Chilling Ghost Stories And Urban Legends From Louisiana

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 wild. 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 passed in the summer of 1881, 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) has 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 bodies drained of blood. It took eight police officers 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

    A Convent Attic Hides 300 Mysterious Coffins
    Photo: Anna Boudinot / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    During the colonization of New Orleans, the French were having trouble convincing women to settle there, as most of the men originally sent there 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, AL, 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

    The Myrtles Plantation Is Haunted by the Ghosts of Children and Their Accidental Murderer
    Photo: Brad Armentor / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    In the 1800s, the Myrtles Plantation was owned by Judge Clark Woodruffe, a serial rapist who attacked the enslaved women he owned. One woman 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 she could nurse them back to health. Instead, she accidentally took the lives of all of them. In order to avoid Woodruffe taking his anger and grief out on them, the other enslaved people lynched Chloe and threw her body in the river. It is said that to this day, her ghost and the ghosts of the Woodruffe children haunt the property.