Some years back, I had the chance to check one item off my bucket list- a ghost and vampire tour around the French Quarter in New Orleans.
I was mesmerized by New Orleans, especially the French Quarter, at first sight with its quaint buildings, narrow streets and party atmosphere but exploring the dark side of the city fascinated me all the more.
The guy at the ticket counter for the ghost and vampire tours told us to meet our guide at 7 p.m. outside a Voodoo Shop at near French Street. Before 7 pm, we were there–a mixed group of strangers who were either interested in the paranormal and supernatural and those who were just curious to learn about the dark past of New Orleans.
In the day time, the French Quarter is all so enticing with its rows of beautiful quaint buildings but when darkness falls, parties spring to life in the main streets.
It was a two-hour walking tour and our guide, an enthusiastic young man spooked us with his knack for storytelling. He led us into the other side of the French Quarter, away from the fun and lively street parties.
Our guide gave us endless goosebumps as we walked deeper into the darkened streets of New Orleans’ 300 plus years of history and mystery. We stopped by historically haunted bars and hotels as our guide regaled us with creepy stories of local hauntings, grisly tales of murder and crimes that took place at the same exact location.
We stopped across from the LaLaurie mansion where Madame Lalaurie was reported to have tortured her slaves, the St. Germaine House which was the home of the rumored vampire Jacques St. Germaine, and the street which used to be the old cemetery before it was moved farther to escape the flooding waters from the Mississippi River.
I was really getting into all the ghost and vampire experience when we did our next stop. It was an old three-storey apartment behind a modern seafood restaurant. Our guide pointed out that a woman who died in the building makes an appearance every now and then.
Then our guide directed us inside the restaurant and told us to rest, use the restrooms and order food and drinks if we wanted to.
I watch him saunter to the bar counter and the bartender gave him a drink.
Suddenly, the practical side of me emerged when we another group and yet another group came in and their guides told the same story.
The guides take the tourists to the restaurant and he brings business to the establishment when they order drinks and food. It was suddenly not scary anymore but funny how the ghost tours were attracting hundreds and hundreds of tourists to New Orleans.
I suddenly got tired and pulled my travel buddy to split from the group. We had enough of the darkness and ended up at a bar in the lively side of the city.
If you happen to be in New Orleans, grab a chance to join a ghost and vampire tour. If you don’t believe in the supernatural and paranormal, the ghost tour is still a lot of fun. Tickets are available from so many tour agencies online and in ticket stalls anywhere at the French Quarter.
For more adventures, check out www.travelwands.com.