Haunted Louisiana – The home of Marie Laveau

marieAh, her majesty, Marie Laveau.  This (devout Catholic) Voodoo Queen has left her mark throughout the history of New Orleans legend and lore and she endures until this day.

Marie Laveau was born in 1794 in Haiti.  It would be her blending of Catholicism and Voodoo rituals that would create a new form of Voodoo practices, exclusive to New Orleans.

As a young girl, it is said that Marie learned the practice of Voodoo from her grandmother.  Legend states that there was something very different about Marie and her mastering of the arts.  Marie advanced quickly, her knowledge and powers quickly surpassed all others.  There is a legend that Marie raised a young girl from her grave after having been buried for several days; she was also said to have brought several animals back from the unwakeable sleep as well.

On August 4th 1819, Marie wed one Jacques Paris at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans; the marriage certificate can be viewed as it hangs on display within the church to this day.  No children would be bore during their brief marriage as Paris would die in 1820 of unusual circumstances.

After Paris’ passing, Marie became a hairdresser to the wealthy.  It was during this time that she took on a lover.  Christophe Glapion and Marie would live together as husband and wife until his death on December 1st 1835.  He too died of mysterious circumstances.  Glapion was happy and in good spirits at dinner the night before but was found dead before breakfast the following morning.  Many say that he had served his purpose; Marie had bore 15 children within their 15 year relationship.

Marie Laveau served the community of New Orleans well throughout her life.  She worked tirelessly with the homeless and the ill.  Her knowledge of medicinal herbs came in handy when the city had been struck with yellow fever;  Marie saved many lives.  Her living was made by selling her gris gris and charms; follwers would trek from miles around to purchase Marie’s talismans and remedies.  Followers would also flock by the thousands to witness her performing her rituals on St John’s eve.  Nearly a century of service and rumors had passed since her birth, Marie passed to the other side on June 15th 1881.

Not everyone agrees on her death day, some will say that Marie still walks among us this day.  Some say that she is an immortal or vampire, some say that she appears as a large crow or black cat and others see her just as she was, but only for one brief moment.  Marie can be sometimes be seen sitting in front of her cottage or walking along St. Ann street the smell of burning herbs often accompanies her.  She has been witnessed hovering above her old home; her presence is described as a black fog or mist.  It is not uncommon to hear reports of visitors that have seen Marie’s beloved rooster or large cat Henri in or around the house as well.  Many have tried to photograph them but the images will disappear before a camera shot can be made.

Marie is not bound to her old home site.  She has been seen along Rampart street.  Some reports claim that she is shopping for herbs along the street side others have seen her with a large basket full of gris gris to sell to her loyal public.  Marie is also notorious for appearing at her grave site at St. Louis Cemetery #1.  Many followers and enthusiast have visited her tomb, many have returned with stories of their encounters with the Voodoo Queen here.  Marie had many ties with the St. Louis Cathedral, many have seen her on the church grounds as well as participating in Church services.

Marie was seen frequently at her home and all throughout the French Quarter immediately following Hurricane Katrina.  Witnesses claim to have seen her weeping; perhaps she wept for the state of her beloved city during it’s worst days.

Haunted New Orleans – The Sultan’s House, by Lyn Gibson – Author of “The Adrian Trilogy”

sultan  Though public records indicate that in 1780, a previous home occupied the corner of Dauphine and Orleans, it is the Gardette – Laprete house which still stands today.  Built in 1836 by Jean Baptist LePrete, the 4 story mansion would dominate the French Quarter both in stature and legend for over 150 years.

The meticulously designed home was never permanently occupied as LePrete lived on his plantation in Plaquemines.  During the social seasons, LePrete would entertain his family and guests there, usually when the French Opera was in town.  The homes’ peaceful existence would soon come to an end when a wealthy Turkish merchant arrived in New Orleans.  The merchant sought out LePrete to ask for use of the property on behalf of the brother of a Sultan.  LePrete, was happy to oblige.  An additional stream of income and the security of having the home occupied were means for a bargain.  What had not been disclosed during negotiations was the fact that the newly proclaimed Sultan that would be occupying the home had robbed his brother of his gold and jewels then fled to New Orleans.

The Sultan moved into LePretes’ mansion and along with him came his guards and his harem.  The Sultan’s harem consisted of women of all shapes, ages and sizes, most of which had been abducted from the home of his brother or from off of the streets of New Orleans.  Besides the women, the Sultan also owned young Arab boys in which to sate his twisted palate.  Both the women and boys would be raped and beaten and in many cases, murdered, all at the whim of the cruel Sultan.

Though atrocities abounded within the beautiful home, there were many elaborate parties thrown by the Sultan.  All of the elite would attend these lavish events.  The mansion had become the center of all social activities in the area.  The Sultan had more than fortified the home.  The windows and doors had been covered and his men patrolled the grounds with curved swords in their belt-lines.  Not one of the area socialites had any way to know of the atrocities that occurred within the grand estate.  But soon, all of the frivolities would come to a gruesome end.

One morning, a neighbor was walking along the sidewalk in front of the mansion.  He noticed that it was eerily quiet and that there were no guards patrolling the grounds.  He then looked up to see blood seeping from beneath the front entrance and onto the steps below.  When authorities arrived they attempted to summon the inhabitants by pounding at the front door.  When there was no response, the door was broken down.  Beyond the entrance lay the gruesome remnants of a bizarre massacre, the entirety of which was never fully recorded due to the horrific details.  Blood splatters covered the walls and furnishings.  Sordid body parts lay strewn on every floor of every level of the once envied home.  Every man woman and child associated with the Sultan had been slaughtered.  There was evidence of rape and torture at every turn; the inhabitants had all suffered tormented deaths.  The body of the Sultan was discovered in a shallow grave behind the house.  He had been badly mutilated then buried alive.

To this day the murders have never been solved.  The only proven fact is that robbery was a factor as the home had been ram-sacked and all of the Sultans riches had disappeared.  Many rumors abounded.  Some say that the Sultan, his harem and his men had been murdered by the same pirates that brought him into the Port of New Orleans.  Others believe that the Sultan had been hunted down by his brother and killed as an act of revenge.

The home changed hands many times and has risen and fallen only to rebound to it’s former glory.  Once nearly dilapidated and abandoned, the home was remodeled and opened as an art studio, later it served as an apartment complex.  Many of those who have lived or worked within the grand structure have reported hearing screams throughout the interior of the home as well as the exterior.  Some have claimed to see the Sultan himself, easily identified by his light colored hair despite his Turkish descent.

These reports have been ongoing for decades and all are similar in their claims.  The Sultan’s home has been investigated on many occasions by paranormal experts.  Some of these investigations have yielded interesting EVP recordings as well as recorded unexplainable movement and occurrences.

The Vjesci: A Canadian Vampire, Eh?!

Author Lyn Gibson

imagesCAA379XO        The Vjesci, also known as the Vjeszczi or Vjescey, is a Vampire from Polish folklore.   Much like the European Vampire, The Vjesci retained their mortal characteristics and blended well within society.  Legends indicate that humans were destined to become Vjesci at birth if born with teeth or a more common condition, ‘cradle cap”.  If the child was born with a cap, the mother could protect the child by drying the cradle cap, grinding it into a fine dust and retaining it until the child’s 7th birthday; when she would feed it to him to ward off curse.

The Vjesci have many common ties with Vampire legends from other cultures; They are undead, they awaken at midnight and they feed on humans.  It is said that in order to detain the Vjesci, Villagers would throw a net into his coffin as he could not rise until untying all of…

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