New Orleans does not celebrate Halloween. New Orleans celebrates Halloweekend (or #NOLAWeen). Because like every other holiday, us crazies down south believe that one day is simply not long enough to celebrate… well, anything.
So as NOLAWeen approaches, here are some events, haunted houses, tours, and sites that will keep you in the spooky spirit all week long.
A three-day music and arts experience featuring bands from Tool to Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Cage the Elephant, this annual festival attracts locals and tourists alike. Click HERE for all the information to find your favorite music playing on October 28th, 29th, and 30th. Don’t forget to wear a costume – and a different one each day!
Halloween New Orleans
Also known as Gay Halloween, Halloween New Orleans is a 4 day long party to fund-raise money for Project Lazarus, which provides a home and healthcare for men and women living in New Orleans with AIDS. With the Lazarus Ball, a neon party, and a second line, events take place from October 27th through the 30th, with tickets starting at $45. Check out their website HERE for all the info!
Oh, and did I mention this year’s theme is “Pirate’s Revenge”?
THE HOUSE OF SHOCK
This haunted house in nearby Jefferson is larger, offering live music and a full bar in addition to scaring your pants off. Reviews consistently scream quality, pushing this to the top of my list this Halloween.
Check out the deets HERE – if you dare!
The Mortuary Haunted House
The Mortuary on Canal Street is one of the scariest in town. I’ve been two years in a row! For tickets, location, and legends, check out their website HERE! Don’t forget to get your discount on their website, too. After that, all you have to do is enter…
The Chamber of Horrors
The least expensive of these 3.5 haunted houses, the Chamber of Horrors has been revamped to rival the likes of the Mortuary and the House of Shock. A portion of all proceeds support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so check them out HEREfor combined fear and fundraising!
Escape My Room
Alright, so here’s the “half” haunted house. The scary part is mostly that you get locked in a room. With your team, you have an hour to “escape” the room by solving clues and puzzles. Though there are a few of these in New Orleans, this one in particular uses the history of the DeLaporte family, so that you never forget you’re in the Big Easy. Check out tickets HERE.
Ghost City Tours is the only company in New Orleans that offers this Ghost Hunt Experience, which is four hours of searching for paranormal activity accompanied by experienced guides. They provide all the equipment (EM pumps, spectrum camcorders, etc.) and even send you all your recordings afterwards! As a ghost skeptic (yes, even after six years in NOLA), I thoroughly enjoyed this experience when I participated in April. Highly recommended!
Haunted History Tours
Covering everything from ghosts to vampires, Haunted History Tours offers a variety of tours to educate you on all of New Orleans’ creepiest stories and scariest secrets. Unlike the Ghost Hunt Experience, the intention is not to capture paranormal activity, but that doesn’t mean you won’t!
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Located a walk-able distance from the French Quarter in Mid-City, this cemetery houses the tomb of the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Like all other cemeteries in New Orleans, all graves are above ground due to the city’s geographical location below sea-level. Please note that it is illegal to enter this particular cemetery without a licensed tour guide.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Here’s another cemetery to give you the heebie jeebies this week. Located in the Garden District, this one is free and does not require a tour guide. Explore at your leisure!
Site for America’s first licensed pharmacist, the Pharmacy Museum features medical practices popular in the early 1800’s that make the modern patient cringe. Legend has it that bodies were buried in the building’s walls, resulting in regular hauntings. Only $5 to check it out!
Inspiring the character played by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie lived in the heart of the French Quarter at 1140 Royal Street. Torturing and experimenting on her slaves, LaLaurie is well-known in New Orleans’ history of cruel individuals.
St. Charles and State
For something less terrifying, but still very Halloween, take the streetcar or find a parking spot near St. Charles and State to check out some of the most clever and topical Halloween decorations you’ll likely ever see. Further directions: look for the house on the corner with the crowd outside taking pictures.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
This bar toward the end of Bourbon Street is known as the oldest bar in the U.S.! Legend has it that it was used for smuggling by infamous pirate Jean Lafitte in the 18th century. Further legend suggests that if you spend enough time there, you’ll encounter his ghost staring at you from across the bar. Whether or not that’s true, it’s as good an excuse as any to sit down for a drink!
Happy Halloweekend to everyone! Now go drink, dress up, and be scary!