Between 1719 and 1731 most African captives enslaved came from Benin, West Africa.
Voodoo derives from "Vudu" the Dahomean life-force (similar to the Roman "Gaia" or "Magna Mater" [Trans. Earth Mother]).
Believers in Voodoo believe in one central force and many lesser spirits (very much like the One God of Catholicism and the many, many saints).
Voodoo is above the mundane, but the lesser spirits (benign and malevolent) frequently concern themselves with day-to-day affairs and may be appealed to, as may Ancestral Spirits.
The "Ouanga" (a hostile evil-magic charm used to lay curses) was composed of the dried ground-up roots of the figuier maudit mixed with charms (bones, nails, roots, holy water, holy candles, holy incense, holy bread, or crucifixes etc.) and invocations to Allah, Yahweh, Jesus or any figure of power.
Louisiana voodoo has strong roots in Roman Catholicism. many Voodoo spirits are associated with the Christian saints that presided over the same domain. Other Catholic practices adopted into Louisiana Voodoo include reciting the "Ave Maria" and the "Pater Noster".
In Louisiana Voodoo Ancestor Worship is very important To this day reverential offerings are left at the resting place of Marie Laveau, La Reine Voudon; gamblers call her name on each role of the dice; her grave has more visitor than Elvis Presley.
A true practitioner of Voodoo will not refuse an appeal for help.
Most true Voodoo rituals are conducted behind closed doors as a showy ostenatious ritual is considered disrespectful to Voodoo and the spirits.
Voodoo is often used to cure anxiety, addictions, depression, loneliness, and other ailments. It seeks to help the hungry, the poor, and the sick as Marie Laveau, La Reine Voudon once did.
Voodoo Gris-Gris (Dolls) are made to bless, and the pin/s stuck into the doll are not to inflict pain but to pin a name to the doll.
Haunted Locale: The Tomb of Marie Laveau (& her daughter) & 1020 St. Ann Street
Born in Santa Dominingo in 1794, an expert hair stylist, Marie was also a Spymistress having a superb intelligence network. Who she worked for during the Civil War is unknown. She was a practitioner of magic, Voodoo (From the French "Voudon" perhaps a corruption of the African Fon Spirit "Vodu").
Marie died in 1881 and her daughter took over her role as Spymistress and La Reine Voudon.
Both the Laveau's are buried in St Louis Cemetery No. 1, and offerings are frequently made at their tomb/s.
According to legend, Marie Laveau returns to lead the Voodoo Rites on St. John's Eve (June 23).
She is said to haunt 1020 St Ann Street, her former home. Her wraith is may be recognised by the 7-knotted neckerchief she wears (a "Tignon").
In the 1930s a drifter slept in the Cemetery saw a gleaming nude women dancing, wrapped in a serpent outside the tomb, surrounded by naked dancing phantasmal attendants.
Legend has it that a man boasted and wagered he'd drive a nail through Marie's tomb. He was found, at dawn, nailed to the tomb with an iron nail, stone dead...
Marie Laveau and her daughter are to be respected and not insulted. Voodoo lives on in New Orleans.
For a little 'bonne fortune' we suggest you might like to "like" Marie Laveau, La Reine Voudon on Facebook.
Drawing of La Reine Voudon, Marie Laveau
Zombies are enshrined in popular culture as walking corpses, usually with homophagous tendencies. In reality, Zombies did exist. In Haiti certain "witch-doctors" with advanced pharmaceutical knowledge developed toxins that would... 1) cause paralysis 2) slow down respiration 3) slow down heartbeat 4) cause long-term brain damage. Their victims would then be buried alive, exhumed (!) by the witch-doctor or his vassals, and then in the state of auto-suggestibility created by the Zombie-Toxin would become an obedient, if somewhat slow and silent, slave to the Witch Doctor. In Haitian law it was made a capital offense to poison someone *even if the person was subsequently found to be alive*! The Zombie-Toxin is derived from organic indigienous Haitian Carib icthyoid poisons, distilled partly, I believe, from the Puffer Fish.
The Zombie Coffee Girls
Neil Gaiman, in his short story, "Bitter Grounds" writes of the Zombie Slaves who are sent out by their mistress to sell coffee to tourists in New Orleans. It is not impossible that Zombie slaves may been employed thusly. This may (and I stress *may*) be more than just a product of Gaiman's excellent and highly productive imagination!
St Louis Cathederal, Jackson Square
A few hours before dawn on wet nights, from time-to-time, an unknown man is said to have been heard chanting "Kyrie Eleison" between the Cathederal and St. Louis Cemetery No 1
Haunted Locale: 1447 Constance Street
In 1862 a coffle of slaves was found dying of malnutrition in the house by Union soldiers.
Two confederate soldiers posing as Union Soldiers who had deserted committed joint suicide here. During their time in the house they drank whisky and sang "John Brown's Body" again and again and again.
Since then the following incidents have occurred...
The owner of the house in the 1920's reported "seeing things"
Subsequent occupants speak of hearing the sound of heavy footfalls on the 3rd floor, screams, rattling chains, and passer-bys report seeing two men in blue holding whiskey bottles.
In 1936 the house was a blacking factory. A maintenance man working there alone at night heard the sound of one set of footfalls entering the room he was in, followed by another set of footfalls, followed by raucous singing and drunken laughter. The maintenance man, terrified, fled, and would not return to work.
Subsequently, the property was a boarding house. A widow staying in rooms on the 2nd floor had blood dripped on her through cracks in the ceiling, followed by the strains of "John Brown's Body"! She fled. Her relatives came and collected her things, seeing two men in blue watching them as they left.
In modern times, the area became run-down, and was the haunt of addicts, but the house was left well alone. They reported seeing two men in "police uniforms" walking through walls and singing "Old-Time" songs...
Haunted Locale: The Junction of Royal Street and Franklin Street
"As I was walking up the stair/I met a girl who wasn't there/She wasn't there again today/O how I wish she'd go away."
In the early part of the 20th Century a Creole (Louisiana French) woman named Madame Mineurcanal killed her dog and then committed suicide by hanging herself. Her house, on Royal Street, just off Franklin is allegedly haunted by her apparition.
In 1946 a boy named Ramon, and his sister, Teresa, would be in "Time Out" on the stairs he would almost always see a strange women, dressed in white with a small white dog. Teresa would call the women "Mini-Canal" having no idea why. Her cousin would mock her for this, repeatedly calling Teresa "Mini-Canal" in an intensely annoying sing-song that went on and on and on. After dark, Teresa's cousin woke up screaming, having been soundly slapped across the face.
On another occasion, Ramon Senior turned to embrace his wife only to find he was sharing his bed with the phantom!
Grandmother Ramon heard her infant great-niece crying, and went to the child's succour only to see a strange, translucent, women bending over the babe.
Other phenomena were reported including cold spots, moans and a dog barking in the attic.
Haunted Locale: 1240 Burgundy Street
Built in 1836 by Jean Baptiste La Prete, this property was rented in the 1850s to a very rich Easterner, possibly an exiled monarch from North Africa or the Near East or the Middle East. Oriental guards armed with curved daggers patrolled the grounds, and a harem of women and boys was moved in to the property. One night, persons unknown broke in and raped and butchered the occupants. The exiled monarch was tortured for hours then smothered in the Yard (to be precise the ex-monarch was thrust, burnt and bleeding, into a shallow grave and covered with earth).
Occupants of the house report strange phantoms in oriental garbs, phantasmal footsteps, and tormented screaming in arabic...
"JOE THE AXE" -- New Orlean's Very Own "Jack The Ripper".
From May 1918 to September 1918 the people of New Orleans were plagued by a series of attacks in which an axe was used, many of these attacks resulting in a fatality. These attacks are reminiscent of "Jack The Ripper", and, like "The Ripper" case, include a letter to the press (possibly genunine, perhaps bogus) from the attacker demanding Jazz be played throughout New Orleans at Midnight-15 A.M. on the night of Tues. March 18 to Weds. March 1919. Jazz played throughout the city (not an unusual event...) and no-one was attacked. Then again from Sunday 3 August 1919 the attacks resumed until October.
In all, between 1918 & 1919 6 people were killed and 5 badly injured by the axemen. His victims were almost all Shop-Keepers, and all the fatalities where Italian-American Shop-Keepers.
Mr & Mrs Joseph Maggio (MURDERED 1918)
Mr Louis Bossumer (MURDERED 1918)
Mr Joseph Romano (MURDERED 1918)
Mr Steve Boccak (MURDERED 1919)
Mr Mike Pepitone (MURDERED 1919)
In 1921 Mike Peptione's widow, Esther (Nee Albano) fatally shot a man named Joseph Mumfre. After his death, there were no further Axe-Murders fitting the profile of the attacks.
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At Tourist Update we are, and remain, skeptics. While there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, science has gone a fair way in terms of explaining the phenomena of the supernatural. However, there is nothing wrong with a Ghost Story and imagination.
Our beliefs do not extend to wishing to extend any insult to Marie Laveau, La Reine Voudon, in any way shape or form!