Haunted History – The Andrew Jackson Hotel

ajI have another bit of haunted history for you, this one hales from the Crescent city, of course, New Orleans.  At 919 Royal street stands the Andrew Jackson Hotel, which is crazy haunted, but it’s not as much as the 127 year old hotel, as it is the lot that it stands on.  Let me give you a bit of the backstory here, it’s pretty interesting!

18th century New Orleans was a cesspool of filth, disease and death with epidemics ravaging the city nearly every summer.  Childhood mortality rates were insane but surprisingly, men between the age of 15-40 seemed most susceptible to disease, and death.  Their death meant leaving a wife and several children without a head of household, rendering them destitute.  With so many orphans roaming the streets, In 1792 the Spanish colonial government built a boarding school, basically an orphanage, on the very spot where the Andrew Jackson hotel now sits.

So for two years there was some semblance of normalcy in these kids lives, but those of you that know New Orleans history also know that two years after the boarding school opened, in 1794, massive fires consumed most of the buildings in this area of the city, the orphanage included.  Several boys were said to have perished in the flames.

After the fire another building was erected on the lot, the Federal Courthouse, the same courthouse where General Jackson was indicted for contempt of court and was charged with obstruction of justice because he refused to answer interrogation questions.  Well, we all know how that turned out, he went on to be president!  So  the courthouse remained on this lot until the early 1900’s so basically a century of sentences were handed down, decades of drama and heartache surely seeped into the very soil where the building sat.  And then the building was demolished and the Andrew Jackson hotel went up.  But the new building had some old luggage.

Remember those kids that burned to death in the orphanage? Yeah well the ghosts of these young boys like to play in the courtyard in the middle of the night.  And this one guest reported being woken up from his sleep because of the static noise coming from the TV.  He leans over to grab the remote control, wondering how the TV had been turned on since he had shut it off before closing his eyes for the night.  He distinctly remembered having set the remote on the bedside table.  So he sits up in bed, to aim the remote at the TV, and he freezes.  There in front of the TV, sitting on the floor, was the ghostly apparition of a young boy.  The guest starts screaming like a girl, and the apparition vanished.

Many guests have reported both seeing the kids, and hearing their footsteps and laughter.  It’s good to know that they’re reliving their happier times there in the boarding house rather than being stuck in an endless cycle of their tragic deaths.  Another guest had an interesting encounter as well.  She comes out of the shower one morning and hears this kid giggling and then hears the sound of her cereal being poured out onto the floor.

The most haunted room at the Andrew Jackson is said to be room 208.  Guests who have stayed in this room have seen all kinds of crazy shit, most of them claiming to have seen the ghost of a child.  This ghost name is Armand.  Legend says that young Armand chose to end his own life by having jumped from the second floor balcony.  Though he endured a horrific death, his spirit never left the Hotel and Room 208 seems to be his preferred haunting spot.

Armond’s spirit has a thing for waking guests up with his childish (and ghostly) giggling.  At other times, people staying in this room have actually been shoved out of the bed by an unseen force.  Others have reported that while sleeping, they felt the covers being tugged down and cold hands touching their exposed flesh.  Armond’s ghost hasn’t ever been aggressive, and it is clear that he likes to play games with the living.  But it’s said that Armond is not the only spirit haunting Room 208.

Some guest have tried to stay in Room 208, many of them have actually turned back up at the front desk, requesting to switch rooms.  When the front desk attendant asks why,  the most common reason is that the guest had been experiencing a looming or eerie feeling that something was in the room with them,  watching them. The lights switch off and on by themselves, and the faucets are known to turn on by themselves.  Personal items vanish but sometimes appear in another area of the room, other times they never reappear.

Is the ghost of Armond responsible for all of the pranks and paranormal activity in Room 208? could be, but it seems unlikely that the spirit of a young child would have the ability to make the living feel such a sense of dread or despair.  And it’s typically something far different that the ghost of a child that tends to thrive off the fear of the living.

Ok, so room 208 may contain a dark spirit, but the Hotel is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman, who many suspect was a housekeeper there at some point in history.  She’s known to straighten towels, fluff pillows and reset furniture the way she sees fit.  It’s not uncommon here to leave your room and return to find the chairs moved closer to the window, or swapped around entirely.

Current members of the cleaning staff have all expressed the feeling of being watched while they go about their daily routine, though most of the staff assumes that the ghost of the housekeeper.  Disembodied footsteps are heard climbing up and down the stairs at all times of the day and night.  This poor chick is still working her ass off, even in the afterlife!  Anyway, her ghost has been spotted most frequently in the lobby, but it’s not uncommon to run into her in some of the other rooms on the second floor.

jgAnd then of course, there is the namesake of the Hotel,  President Andrew Jackson.  So, according to various accounts, the good General’s actual apparition has been seen parading about the hotel, especially on the second floor.

There have been so many that lived and died in the hotel, as well as the other known structures that had been on this lot.  Ghostly encounters have been reported here on the grounds for a very long time, so of course it’s been investigated, wanna talk about one of these ghost hunts? of course you do! You can find out more by replaying my show at SPREAKER.com.

 

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