Haunted New Orleans: Voodoo, Cemeteries, Vampires and Witchcraft

“New Orleans can be very, very gloomy,” said vampire novelist Anne Rice when Where interviewed her in October 2001.

“Twilight can be oppressive and frightening, but it’s also very beautiful: The sky really does turn violet; the sunsets really can be blood red, and the cicadas really do sing. I’ve described it many times in my books. But as you walk through the streets, you can be oppressed by so much that is worn at the edges and broken. But that is also the beauty of it.”

Rice no longer lives here (she now resides in California), but her words still ring true. New Orleans, with its gas-lit streets and centuries-old aboveground tombs, can indeed seem creepy. Here, ghost and cemetery tours aren’t offered only during October but year-round, while vampire and voodoo legends take on a life of their own. In recent years the city’s supernatural side has become big business—and big fun.

Save Our Cemeteries

St. Louis No. 1: departs daily at 10 am, 11:30 am and 1 pm from Backatown Coffee Parlour (301 Basin St.). Lafayette No. 1: departs daily at 10:30 am and 1 pm from Washington Avenue gate (1400 block of Washington Ave.). Reservations recommended.

Hex: Old World Witchery

This magical emporium offers everything from herbal enchantments and candles to bless your home to voodoo dolls crafted by true practitioners and psychic readings by real New Orleans witches. Mention this page and get $5 off your reading!

Boutique du Vampyre

Searching for a set of custom-made fangs? Look no further than the nation’s only vampire store, where you’ll also find leather coffin cases, silver bullet jewelry and temporary bite tattoos.

Museum of Death

“Where the Big Easy meets the Big Sleep.” An offshoot of the original Hollywood location, this museum of the macabre showcases mortician tools, serial killer artworks and other creepy collections.  Open W-M, 10 am-6 pm.

Bottom of the Cup

In addition to psychic readings (palm, tarot, tea leaf), this 80-year-old shop offers a variety of teas and accessories. Crystals, amulets and other metaphysical gift items are also available.

Haunted History Tours

Meet guides 15 min. prior to tours. $25 adults, $18 seniors/students/military, $14 children under 12, free for children under 5. Voodoo & Cemetery, French Quarter History Tour–2 hrs. Departs daily, 10 am and 1:15 pm from Rev. Zombie’s Voodoo Shop (723 St. Peter St.).

Hotel Monteleone

A member of Historic Hotels of America, this legendary landmark offers 600 recently renovated rooms, along with the famed Carousel Bar. A rooftop pool, spa, three restaurants, and 25 meeting rooms are also featured. One of only three literary landmark hotels in the nation.