Introduction: New Orleans and its Ghostly Residents
New Orleans, with its unique history, culture, and geography, has long been a fertile ground for stories of the supernatural, particularly when it comes to haunted hotels. The city is situated in a delta and surrounded by water, an environment that has nurtured various beliefs and practices, including Voodoo, Catholicism, and Spiritualism.
These traditions all acknowledge the existence of spirits or the afterlife, and have, over time, contributed to the reputation of New Orleans as a city of high spiritual energy. This connection to the spirit world is further reinforced by vibrant Mardi Gras traditions and colorful celebrations in honor of the deceased, like the famous Jazz funerals and All Saints’ Day ceremonies. Moreover, the city’s layered history, filled with tales of colonialism, wars, epidemics, fires, and floods, provides the perfect backdrop for ghostly tales and legends, particularly those tied to haunted hotels in New Orleans.
Known as one of America’s most haunted cities, it provides a rich tapestry of ghost stories and paranormal occurrences rooted in its storied past. Each corner of the city holds a tale or two, and where better to start our journey than its historic and haunted hotels?
Stepping into Hotel Monteleone is like taking a stroll back in time. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this family-owned hotel dates back to 1886 and boasts not just a famous revolving Carousel Bar, but also a literary legacy, having hosted a number of famed authors like Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner. However, its old-world charm is accompanied by a less tangible presence.
Guests and staff alike have reported eerie experiences, from ghostly apparitions in corridors to unexplained noises and even the feeling of being watched. Perhaps the most well-known specter is that of a young boy named Maurice Begere, a former guest who tragically died in the hotel, and is said to be seen roaming the halls or playing in rooms. At Hotel Monteleone, the spirits are as much a part of its history as the living guests who have graced its rooms.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel has a history as colorful as the city it resides in. Initially established as a grand ballroom in 1817, it was later converted into a convent and orphanage by the Sisters of the Holy Family in the mid-19th century. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it took on its current role as a hotel.
With such a varied past, it’s little wonder that guests report experiencing the unexplained. The most frequent sightings include ghostly children from its time as an orphanage, a Confederate soldier, and a mysterious woman dancing underneath the ballroom’s crystal chandelier. Whether it’s the rustle of a skirt in an empty dance hall or the laughter of unseen children, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel offers a stay you won’t forget.
Omni Royal Orleans
Positioned in the heart of the historic French Quarter, the Omni Royal Orleans is a symbol of New Orleans’ heritage. Known for its luxurious accommodations and unique blend of history and elegance, it is also famous for its ghostly inhabitants, adding to the city’s rich catalog of haunted hotels in New Orleans. Tales abound of unexplained phenomena, from objects moving on their own to sightings of spectral figures.
Among the most famous spectral residents is the ghost of a maid known as “The Crying Lady,” who is often seen weeping in the hotel’s corridors. In the Omni Royal Orleans, history isn’t just found in its architecture and prime location – it roams the halls and lingers in the air, serving as an uncanny reminder of the city’s rich and haunted past.
Dauphine Orleans Hotel
A charming boutique hotel located in the French Quarter, the Dauphine Orleans Hotel is steeped in history that dates back to the Civil War era. The main house of the hotel was originally a Federalist-style townhouse built in the 1820s.
Its May Baily’s Place bar, once a bordello, is notorious for ghostly encounters. Guests and staff alike report sightings of a Confederate soldier, known as “John,” wandering around the premises. Some even claim to have seen a group of ladies of the evening from the 19th century, still waiting for patrons in the bar. With these hauntings, Dauphine Orleans Hotel provides a unique link to New Orleans’ intriguing past.
Le Pavillon Hotel
Over the years, guests and staff have reported several resident ghosts. These include a 19th-century teenage girl known as “Ada,” who met her untimely demise in a carriage accident, and a couple dressed in 1920s attire. Paranormal activity is such a part of the hotel’s charm that a paranormal investigator was hired to communicate with its spectral residents. A stay at Le Pavillon is truly a step back in time, with a ghostly twist.
The Old Absinthe House
One of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter, the Old Absinthe House, has seen over 200 years of New Orleans’ history. Famous personalities, including Oscar Wilde, Frank Sinatra, and Mark Twain, were once patrons of this historic bar.
It’s no surprise, given its long history, that the Old Absinthe House has a reputation for being haunted. Staff and patrons have reported unexplained phenomena, from the sounds of invisible revelers to bottles inexplicably falling off shelves. Some attribute these incidents to the ghost of Jean Lafitte, the infamous pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico, who is said to have conducted secret business within the bar’s walls. Here, the spirits aren’t just in the bottles!
New Orleans’ rich history and vibrant culture are intimately entwined with tales of the supernatural. Each of these haunted hotels offers a glimpse into the city’s past and provides a unique experience for those seeking an encounter with the unknown. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, these stories add to the allure of this fascinating city.
As you explore the haunted hotels in New Orleans, don’t forget that many of the city’s ghostly residents have been known to become quite fond of certain guests. Will you be one of them? If you have your own ghostly story to share, or if there’s a haunted location you think should be on this list, please feel free to add your story in the comments below. After all, in New Orleans, you never know who might be listening…