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.