While the United States as a whole is rich in folklore and bizarre ghost stories, Louisiana's unique past means one thing: urban legends from Louisiana are absolutely insane. From pirates to Voodoo queens to full-fledged vampires, these are not simple tales. They have twisted, complex, and often highly-detailed histories.
Louisiana ghost stories are unlike any others, in part because so many of them are based on true stories. Louisiana is known as a state where people disappear, mysteries remain unsolved, and the unexplainable happens regularly.
It would take years to sort through the mountain of incredibly rich Cajun and Creole folklore out there. The French Quarter is only one section of New Orleans, and it alone allegedly has more ghost and vampire sightings than a copy of Interview With the Vampire.
It definitely gets spooky on the bayou. Louisiana even has its own kind of werewolf, while New Orleans has a haunted house on practically every block. Check out these amazingly creepy Louisiana tales.
The Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau Resurrects Each Year to Perform a Secret Ritual
New Orleans is famous for Voodoo, and there's no more central figure to New Orleans than Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. A mixed-race woman of considerable power and prestige, Laveau worked as a hairdresser, learning the secrets of everyone in the city, white and black, rich and poor alike. She was also an innovator, and the first to blend Catholicism with Voodoo to form the religion as it is still practiced today. Laveau died in the summer of 1881 at the age of 87, but her daughter of the same name continued her magic for decades more.
According to legend, the elder Laveau returns to life once each year on St. John's Eve to lead the faithful in worship. Her ghost (and her daughter's) have been spotted throughout the city of New Orleans.
The Vampire Brothers of New Orleans Drained Their Victims, Then Disappeared
This pair of perfectly normal-seeming brothers lived on a street in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the 1930s. They worked as laborers and kept their heads down. Then, one day, a woman escaped from their apartment with her wrists slit enough to cause steady bleeding, but not enough to kill her. In their apartment, the police found several others in a similar state, and over a dozen dead bodies drained of blood. It took eight police offers to hold down and apprehend the two brothers.
John and Wayne Carter were executed and their bodies placed in their family's funeral vault. Years later, when another Carter was being interred, the brothers' bodies were found missing. It's said that they can still be seen wandering New Orleans.
A Convent Attic Hides 300 Mysterious Coffins
During the colonization of New Orleans, the French were having trouble convincing women to settle there, as most of the men originally sent were criminals and the climate was notoriously treacherous. One boat full of women the French had convinced to move to the city abandoned ship in Mobile, Alabama, leaving only 300 strange coffins behind. Some were empty and some were said to contain the bodies of the undead. All of them were nailed shut (as they had a habit of opening by themselves) and were hidden away in the attic of a convent.
In 1978, two reporters broke into the convent to see the coffins, and were found the next morning decapitated on the convent's steps with 80% of their blood drained. Their equipment was smashed. The crime was never explained.
The Myrtles Plantation Is Haunted by the Ghosts of Children and Their Accidental Murderer
In the 1800s, the Myrtles Plantation was owned by Judge Clark Woodruffe, a serial rapist who attacked his female slaves. One slave named Chloe, the children's governess, despised Woodruffe, but feared that if she protested the judge's advances she would be sent out of the house and forced to work in the fields.
Chloe feared her owner growing tired of her and hatched a plan to regain his favor. She thought that poisoning his family with just a little oleander would make them sick enough that that she could nurse them back to health. Instead, she accidentally killed all of them. In order to avoid Woodruffe taking his anger and grief out on them, the other slaves lynched Chloe and threw her body in the river. It is said that to this day her ghost, and the ghosts of the dead Woodruffe children, haunt the property.
The Vampire Compte d'Saint Germain Discovered the Secret of Eternal Life
First appearing in the court of Louis XV of France, the Compte d'Saint Germain was a self-proclaimed alchemist who claimed to have created the elixir of eternal life. At 6000 years old, he was the toast of the French aristocracy. Eventually, he moved from France to Germany, where he reportedly died, only to be seen throughout Europe after his death.
In 1903, a supposed relative of the Compte named Jacques St Germain appeared in New Orleans. He lived at the house on the corner of Royal and Ursaline streets. St. Germain was known as a ladies' man, until one of his conquests leapt from the window of his home, claiming he'd attacked and bit her. Police entered his home to find it empty of everything except blood stains and wine bottles full of blood. No one has lived at that house since, and all taxes are paid, but no one can ever find the owner. To this day, people say you can see this old vampire prowling the French Quarter.
A Sultan and His Harem Were Massacred at the La Prete House
In the second half of the 1800s, a wealthy Turkis man took up residence in a French Quarter mansion, the La Prete House, claiming to be a deposed sultan. The Turkish man spent considerable money transforming the mansion into an pleasure palace and fortress, complete with a full harem of women and men hidden behind iron gates. One morning, however, neighbors noticed blood trickling from beneath the gates. Authorities forced their way inside to find the Turkish man buried alive in the yard and all of his servants mutilated, raped, and murdered. To this day, the ghosts of his servants can be found wandering the home in costume, screaming.
The Haunted LaLaurie House Was Home to an Evil Mistress Who Tortured Her Slaves
The LaLaurie House is one of the most famous haunted houses in the country. In the 1800s, wealthy and influential socialites Dr. Louis LaLaurie and his wife, Delphine, were known for hosting splendid dinners and events there. Though considered to be one of the most beautiful, intelligent, and charismatic women in the city, Delphine LaLaurie was also secretly an insane and sadistic maniac who tortured her slaves in that house. She chained her cook to the stove, and even chased a young slave girl off the roof with a whip. Laws preventing cruelty to slaves in New Orleans led to some of her slaves being taken away and sold at auction. In response, Madame LaLaurie had her relatives buy back the slaves for her in secret.
How quickly slaves came and went from the house led to whispers against the LaLaurie family, which were realized in April of 1834, when a huge fire destroyed most of the house. This fire was set by the cook in a suicide attempt. Firefighters found over a dozen slaves chained up in a hidden corner of the attic. Some were in cages and others were strapped to operating tables. Some had been horribly mutilated, their limbs and organs in buckets and stacked on shelves.
When the city cried for action to be taken against the family, they disappeared and were never seen again. While the house has been put to various uses over the years, and was even briefly owned and lived in by Nicolas Cage, it is ridiculously and terrifyingly haunted.
The Deformed, Inbred Grunch Murder Livestock and Unsuspecting Travelers
This Eastern New Orleans urban legends is a nightmare on all kinds of levels. When New Orleans was first developing, the eastern suburbs were little more than an eerie road and woodlands, and of course it was said that something bizarre and terrifying dwelled there.
According to legend, a strange group of humans called the Grunch inhabited these woods. Albinos and dwarves, they were forced to live away from society as general ignorance led people to believe they were created by the devil. In their seclusion, these people inbred to become something else entirely. It's said that these murderous and cannibalistic creatures steal livestock and even lure travelers out of their cars so they can eat them.