Having done the Cemetery Tour in 2006, we opted to take a ghost tour on this trip. The Man did a lot of research before we left Alberta and he picked the company Haunted History Tours because of the number of positive comments he had read about the company. While I sat and sipped my cappuccino, he made the online booking.
We arrived at Rev. Zombies Voodoo Shop on Peter St. at 8 pm. The night was warm with an almost cloying feel to it and the feel of the impending fog just rolling in. A small crowd was gathering outside as we walked up and someone happily slapped a Haunted History Tour sticker on our shirt. We had opted for the New Orleans Ghost Tour. It was a walking tour of the French Quarter and its ghosts.
We had a quick peak around the voodoo shop as we waited for the tour to begin. In the backroom someone was getting a reading while we peered at masks and images that were a bit disturbing but interesting.
Back outside people tittered and looked nervous. Were we going to be running into ghosts? Would someone jump out of a darkened alley and yell boo? No one knew what to expect and a strange current was running through the crowd. Some of them fortified their nerves with a drink while they waited – alcohol in anything but a glass container is allowed on the streets of the French Quarter.
Suddenly our tour guide was among us and directing us to follow him! With tentative glances at one another we launched into our stride and the crowd of about 30 people trooped after him. We gathered under a balcony while our guide stood on the street and introduced himself. Unfortunately I forget his name but he left quite an impression. He told us he was a licensed tour guide and that he had done quite a bit of reading about ghosts and vampires in New Orleans. He admitted his skepticism on a few accounts – actually throwing some out of the window – but he impressed on us his absolute belief in others.
He also asked us not to put our feet up on the old buildings and scuff them up. It was a very nice way to ask us to respect the Vieux Carre. The bricks of the buildings are very soft and can be easily gouged with a finger. We heard this on another tour we took and immediately a man tried to see what damage he could do. We were disgusted – but more on that later.
Our guide had us captivated from the first story of the bachelor spikes right to the last one of the Capuchin Monk named Pere Dagobert. When he told us the story of the LaLaurie Mansion the whole crowd held its breath. Considered the most haunted building in New Orleans it is now owned by Nicholas Cage.
Our guide was nothing but fantastic. He put on such a performance for us that not only was it spooky but it was incredibly entertaining. I highly recommend this company for any ghost tours anyone wants to take in New Orleans. On our next visit we will be taking the ghost tour of the Garden District. I can hardly wait!
My only complaint was the smoking. Most of you have read my rants on smoking and cancer. Having already done my journey with cancer and come out the other side – I am totally against smoking.
Our guide smoked. He didn’t smoke while he talked to us but he did smoke while we were walking from one haunted site to the next (which is an odd thing to say because reports say that every building in the French Quarter is haunted). I felt that because he smoked the crowd then felt that they could smoke as well. When one girl lit up right beside me and blew the smoke in my direction – I almost gagged right then and there. And it made me cranky. The total lack of respect for nonsmokers amazed me. We had to move to the back of the crowd to get out of the smoke and then we missed a lot of what was being said.
I recently wrote to Haunted History Tours and voiced my complaint. My one and only complaint. I was surprised when I received an email back immediately from the owner Sidney Smith. He told me he would be talking to his guides about this. I was very pleased with that. His words “we take everything to heart” said it all!
By the time the tour ended the fog was rolling in once again. Holding hands we walked through the cobbled streets of the French Quarter looking for our own ghosts. Once in a while I could feel the goose bumps suddenly appear on my skin and we would glance at each other and smile and move on.
Haunted History Tours – an experience that is well worth taking. You never know – your hotel room might be on their tour!