The city of New Orleans in Louisiana prides itself for being the most haunted city in the US. Whether the city is truly haunted or not, whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you must come and experience Halloween in New Orleans. New Orleanites love a good party, and the grandness of the Halloween festivities in this fair city almost equals that of Mardi Gras. That’s saying a lot. You get to celebrate life amidst death in true Nola fashion if you holiday in the city on Halloween.
New Orleans has a long history of being haunted.
Nola’s claim to being the most haunted city in the US is not an empty boast. As one of the oldest cities in the country, New Orleans has a long history of witnessing death – from destructive wars to massive flooding, from sweeping fires to spreading illness. Hurricane Katrina is the most recent of these tragedies that have befallen the city. New Orleans is a city that stares at death’s face with a smile. A reputation for being haunted is just one of the city’s numerous survival scars.
Additionally, New Orleans has always attracted colorful personalities. Many of these people have left behind a legacy of mystery that have transformed over time into ghost stories. Take for example the story of Marie Laveau, the so-called Queen of Voodoo. It is said that in her time, people rose to and fell from power on the say-so of Madame Laveau. She openly practiced the art of voodoo by selling potions and spells, as well as performing rituals in public. According to stories, Madame Laveau’s apparition appears to her followers every year on St. John’s Eve. Her tomb is a shrine where people pay homage and prayers, as well as ask for blessings.
And then, there’s the New Orleanite penchant for drama. It’s not unusual for a New Orleanite to tell a story peppered with flourish and embellished details. Thus, a Nola-based ghost story may have started out as some commonplace incident that gained momentum over time with the addition of elaborate details. It may scare the pants off of you depending on how it’s told, but it could be nothing more than a tall tale told for giggles.
So how do you make the most of Halloween at New Orleans?
March with the Krewe of Boo!
No Halloween celebration starts in New Orleans without a kickoff parade by the Krewe of Boo! The Krewe of Boo! parade invokes the same kind of party atmosphere as the Mardi Gras parade. Floats made with fiberglass and papier mache make their way across the French Quarter, scaring and titillating participants and passersby with their horrific designs.
Just like at Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Boo! is led by a Grand Marshall. A Queen is also chosen for the night. The pair presides over the partying held after the parade. The parade itself signals the start of the Halloween partying throughout the city.
Dance the fright away at the Halloween New Orleans street party.
New Orleans becomes party central on Halloween weekend. But there is no doubt that the biggest party happening in the city on Halloween night is none other than the street party hosted by Halloween New Orleans.
This LGBT street party has been part of the New Orleans experience for the past 30 years. This year, the party will be held on October 27 to 30 at the French Quarter, with “Pirate’s Revenge: The Curse of Jean Lafitte” as the theme. You can mingle with the crowd in your most daring Halloween costume and groove to the beats cranked by A-list DJs firing up the party. The party’s proceeds benefit Project Lazarus, a Nola-based community for people living with AIDS/HIV.
Rave to trippy tunes at the Voodoo + Music Arts Experience.
If you forgot to bring your Halloween costume and you’re not up to prowling Nola’s numerous costume shops for your scary getup, you can spend the weekend partying at the Voodoo + Music Arts Experience happening on October 28 to 30 at the New Orleans City Park.
The Experience is sure to be a heady one, with 65 bands performing over the course of the weekend. Not only that, you can browse and buy art and handicrafts at the festival’s art market, taste the local wines and craft brews, and savor the local cuisine for which New Orleans is famous.
Explore NOLA’s haunted history.
Once you’re done with all your Halloween partying, you can enrich your Nola Halloween experience with a haunted history guided tour. Through these tours, you get to learn bits and pieces of New Orleans’ history while visiting places there that have become famous for ghost sightings. Among the popular stops on these tours are:
- the house where Marie Laveau and her daughter once lived and practiced her art;
- the LaLaurie Mansion, the former home of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a socialite who gained the reputation as the most evil woman in New Orleans for the extreme cruelty and torture to which she subjected her slaves;
- St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, the oldest cemetery in New Orleans and one of the most famous for its above-ground tombs.
New Orleans is truly a premiere destination for Halloween holidays. Book your trip to America’s most haunted city today.