Ghost Tours in New Orleans
New Orleans is a city steeped in history and mystery. While there were Native American settlers in the area when early explorers arrived, the first permanent European settlement was in 1718 when the governor of French Louisiana founded the city of Nouvelle-Orleans.
Inhabited by Native Americans, French, and Spanish residents, the area has endured an abundance of experiences. From the War of 1812 to the Civil War, from hurricanes to fires, the city has experienced its share of turmoil and death.
With a lively but dark past, New Orleans is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. If you feel you are up to it, you can brave the ghost tours in New Orleans with your family!
3 Ways to Take a New Orleans Ghost Tour
New Orleans Walking Tours
There are many tours you can schedule while in New Orleans. There are biking tours, food tours, walking tours, music tours, and just about anything you can imagine. We wanted to lightheartedly enjoy the superstitious history of the many resident ghosts in New Orleans.
After reviewing dozens of tour options online, speaking with the concierge at Hilton New Orleans Riverside, and searching out tourist pamphlets in town, we decided to take a chance and book an unconventional tour by a company we had never used before, Free Tours by Foot.
Free Tours by Foot offers guided tours of the French Quarter, the Garden District, and historic cemeteries. The premise behind the company is that participants pay for the service based on what they feel it was it was worth. Because there is no set price, the amount you would typically pay as gratuity to the tour guide is the payment they receive for the tour. As the website states, you pay as much or as little as you want, or even nothing at all.
Our guide was excellent. He was a balanced combination of funny and spooky. He welcomed children of different ages and included our girls in his presentation. We would definitely try another tour from this organization in the future.
There are many purported haunted buildings in NOLA. One building we visited was the Old Ursaline Convent. The convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, completed in 1752. With many of purposes through the years, the convent has been used as a religious center, a hospital, an orphanage, and more. The story of the building is told through relics and storyboards throughout. There is a nominal fee to gain entrance.
Another interesting place to visit is Madame John’s Legacy. Built in 1788, it is one of the oldest French Colonial structures left standing since it survived the great fire of 1794. The house consists of three buildings, all of which are accessible on a self-guided tour. The house also features a short history of Newcomb pottery. Admission is free.
Dine at one of New Orleans Haunted Restaurants
After all of this walking, you will have worked up an appetite. Be sure to visit Muriel’s at Jackson Square, home to several spirits and one of the most famous ghosts in town.
The land on which Muriel’s sits has been occupied since at least 1718. The most notable previous resident was Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who owned the house. He gambled the property in a poker game and lost his most treasured possession. Legend tells that he committed suicide in the house and his spirit lingers still today.
The restaurant maintains that all of their spirits are harmless and welcome. In fact, they keep a table set for Monsieur Jourdan with wine and bread at all times.
You may also enjoy:
- 4 Must-Try New Orleans Restaurants
- A Kid-Friendly Guide to New Orleans
- Enjoy the Best Beignets in New Orleans
- Read about all of our family vacations to New Orleans
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