience a city. Not to mention a guaranteed way of experiencing some spirits.)
My best advice when it comes to jaunting to haunted New Orleans is to just open up to the city. Whether you’re like me and have ancestors there or not, there are a lot of restless spirits roaming about. Listen. If you close your eyes and clear your mind, you can hear their whispers.
Happy haunt jaunting!