New Orleans is a city famed for its unique nature. Known for its tales of supernatural happenings and occult occurrences, it draws visitors from all around the world, many of them in search of spooky experiences of their own.
From the French Quarter, where fortunes are revealed to those eager to learn of their futures, to the low-lying swamps, where alligators lurk and cutthroats once dumped their victims, it is a place with a richly gothic past – and a present that’s just as alluring.
Here are three of the most famously haunted spots to visit for those hoping to hear a ghostly bump in the night.
Le Petit Theatre
For those who believe in the supernatural, there are many ways to commune with spirits who have passed. A psychic chat might offer the chance to reconnect with a lost loved one, with lessons learned and comfort given from the dearly departed.
However, you won’t necessarily need a sixth sense to experience the spectral beings who reside at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans. Most famous among them is a young and beautiful woman who, according to legend, took the eye of a long-ago producer and found herself promoted to leading roles.
When the man’s interest waned, she was unceremoniously demoted, and as an act of sorrow and revenge, hung herself in the middle of an opening night performance. The story goes that she can still be glimpsed whenever a show debuts, with her shadowed form seen hanging forlornly from the rafters.
O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub
Another haunted hotspot with a tragic backstory is O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub, which is said to be frequented by three ghosts, each locked in an eternal and violent love triangle. Legend has it that they’re Joseph Wheaton, his wife Mary, and his mistress Angelique.
Still performing her role as lady of the house, Mary is said to preside over the second floor of the building, where she can be seen flitting from room to room in her white dress, ever ready to keep an eye on goings on.
More tragic is the spectre of Angelique, who was killed by Joseph following a lover’s spat. Now found forever wandering the courtyard, she steers well clear of her former paramour, who is only ever spotted on the top floor.
Angry and vengeful to this day, he is reported to cause nausea and dread among any who have the audacity to climb the stairs and invade his privacy.
St Vincent’s Infant Asylum
St Vincent’s Infant Asylum also has a rather upsetting past. Built in the lower Garden District in the mid-1900s, it was home to children up to the age of five, all of them orphaned as a result of either the Yellow Fever Epidemic or the Civil War, which ran from 1861 to 1865.
While there is nothing to suggest that these children were particularly ill-treated, some of their spirits nonetheless continue to roam the halls. Now functioning as a popular hostel, dozens of different guests have reported hearing children laughing and/or seeing them running and playing in the grounds.
Even more eerily, a spectral nun has been spotted too. Usually seen slowly making her way down the main staircase, she most often appears in the early hours of the morning, meaning that visitors are probably best to stay safely tucked up in their beds until sunrise.
If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, which of these spooky spots would you most like to visit?