Our day was filled with history, hauntings, fact and myth - regardless of what you believe, it was interesting! We started with New Orleans History Walking Tour of St. Louis Cemetery, the oldest in the Crescent City. The 1st cemetery, St. Peter Cemetery no longer exists, although we walked along the block where it was located in the 1700's. We were told that remains were recently found during construction in the area!
Our tour guide showed us the variety of above ground tombs from the oldest grave site to long wall vaults, family tombs and society tombs.
St. Louis Cemetery's most famous grave site is that of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. A most curious tomb will be the future grave of actor Nicholas Cage!
Our next adventure took us uptown for the Haunted Garden District Walking Tour. We started at - you guessed it - another cemetery! Lafayette Cemetery was built in the mid 1800's on the site of a former plantation. If these photos look familiar to you, it's because this cemetery is a popular movie location. Scenes from "Double Jeopardy" and "Interview With A Vampire" were shot here.
The haunted stories were a bit creepy - in 1847 nearly 3,000 people died of yellow fever. More than 600 are buried at Lafayette. As our tour guide explained, some were mistakenly buried alive! Sounds of screams and moans have been reported coming from the tombs - upon inspection, scratch marks and finger nail residue reportedly were found inside the tombs!
Our tour continued through the upscale Garden District, with it's historic mansions and haunted homes! Sandra Bullock has a residence here (not haunted) and author Anne Rice ("The Vampire Chronicles") owned a home here (very haunted!).
Two tours in one day was more than enough! We rode the historic trolley back toward the French Quarter, picking up a little street history along the way!
Our next adventure - kayaking on the bayou!