Around the World with SWISSGEAR: New Orleans LA

‘THE MOST HAUNTED CITY IN AMERICA’

This Halloween, embark on a chilling escape to New Orleans, a city known for its eccentric culture and grueling celebrations. With a legacy of Voodoo intertwined in its rich cultural history, New Orleans conjures a grimacing experience each year with its prominent festivals and costume revelry. Outside of its Mardi Gras persona, this city has immersed itself in the supernatural, resulting from potent Catholicism, Native American, and East African influences.

From bone-chilling haunted tours to provocative street parties, the Big Easy does not disappoint in the scare factor. This city offers a plethora of activities and events for visitors of all ages, but for those who prefer not to realize their worst nightmares, historic mainstays like the Gallier Historic House Museum are open to explore any time throughout the year.

Yet, NOLA continues to inject its venom into people who can’t get enough of its vibrant thrill. Defined by dark tales, decrepit graveyards, and devilish getups, enter “The Most Haunted City in America” at your own risk–you never know who or what might be lurking around the corner.

Witness Paranormal Activity on Haunted Tours.

Wander into the oldest district of New Orleans and enter into a mystic portal of eerie tales and tortured spirits. Where tourists flock to and history resides, the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carre (“Old Square”), is the oldest section of the city and is speculated to be the most haunted.

Before embarking on a ghost stalk, avoid the jinx of being underprepared and bring along the SWISSGEAR 3592 backpack and SWISSGEAR 7635 Expandable Hybrid luggage. Organize snacks, essentials, and devices inside the sleek, black camo 3592 backpack. Boasting a sinister smoky look, its RFID pockets will block sneaky perps from stealing your info.

Designed to give utmost space in a small decadent stature, the SWISSGEAR 7635 Expandable Hybrid luggage can be spun through any ghoulish setting while still protecting your things. With a timeless ABS hardshell and polyester exterior, avoid freak accidents with its organized interior.

Ready with impeccable gear, step into a picturesque neighborhood and unveil the skeletons hiding in its shadows.

Haunted LaLaurie Mansion : New Orleans
Haunted LaLaurie Mansion : New Orleans

New Orleans Secret Tours.

Characterized by quaint romantic pockets of French cathedral architect and a jazzy soundtrack, the Quarter is dank with the presence of its past. A number of tours, such as the Haunted History Tour, Voodoo Bone Lady, and New Orleans Secret Tours, offer access to some of the most notorious ghosts dwellings in the country.

Expert ghost guides who also double as street performers are prepared to transport you into fabled quarters and animated cemeteries of the walking dead.

Stroll through the cobbled streets of the Vieux Carre and follow the footsteps imprinted by deranged legends and their gory victims. Stop at the infamous LaLaurie Mansion, where a cruel mistress tortured her slaves who would later try to enact revenge by burning down her mansion. While LaLaurie managed to escape, her slaves are still confined to the hellish chambers and can be heard wandering throughout the property.

The Local Hot Spots.

Up next is the corridors of a famous theatre perched at the corner of St. Peter and Chartres Streets, Le Petit Theatre. At first glance, this rustic building–accompanied by a vintage metal balcony–seems like a humble slice of theatrical history. But what waits inside is a spectral aurora bustling with temperamental ghosts. Each apparition has his or her own story of their demise at Le Petit, including the previous manager who shot himself in the lounge area and can still be felt presiding over the area.

Le Petit Theatre
Le Petit Theatre

Chloe of Myrtles Plantation.

Along the way, encounter local hotspots, each with its own resident spirit. Meet the party patrons of Arnaud’s and Bombay Club who refuse to leave the party even in their afterlife; Bump into Mam, a short-statured Creole woman who vanishes in and out of sight at Bourbon Pub; and hear the footsteps of a despondent young woman and her daughter at Cafe Sbisa and Chloe of Myrtles Plantation.

Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.

You can’t spend Halloween in New Orleans without commemorating Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Born circa 1801, Laveau was a creole Voodoo priestess who combined her Catholic faith with Louisiana Vodoun. A descendant of African, French, and Native American heritage, she first established her occultism reputation by working as a hairdresser and nurse.

Murmurs of her “powers” grew in the community until Laveau was the reigning Voodoo priestess who healed the sick, led Voodoo ceremonies at Congo Square, and sold gris-gris or charms to protect her clients from evil. After decades of dominating Voodoo in New Orleans, Laveau died at the age of 87 at her home on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter.

Her precedence can be felt at the Marie Laveau House of Voodoo and during a sojourn to her charming home possessed with mystic memories.

Marie Laveus House of Voodoo

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

Today, visitors can troop down to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and view the tombstones of Marie Laveau and other legendary figures. Where the tombstones of the living and dead collide, this 18th-century gravesite is cluttered with pristine pyramid tombs–like the one for actor Nicholas Cage–and centuries-old monuments with moss snaking through its cracked structure. This macabre site is only accessible via tour guides as loners may be seduced into the dimension of the unknown.

Multi-faceted history of New Orleans.

Learn about the multi-faceted history of New Orleans and resurrect Louisiana’s narrative at The Cabildo. A portal of paralyzed bloodshed and cultural staples, this revived museum serves as one of the most historically significant buildings in the U.S. Built between 1795-1799, the Cabildo was originally the main seat of government in New Orleans during the Spanish colonial rule but was also the venue where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Fast forward through the controversial Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” decision in 1892 and a ravaging inferno in 1988, visitors can now connect the dots of New Orlean’s complicated past with its colorful present.

Discover how death and life crossed paths at the first pharmacy to sprout in the country. The Pharmacy museum walks guests through the antiquated lab of Dr. Louis Dufhilo jr and his staff. Dating back to the early 1800s, Dufhilo practiced apothecary to fight against the deadly epidemics that killed thousands in New Orleans. His natural remedies and concoctions helped set the threshold for modern-day medicine. With signature artifacts stocked on hand-carved rosewood cabinets and herbs preserved in a green courtyard oasis, don’t be fooled by its angelic allure. According to old legends, Dufhilo was known to dabble in voodoo and experimented egregious procedures on slaves. In the dead of night, ghosts have been known to dismember its perfectly aligned decor.

The Pharmacy museum
The Pharmacy museum

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.

Continue to explore the legacy of voodoo at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and partake in first-hand rituals at Voodoo Authentica. Afterward, make the trek toward the Voodoo Spiritual Temple. The only formally established temple that focuses on traditional West African spiritual and herbal healing practices, pay Priestess Miriam a visit and learn the ins and outs of the religion.

And if looking to smuggle a spell-binging potion, Erzulie’s Voodoo Store stirs the most potent concoctions at its antique storefront. Be careful to pick the right suitor to remedy your unrequited love, these bewitched spells may be irreversible.

End your Halloween with Street Parties and Family Fun.

Apart from the phantoms of New Orleans, this city will never forsake its festive spirit. Even during the scariest time of year, tourists can dance off their fright at diverse fetes throughout the city.

Carrying the right backpack can make or break your experience. For a comfortable bag that will hold the family’s belongings and devices, the Swissgear 1753 ScanSmart TSA laptop backpack is the perfect option. This feature-rich pack has a front organizer pocket, a large main compartment, and a ScanSmart laptop compartment for your 15” laptop. Keep snacks for the little ones and flashlights for yourself stowed away in side pockets, and prevent your spine from deforming with its plush, breathable back panel and straps.

First stop for the entire clan is Krewe of Boo, one of the biggest parades outside of Mardi Gras Carnival. Featuring monster-themed floats, dance troupes, and throws, this festival crawls from Elysian Field to the Quarter before landing in the Warehouse District. Ride amongst the monsters and creatures or marvel from the street at the beautiful horror sculptures on display.

For a festivity the whole family can partake in, Scout Island Scream Park is dripping in fright. The newly renovated park offers a plethora of attractions, scare zones, music, rides, and food. This strange festival awaits the family with the creepiest crawlers and goblins you’ll ever run into–or from.

In recent years, Frenchmen Street has gained just as much notoriety for its bold and outlandish parties as Bourbon Street. On the day of Halloween, party goers descend upon the Faubourg Marigny and show off their vivacious costumes. From the array of small bars that stir up special elixirs all night to the never-ending celebrations, it’s a place where locals and visitors will be entranced by the night’s magic.

Keeping up with the Halloween tradition, Voodoo Fest is one of the most popular music festivals in the country. This festival is a multi-day event where a lineup of popular artists, a Cajun culinary event, and interactive art installations mingle to create a “gumbo musical experience.” And if you thought you finally escaped the haunted suspense, think again as this concert is known to lure the madmen, mystics, femme fatales, gods, and goddesses from all over the city.

You can never be too certain of the paranormal portal you’ve entered when celebrating Halloween in the Big Easy.

Enter “The Most Haunted City in America” at your own risk–you never know who or what might be lurking around the corner.

Author: Shanae Hardy

Shanae Hardy is the Copy Writer and Content Editor for Swissgearlife.com. With a knack for creating compelling content for audiences, she has experience in producing and editing digital content for magazines, newspapers, and digital platforms. As a passionate storyteller, she aims to display the diverse lifestyles that connect the world of backpacks.