New Orleans Ghost Tours
All over America, this is the time of year everyone starts thinking about ghosts and vampires, voodoo and witches, serial killers and scary creatures.
Except in New Orleans.
Here, we think about that stuff all year, whether we want to or not! The dead are among us in many ways. Countless visitors go on cemetery tours to learn about our above-ground interment practices and even more go on ghost tours to hear the stories of the spirits of the departed who still mingle with the living in this 300-year old port city.
I give several New Orleans walking tours, but the ones I give the most are ghost tours. Born and raised in Louisiana, these are the spooky stories I have heard my whole life. My father, a master Louisiana storyteller, shared the stories passed down by our ancestors and even compiled them into a book in 1984.
I have been training for this job my whole life. And the Number One Question I get on all my ghost tours?
“Why is New Orleans so obsessed with ghosts?”
My answer? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but my theory it that it’s because we always have been.
We were founded by and ruled by Catholics, who looked for signs from the saints (who were real people who led exemplary lives then died) to whom they made daily devotions that their prayers would be answered.
Just one year after New Orleans was founded, the French began bringing enslaved Africans to this place, and with them came a new religion, rooted in ancient Yoruban reverence for spirits and ancestors and combined with Catholicism to create Voodoo, our own homegrown faith. Voodoo is all about communicating with the other side.
New Orleans police as early as 1870 consulted psychics in solving crimes and were baffled when the practice was mocked in northern newspapers.
In New Orleans, we never doubt that the departed are among us at every moment.
So, somewhere in the last thirty years or so, visitors to our city began to realize that they were curious about this culture that straddles the seen and the unseen world, and began to seek out people who had done the research and knew the stories. Everyone wants to go on a New Orleans ghost tour!
To be honest, there are A LOT OF ghost and haunted tours out there because the ghost tour, more than any other tour, is the one that visitors want.
How do I know I’m getting the best New Orleans ghost tour, you are likely asking yourself. There are so many to choose from!
That is a difficult question. It all comes down to the guide. There are good and bad guides in every tour company. Some are theatrical and over-the-top. Some are intellectual and subdued. It’s impossible to know what you’re going to get.
At Lucky Bean Tours, we offer pay-your-own-price tours for the traveler who wants an authentic experience from a passionate local guide. We are confident that our Ghost and Horror Stories tour will give you a great taste of New Orleans’ supernatural side, but if we are wrong, our guests have paid nothing up front so can walk away satisfied that they have received the tour they paid for.
Our tour departs every night at 7:30 near the entrance to the French Market.
What stories can you expect to hear on my tour?
Well, we start at French Market Place, which was once known as Gallatin Street, the roughest area of town that even the police would not patrol alone.
Another location we may visit is the Old Ursulines Convent. Who knows what secrets hide behind those walls?
We may visit the Lalaurie Mansion, where a rich. white socialite was horribly abusive to her slaves, as portrayed by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven,
or a humble home on Ursulines Street, location of a grisly 2002 murder.
Tour guests love the beautiful guest house where the lovely Marie still waits for the pirate Pierre Lafitte,
or the site of the deaths of five young boys who are now poltergeists at a famous French Quarter hotel.
We may see an empty lot where a two-hundred year old building mysteriously fell,
or an image of Christ next to a haunted alleyway.
On a New Orleans ghost tour, it all depends on the guide, but also the night, the phase of the moon. the inclinations of the spirits, and the spirits that want their stories to be told. We are always listening to them, because they are all around us…
Happy ghost hunting!
New Orleans, LA