Even when you travel, you can’t escape the feeling of chills rolling down your spine or the thought of “didn’t I just dream something like this”? Whether it’s a weird sound at night or just a strange coincidence, there are times in my travels when I think back like…oh, that was really weird, maybe even a little creepy. And there’s no place that makes me feel like that more often than New Orleans. With many of the buildings dating back to the 18th century, you’re sure to feel the weight of history on your shoulders as soon as you step foot anywhere between Canal Street and Esplanade.
New Orleans Ghost Tour Terror
There are no shortage of ghost tours to choose from in New Orleans. A few years ago, I went to New Orleans with a few of my friends. We scheduled a ghost tour for the evening, which was fun but a little cheesy. Our guide was from Arlington, Texas, but looked like Lestat from Interview With the Vampire.
As we walk through the cobblestoned streets of the French Quarter, our tour guide stops to tell ghost stories, but we never enter any of the establishments. On our tour, we stop at the Lalaurie House. A well-known ghostly spot, the history of the house dates back to 1832. The mistress of the house, Delphine, was known to throw lavish parties for wealthy guests while torturing her slaves behind closed doors.
Our tour guide is telling the ghost story in front of the house of horrors when there’s suddenly commotion behind me. I turn around and one of my besties is on the ground. She had passed out, randomly. There were a few seconds of unresponsiveness, but she quickly starts to stir. She came to with a little disorientation, and we were able to continue the tour soon after. She said it was due to an empty stomach, but it was a heck of a time to faint.
Stop at New Orlean’s Blacksmith Shop
Last year, I returned to New Orleans. This time with my family. We love the French Quarter, and the first order of business was to get a Purple Drink from our favorite spot, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop on the corner of Bourbon and St. Phillip. My brother had never had the drink before, so I was eager to have him try it. It’s nighttime. The bar is modestly crowded, and we pony up to the bar.
“Three purple drinks, please!” The bartender places three Styrofoam cups in front of us filled to the brim with a slushie concoction of purple alcoholic deliciousness. As we’re enjoying our drinks, we try to recount the ghost story of the place.
Known as being one of New Orlean’s oldest and most haunted buildings, it’s said that Jean Lafitte’s own ghost loves to make frequent appearances. The bathroom area and the space around the fireplace are said to be the most-haunted spots. We head out of the bar to continue exploring the French Quarter. But before we leave, we snap a picture in front of the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop sign.
Though nothing from this night felt creepy, it’s what showed up on the picture that creeped me out. It was a bright blue dot. And it’s in two different positions on two different pictures. Blue, fuzzy dots in photos are said to be ghosts, so that’s all I can chalk it up to. I’m sure any good photographer will have a solid explanation for it, but at the time, it felt weird. And it’s the only photo from that night that showed up like that, so I’m going to keep with the mysticism and call it a ghost.
Keep New Orleans Haunted
Even though I know that New Orleans is a super-haunted city, there’s something about the history, the culture and the people that continue to attract me back. I love NOLA, so a couple of spooky encounters won’t scare me away. I look forward to the next time, when I hope to visit the some of the same spots and creep into a few new ones, as well.