Jean and Pierre Lafitte were smugglers who operated out of their blacksmith shop in New Orleans. Today, their shop is a bar on Bourbon Street, and one of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter. And with a past as daring and dangerous as Lafitte’s, it’s no wonder that stories of ghosts still echo through the establishment. The most common sightings speak of a figure who sits at the bar near the fireplace, dressed in the attire of a late 18th-Century sailor.
Just outside the borders of the French Quarter sits the historic St. Louis Cemetery Number 1. Founded in 1789, it’s the oldest and most iconic cemetery in the city. Visitors to the cemetery have frequently encountered mysterious figures, ghosts who apparently haunt the narrow spaces between the tombs. But the most famous resident, according to most, is someone that very few graveyards in the country can lay claim to: the Voodoo Queen, Marie LaVeau.
The house was built in 1836 for Joseph Gardette, who soon sold it to Jean Le Prêtre. After the Civil War, financial troubles forced him to rent it to a former Sultan from the Middle East. One night, the household was murdered and dismembered; the Sultan was buried alive in the backyard. Some witnesses have seen ghostly people passing from room to room, or body parts that vanish. The figure of a man has been seen floating through the halls before mysteriously disappearing through locked doors.
For years, this theater was the place where the most elite events were held. Masquerade balls, formal events, even European opera—if it was high class and exclusive, the Orleans Theater hosted it. But if the rumors are true, not all of that past is fun to remember. Today the building is home to a hotel, and many guests have heard laughter in empty hallways and invisible hands that tug on their shirts. Perhaps most frightening of all, however, are the reports about the ghostly nun in Room 644.
In 1828, Madame LaLaurie and her husband built a gorgeous three-story mansion on Royal Street, full of all the trappings that came with life in the upper class. They were also enslavers, and in 1834, one of the enslaved persons started a fire. The LaLauries escaped, and neighbors discovered nine tortured victims of LaLaurie’s abuse. The house was later used as a school for girls of color, many of whom complained about large bruises and vicious scratches they received from “that woman.”
Murial's resides inside a building with a haunted past far older than the restaurant itself. From sightings of the ghost of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, to unusual experiences in the Seance Lounges, this is one experience you won't want to check out for yourself.