Haunted St. Louis Cemetery
Final Resting Place of the Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau
I tried to write normal articles, but that isn’t me. So, I am back to writing what I love most: The spooky, the haunted, and the downright scary. I’m starting with the haunted St. Louis Cemetery, located in St. Louis, Missouri, of course—okay, it's actually located in New Orleans. It is touted to be the most haunted cemetery in New Orleans, which says a lot about a city that is already rich in voodoo and the supernatural.
St. Louis Cemetery opened in 1789 to replace the older St. Peter’s Cemetery after the great fire of 1788. It has a huge wall built around the cemetery in an attempt to keep the restless spirits from bothering the city’s inhabitants. The cemetery houses some pretty interesting characters like Etienne de Bore who was once a King’s Musketeer, but became a sugar plantation owner and, eventually, the mayor of New Orleans. It is home to the bodies of many young men who lost their lives in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 against the British. It also houses Bernard de Marigny, who served on the Louisiana State senate.
Although, Marigny was reported to have some gambling issues, it didn’t seem to interfere with his ability to represent his people. Last, but not least you have the Voodoo Princess herself Marie Laveau buried there. It is said she specifically haunts her unmarked grave, because she wasn't buried in her family vault.
Unwary visitors have reported being pinched and hearing Marie Laveau moan as she returns to her bare grave. Some visitors have even reported being slapped and cursed by her angry spirit. The amount of paranormal activity at this cemetery has given the cemetery its "most haunted" reputation.
Paranormal experts state that if a grave isn’t properly respected, or if the dead are not afforded the honor due to them, their spirits become restless and haunt the area.
Marie Laveau was born illegitimate and had her start as a hair dresser. It was later on in her life that she turned to voodoo and built her reputation as a voodoo practitioner. Even though she worked alongside a priest, helping the sick during the numerous epidemics in New Orleans, people were scared of her. When she died, they buried her in an unmarked tomb. Their reasoning was they didn’t wish to egg her followers on. Laveau incorporated her Roman Catholic beliefs in her voodoo practice, and to be buried in an unmarked tomb would cause any Catholic spirit to be restless, especially since her daughter was buried in the family vault.
Another restless spirit is that of Henry Vignes who was betrayed by a trusted friend. He entrusted the papers of his family vault to his landlady who owned the building where he lived. He expected her to take care of his remains if he should die at sea, which is a great possibility for a seaman. She sold his family vault, and when he was killed at the hands of another, he was buried in an unmarked grave in the pauper’s section of the cemetery. His restless spirit has been reported to haunt the cemetery and moan about having to no place to rest.
If you are ever in New Orleans and want a haunted place to check out, stop in at the St. Louis Cemetery, but be careful of Marie Laveau. You wouldn’t want to get slapped, pinched, or cursed at. Offering a gift or some sort of offering will calm restless New Orleans spirits, and in the voodoo practice a gift of rum is the preferred offering. When visiting Laveau, offer her rum and she might be more pleasant to having a visitor.
About the author
Verona is an aspiring writer living in Tucson, Arizona. She loves to write about urban legends and history. She is a proud member of the Horror Writer's Association (HWA) and the Horror Author's Guild (HAG).