I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite cities once again and had the time of my life. New Orleans is known for many things - Jazz, jambalaya and bare breasts on Bourbon, to name a few. But what I come to New Orleans for is more than that. Not only does this city have a community full of intelligent, passionate and cultural diverse individuals that I have a lot to learn from in many ways, but New Orleans is also steeped in interesting history.
New Orleans' history is far reaching - including pirates, french, Cajun, creole, the birth of jazz and of course, pre- and post-Katrina, In addition, there is a rich supernatural history laying beneath every twist and turn in the city. This would include vampires, ghosts and even Sasquatch, is you move out closer to the swamp. I have a multitude of reasons to love it in N.O. but if I had to choose one thing to share with you today, it would absolutely have to be the vast and beautiful above ground cemeteries.
There are a few famous cemeteries, brought to light my Anne Rice novels and teen vampire shows, that you may have known about in New Orleans already. Those would include Cemeteries like Lafayette Cemetery #1 (mentioned in many Anne Rice novels and seen on shows like The Originals) and Saint Louis Cemetery #1 (home to the tomb of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau and future tomb of Nicolas Cage). However, there are many more, dating back to the early 1800's that are open to the public to visit.
A few of the cemeteries I visited on my most recent trip I'd like to share with you, the first being Saint Louis Cemetery #2. Similar to its more famous sister, #1, this cemetery sits near the freeway and is open to the public without a tour or ticket. In this cemetery you'll notice an unfortunate amount of vandalism, including evident structural damage due to Hurricane Katrina. To further explain, this cemetery is made up of 3 separate, walled off sections.
I also briefly visited Lafayette Cemetery #1, however it was closed for repairs. I was still able to see inside the famous front gate and snag a few photos for you.
Lastly, I wanted you share the Jean Lafitte Historical Park and Barataria Swamp Preserve with you. To my delight, my airboat guide took us by this Cajun cemetery that ran flush with the wetlands. He first informed me that the hill seen in this picture is a 2000 year old burial mound and that the cemetery itself has been used for many tv shows and movies over time. My tour guide also mentioned that in all his time living in the area, he’s only visited the cemetery twice at night, as a young teenager. He claims he felt something touch him and that there is definitely something paranormal that remains on the grounds.
As is evident, Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, is brimming with beautiful cemeteries, many of which are decaying and changing by the day. Some are free and open to the public, some are private. All are most likely haunted. What’s your favorite Louisiana cemetery? Have you been to any I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments below.