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My Ancestors Gave Me a True Ghost Tour of New Orleans

I took a ghost tour when we were in New Orleans. But I didn’t book a reservation with any of the tour companies. My dead ancestors guided me around.

You see, with my heart of hearts I believe that when I went looking for the ghosts of my ancestors in New Orleans, I found them. Or, rather, they found me. It’s the only way I can explain what happened.

Wayne and I didn’t have much time to spend in the city. We were only there overnight. Wayne and I didn’t quite know where to start roaming the morning we disembarked from our ship and stowed our bags at the hotel. Even for all of the research I’d done pre-trip, I had failed to do one thing: map out a plan of attack for the day we’d be spending in New Orleans.

The only thing I for sure knew I wanted to do/see was the thing we crossed off first: take a picture of the St. Louis Cathedral.

St. Louis Cathedral

I wanted to do it for sentimental reasons involving a picture I have with my grandma and grandpa standing in front of it. (She grew up in the French Quarter. The photo I have is when they returned many years later after having moved away.)

So there we were, standing across from the St. Louis Cathedral near Cafe du Monde, looking cluelessly at each other. I’d taken my pictures. Now what? That’s when a ghostly whisper tickled my ear:

Find Marie Leveau’s grave…

It seemed sort of cheesy and, well, paranormal touristy. Didn’t all ghosts enthusiasts rush to see the Voodoo Queen’s resting place? I didn’t want to be so…normal.

But my gut told me to go. So I dragged Wayne back to the tourist information center and we got directions to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The oldest cemetery in New Orleans.

Even though Marie Leveau’s tomb is near the entrance, we walked the entire cemetery before we found it. (There were people cleaning hers. I thought it was a family tending to a family plot. I hadn’t wanted to bother them. But then we found out they were tending hers. That’s a post for another day, though.)

Volunteers cleaning Marie Leveau's tomb

After our trip to the cemetery we went to grab lunch. (At Acme Oyster House, which was the site of a Man vs. Food challenge.) Next, we briefly stopped back by the hotel (which was right around the corner from the restaurant) and asked which direction we’d head to find the Dauphine Orleans hotel. (I’d almost booked us there. I was curious to see what we may have missed out on, but also because of it’s history as a bordello.)

Anyway, that’s when our ghost tour of New Orleans really began. I was suddenly very much aware Wayne and I were not alone. And it had nothing to do with the crowds of other tourists clogging the sidewalks.

One of the streets in the French Quarter we were ushered down

I felt the presence of my ancestors. I felt them excitedly pulling me as they lead the way through the streets of their city on a hurried paranormal scavenger hunt of sorts.

They took us from haunted theaters to marketplaces, and past spooky stays and eerie eateries and pubs.

Le Petit Theatre (Currently closed to performances. But do all the actors know that?)


An obliging tourist smiles for us amidst the throng of shoppers in the French Market. (Wonder if he'd be grinning if he knew there were ghosts lurking about?)


Haunted Hotel (Where they have occasionally have vacancies, even though some guests never want to check out)


The Provincial Hotel (The ghosts of soldiers are rumored to haunt this building.)



Andrew Jackson Hotel (Buildings that once stood on this spot are gone, but some of those who once inhabited them are not.)


Flanagan's Pub. (A hotspot for ghost tours to meet at, but there are reports the ladies room is perhaps haunted by an ex-patron who took her life in it.)


Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (Buccaneer Jean Lafitte himself is said to be one of the ghosts who haunt this watering hole.)


Lafitte Guest House (It is thought that the ghosts who haunt here do so because burial ceremonies weren't followed properly. Mirrors weren't covered when the dead passed, which allowed them to remain.)



Old Absinthe House (Another "Lafitte" haunt. One of its famous patrons, who may or may not still stop in for refreshment, includes Marie Leveau.)



Maison Dupuy Hotel (one of the stops on the Haunted New Orleans Tours)

Curiously, I never did get to see the one place I initially set out to find: the Dauphine Orleans. Maybe my ancestors remembered when it was a place no respectable lady would purposely go and therefore did not help me find it.

However, they did lead me to two haunts which surprised me. Well, I shoud say my reaction to them was surprising.

Kind of like Marie Leveau’s grave, the LaLaurie Mansion comes up so often as being one of the most haunted, scariest places, that’s it’s lost some of its allure. I had no interest in looking for it, but my ancestor’s led me there anyway. Kind of straight there, which was weird.

I had a very strong reaction upon seeing it. I was first startled, then I wanted to cry. I felt such an overwhelming sadness. After I took some pics I just wanted to escape from it. I’ve never had a reaction like that to just seeing a place, without even stepping foot inside.

The LaLaurie Mansion (The things Madame LaLaurie was accused of doing to her slaves there are simply horrific. Maybe that's why I responded like I did.)


I was surprised to see a sign like this. I don't know why I thought it was cheesily disrespectful, but that's how it struck me.

Like St. Louis Cemetery No 1., another place my ancestors seemed to want me to see also had to do with Marie Leveau. This time it was the shop named after her.

I would’ve been very upset if we got home, I started thinking about all the places we should’ve seen, and I remembered this one. My ancestors were watching out for my peace of mind when they guided me here. Perhaps it was some kind of connection with my great, great grandma who shares a resting place with the Voodoo Queen?

Was super excited to see come across this store.


Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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