Weird Places to Visit: New Orleans
New Orleans makes me think of streetcars, voodoo, vampires, and above-ground cemeteries. If these images interest you, then plan a visit that includes the following. These are just a few of the odd places in New Orleans but gives you the flavor of this city of mystery.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum:
Carhles Massicot Gandolfo founded this museum in 1972. He was a local artist fascinated with voodoo. The small museum focuses on New Orleans or Louisiana voodoo, which combines African and European influences into the culture of New Orleans. The African slave trade brought voodoo to the city in the early 1700s but through the centuries, its voodoo has been influenced by Caribbean, Creole, and American cultures as well.
In the museum’s collection are antique voodoo dolls, taxidermy, and talismans, The museum also has a gift shop with such items as chicken feet, snake skins, potions, books, and candles. Staff practitioners.will also tell fortunes. Museum hours are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and most holidays.
Marie Laveau's Tomb:
Just a short walk from the museum is the final resting place of Marie Laveau in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. She was a famous and powerful voodoo priestess of the 19th century. Even in death she is revered and said to continue her magic. Her daughter, also named Marie, was a famous priestess in her own right.
The first Marie, born around 1801 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, was the illegitimate daughter of a Creole mother and a white father. During the 18th and 19th centuries in New Orleans, slaves, Creoles and free people of color practiced a voodoo incorporating African, Catholic, and Native American religious practices. Laveau worked as a hairdresser, but she became the most famous and powerful of the city’s voodoo practitioners, selling charms and pouches of gris gris (a combination of herbs, oils, stones, bones, hair, nails, and grave dirt), telling fortunes and giving advice to every social strata in New Orleans. Some believed she could even save condemned prisoners from execution.
Laveau died in 1881, and is said to be buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, in the tomb of her husband’s family, the Glapions. Although some scholars dispute this, it is mentioned in her obituary and is the most likely place.
The Saint Louis Cemetery dates to 1789 and is the oldest cemetery still standing in the city. Hundreds of 18th and 19th century above-ground tombs hold the city’s most prominent dead, including Homer Plessy. Known for their distinctive above-ground burials and lovely monuments, New Orleans’ historic cemeteries are all worth exploring, including the racetrack-shaped Metairie Cemetery and Saint Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Jean Lafitte's Old Absinthe House:
This legendary 200-year-old bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter was the site of the historic meeting of General Andrew Jackson and the pirate, Jean Lafitte, during the War of 1812. Jackson needed Lafitte’s help in manning his ships and fighting the invading British forces. Jackson agreed to Lafitte’s demands for a full pardons for him and any of his men who participated in the battle. Three weeks later, Lafitte and his men easily repelled the British fleet as it advanced up the Mississippi River—their last attempt to gain a foothold on American soil—and effectively ended the War of 1812.
Eileen Haavik McIntire will be participating in the following events:
Dec. 7, 2019 - Sisters in Crime Author Showcase, 1 p.m., Reston Library, Reston, VA.
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“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
— Franz Kafka
I love mysteries, secrets, strange people and weird places and hope to share what I find interesting with you on this website and in the mysteries I write.
For more about my mysteries, go to the 90s Club and the Shadow Series pages.
- Eileen Haavik McIntire
Comments from reviewers about my books:
The Two-Sided Set-Up - “McIntire’s latest novel is a fast-paced and multilayered thriller with well-developed characters and colorful settings...Most of the action is set in Virginia, and McIntire does a fine job of capturing the rhythm of its small-town life, from the friendliness of local business to the calm of quiet nights on the water. An engaging tale for aficionados of psychological suspense.” - Kirkus Reviews
Shadow of the Rock – “A riveting tale of time and humanity, highly recommended.” (Midwest Book Review) “A bold adventure....Chapters move quickly in a mixture of danger, excitement, and pure enjoyment...” (Foreword Reviews).
The 90s Club & the Hidden Staircase – “With plenty of humor and its own original tale . . .a must” for readers of cozy mysteries. (Midwest Book Review)
The 90s Club & the Whispering Statue - “A fun read....nostalgia and...social commentary, wrapped up in an engaging mystery novel.” (Foreword Reviews)
The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock – “An impressively well crafted and thoroughly entertaining mystery that plays fair with the reader from beginning to end,” (Midwest Book Review)