New Orleans, LA, is considered one of the most haunted places on the planet. With centuries of history including wars, natural disasters, cruel slave owners, and supernatural events, it's no wonder the city is teeming with paranormal activity. That's why we created this guide to show you where to find ghosts in New Orleans!
From pubs to plantations, these scary spots have racked up an impressive number of ghost sightings over the years. If you're looking to snap a photo of a specter (or share a drink with one), you'll want to check out the list below!
While many travelers think of New Orleans, LA, as a destination for food, fun, and history, there is so much more to NOLA than meets the eye. That's why lovers of the supernatural flock to the Crescent City for one thing... to see a ghost!
Yes, there are ghosts in New Orleans. If centuries of documented ghost sightings isn't enough to convince you, then come and see for yourself why NOLA holds the title of the most haunted city in America. There are several locations throughout the city that are rumored to be haunted by ghosts including soldiers, pirates, slaves, and the voodoo queen herself, Marie Laveau. This town is so packed full of spirits, that people have even reported seeing ghosts out in the streets!
If you want to know where to find ghosts in New Orleans, you'll want to start with 1 of these 5 locations:
French Quarter cemeteries, like St. Louis Cemetery #1 (pictured above), are popular spots to see ghosts in NOLA
Ghosts at a cemetery... who'd have thought!? Yes, it's true that the cemetery is probably the best place to find ghosts in New Orleans. The many graveyards in NOLA are home to the final resting plots of some of the most famous (and infamous) figures in American history.
Over the years, some of the most popular cemeteries have been made private. But there are still some awe-inspiring and extra-spooky cemeteries around town where ghosts are rumored to roam.
The tombs at St. Louis Cemetery #1 holds the remains of legendary New Orleans residents - photo from a guided tour by New Orleans Ghost Adventure Tours
Opened in 1789, St. Louis Cemetery #1 is the oldest in New Orleans. The frequent subject of folklore involving ghosts, ghouls, voodoo, and vampires, this seriously-spooky graveyard has more ghost sightings than most haunted locations worldwide.
Perhaps the most noteable spirit haunting the cemetery is the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. According to an excerpt from Stories from St. Louis Cemetery: The City of the Dead, Laveau was one of the most famous voodoo practitioners of the 19th century, and perhaps all of time.
Many visitors to St. Louis #1 report seeing a black woman, thought to be the ghost of Marie Laveau, wearing a head scarf and ceremonial clothing walking the grounds at night. But this spirit may not be as ominous as you think. Travelers worldwide come to Laveau's tomb bringing gifts in hopes of her spirit granting their wishes.
More ghosts sighted at St. Louis Cemetery #1
St. Louis Cemetery #1 Location: 425 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70112
This cemetery may not have the notoriety of St. Louis Cemetery, but it's beauty and supernatural presence is worth mentioning. Also, St. Roch Cemetery is free to visit, and its ornate gates and eclectic chapel are definitely worth the trip out to the 9th Ward.
The ornate gates of St. Roch Cemetery - photo courtesy of Infrogmation at wikimedia.org
The eerie St. Roch Chapel's doll body-decor is as creepy as it is peaceful, but unfortunately the church is currently undergoing major renovations. The church website does not currently list a date when the chapel will re-open to the public.
The St. Roch Chapel is known for walls adorned with discarded doll and mannequin parts - photo from flickr user Infrogmation of New Orleans
St. Roch Cemetery Location: 1725 St Roch Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Years ago, visiting the cemeteries of New Orleans was simple. Over the years, the city had to cut down on visitors due to issues ranging from littering, to vandalism, to wear and tear on the tombs. If you're looking for in-depth info on New Orleans graveyards including history, famous burial sites, and more, you should check out our New Orleans Cemetery Guide.
If you're ready to hunt for ghosts, you can reserve a spot on a haunted cemetery tour online. New Orleans Cemetery Tours are guided by a pro so be prepared to be SCARED... but also terrified by how much you learn about local history and culture through professional narration.
Click the "Book Now" button below to browse cemetery tours in the French Quarter and beyond:
As pillars of Louisiana culture, New Orleans plantations are a popular place to relive 18th and 19th century Louisiana in all its granduose charm.... and brutal past. It is this very same turbulent history that landed these plantations in some of the most popular films, tv shows, and novels of all time.
At Laura Plantation, guests can tour the "Big House" and original slave cabins on the property - photo from activity provider Crescent City Tours
Ghosts are a common sight out in the region known as New Orleans Plantation Country. While every plantation has their own "haunted history", there are two that stand out as having the most ghostly activity.
Myrtles Plantation is considered one of the most haunted places in America
From the second you step on the property of Myrtles Plantation, a chill runs down the spine. With vibrant grounds and an opulent manor house, the awe you feel surrounded by beauty quickly turns to dread upon learning the history of this exquisite piece of history.
Murders, ancient burial grounds, and a history of slavery have given this plantation the title of America's Most Haunted Home. Perhaps the most chilling story is "The Legend of Chloe". In this haunting tale, the ghost of a young slave girl appeared clearly in two separate photos. The photos were later verified by a National Geographic Explorer filming crew.
The ghost of a young slave girl was captured between the two buildings in this 1992 photo - This photo and more found at myrtlesplantation.com
If you'd like to visit the plantation yourself, you can book a guided tour of Myrtles Plantation online for a first-hand look at this truly haunted house. Just don't be surprised if Chloe sneaks into one of your photos!
Myrtles Plantation Location: 7747 US-61, St Francisville, LA 70775
Listed as one of the best New Orleans Plantations for history tours, as well as a common sight in stunning period films including Interview With The Vampire, Oak Alley Plantation is definitely worth adding to the list of where to find ghosts in New Orleans.
Built in 1837-1839 (nps.gov), Oak Alley's long-running history includes slave ownership, wars, and multiple landlords. Guests and staff regularly report such paranormal activity as cold spots, whispers, and the eerie feeling of a presence in the room.
To see the ghosts of Oak Alley for yourself, book tickets and/or a tour to Oak Alley online. For the casual ghostbuster, or family of psychics with young children, Oak Alley also offers a bar, cafe, ice cream parlor and gift shop on-site.
Oak Alley Plantation Location: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090
Hotel Provincial is a popular French Quarter hotel that many claim is a hotspot for paranormal activity - image courtesy of hotelprovincial.com
New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in the nation. A recent list by nimvo.com puts NOLA in the #16 spot for the oldest cities in the United States (founded in 1718). With so much history in one place, it's a surprise the ghosts aren't haunting one-another!
There are several haunted buildings in NOLA where ghosts have been spotted lurking:
This trendy French Quarter hotel was built over the site of a 19th century war hospital (travelandleisure.com). Staff and guests have reported the sights and sounds of injured military men screaming in pain.
Hotel Provincial Location: 1024 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The Le Petit Theatre from Jackson Square - Photo from Wikipedia
Dubbed the "most haunted theatre in the world", the Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre is a beloved landmark in the New Orleans French Quarter. Although many travelers come to the theatre for something fun to do in the French Quarter at night, there is more to this historic building than meets the eye.
Le Petit Theatre Location: 616 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116
The Parlor House of Madam Norma Wallace is a haunted destination in NOLA - image taken by a traveler on a ghost walking tour
It's not only cemeteries that are haunted here in New Orleans. The living run into the dead at work, the bar, or even walking down the street! It's no surprise that there are some genuine haunted houses down here in the Crescent City.
Here are some of the most haunted NOLA homes:
The LaLaurie Mansion was made popular most recently in the show American Horror Story, but this house of horrors was infamous long before Kathy Bates played the evil Marie Delphine LaLaurie.
Madame LaLaurie and actress Kathy Bates as the Madame - Image from FANGORIA/MURDERPEDIA, created by mentalfloss.com
If you are familiar with the story of the LaLaurie Mansion, then you shouldn't be surprised that the house is haunted. The horrid treatment of slaves in this home during the early 19th century by Madame LaLaurie was so appauling that in 1834 a local mob assembed and eventually burned it to the ground (New Orleans Bee)!
After the fire the house was rebuilt, and after centuries of transfered ownership, the home eventually landed in the hands of actor Nicolas Cage. A hollywood icon and local NOLA celebrity, Cage starred in such films as sci-fi thriller Wicker Man, and the smash-hit big screen adaption of Ghost Rider.
Nicolas Cage spotted during a ghost tour - pictured here with a tour guide from Haunted History Tours
Today, the building still is known to experience spiritual turbulence. While no visitors are allowed inside the mansion, you can view the home from the outside and try to catch a glimpse of a ghost roaming on the street or sidewalk. The best way to do this is on a haunted walking tour of the French Quarter.
LaLaurie Mansion Location: 1140 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The ghost of Royal Street is said to appear on the rooftop of the home located at 734 Royal Street. Legend has it that the ghost of 734 Royal Street is that of Julie, a mid-19th century octoroon mistress, that used to live at the residence. Octoroon is a term used for people with mixed black/white ancestry (1/8th black). They were also known as Creoles of Color in Louisiana.
Though the home may not be open to the public, it is said that on especially cold December nights you can see the ghost of Julie on the rooftop of 734 Royal Street.
734 Royal Street Location: 734 Royal St Unit B, New Orleans, LA 70116
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop bar on the corner of Bourbon & St. Phillip - Image by Lobberich on Wikipedia
When you stop into a NOLA pub you won't just get cocktails and craft brews, you'll get a double shot of scare with a side order of terror!
New Orleans residents love their food and drink. It's been a major part of the Creole/Cajun culture for about three centuries. It's no wonder that the city's many pubs and eateries are teeming with ghosts!
There are lots of haunted pub crawls made specifically for ghost hunters, but incase you want to hit these paranormal pubs and chilling cafes on your own, here are some of the best spots:
One of the oldest surviving structures in New Orleans and located in the heart of the French Quarter, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a bar as well as a National Historic Landmark. This popular spot for partying and nightlife also has a long history of nefarious deeds including piracy by no other than Jean Lafitte himself.
The ghosts found at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop include local legend Jean Lafitte. This 18th century pirate is depicted as an anti-hero in Louisiana folklore for both his misdeeds as a smuggler, and heroic acts during the Revolutionary War. Several other men and women who died in the bar appear as full-bodies apparitions, including a woman who took her own life on the 2nd floor (ghostcitytours.com).
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Location - 941 Bourbon St., New Orleans, Louisiana
Antique photo of The Old Absinthe House - Image from Facebook
We had previously written about The Olde Absinthe House in our blog covering famous drinks you can order in New Orleans, LA. But there is a lot more going on at this pub than Absinthe Frappes!
With over 200 years of history (even longer if you count the location prior to the late-18th century New Orleans fire), the Absinthe House is a regular who's who of haunted spirits. Famous NOLA and American legends including Andrew Jackson and Marie Leveau have been seen by awe-struck patrons and staff.
The Old Absinthe House Location - 240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Whether catching ghosts, or catching a buzz, check out our complete list of NOLA Pub Crawls in the French Quarter and beyond:
Now that you know where to find ghosts in New Orleans, you should probably know what to do if you see one!
Ghosts come in all shapes and sizes. The "guy in a white sheet" stereotype has been blown away by new technology that has accurately captured spirits in photographs, videos, and audio recordings.
The most commonly experienced apparitions include:
Different colored orbs - Floating orbs are commonly photographed. They appear as balls of light ranging in color from clear to jet black.
Full-bodied apparition - This would be a ghost that appears exactly as they looked in a living-state. They can be fully visible, or semi-transparent.
Red Eyes - Red eyes is a phenomenon where individuals see glowing red eyes peering from a dark or hazy location.
Mist or Fog - Many spirits reveal themselves as a cold and dense mist.
Although some ghosts can become aggressive or violent (aka poltergeists), most just want to go about their business or stop by to say "hello"! Don't be afraid to talk and interact with any ghosts you may find out there in New Orleans. And don't forget to snag a selfie!