Walk into the past, and beware the ghosts!
Cemeteries can tell us such fascinating stories about the past – where people came from, how they lived and how they died. Nowhere is this more evident than in the above-ground cemeteries throughout New Orleans. Many local tour companies will escort visitors on haunted history tours through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on North Rampart Street, considered by many to be the “most haunted” cemetery in the US (and home to the grave and ghost of Marie Laveau, the “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans”). A less crowded and more tranquil alternative that should be considered by visitors is the Garden District’s Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, located across the street from the legendary Commander’s Palace Restaurant. The first planned cemetery in New Orleans covers just one city block but contains an estimated 1,100 family and society tombs. A few areas of the cemetery are somewhat overgrown and many monuments, gravestones and tombs are broken and crumbling, as the oldest date back to the 1800s when yellow fever and other epidemics were the story of the day. The outer sections of the cemetery are lined with trees, allowing dappled sunlight to filter through the darkness, adding to the moody and compelling atmosphere. Many movies and music videos have been filmed in this cemetery, most notably Interview with The Vampire. The cemetery is open to visitors Monday to Friday 7 am to 2:30 pm and Saturdays 7 am to noon. 1400 Washington Avenue, New Orleans. Beware the ghosts!
By Sue Manuel, AFAR Local Expert
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1400 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA