New Orleans is a city filled with history, and some say many historical events left behind evidence of the paranormal kind. In the French Quarter, the cemeteries, and just about every corner you turn in The Big Easy, ghosts abound. So do ghost tours, but not all tours are for all people. To find the tour that’s right for you, check out these options.
Good for Families with Younger Children
The Cemetery and Voodoo Walking Tour from Gray Line goes easy on the scares. A climate-controlled bus transports guests to St. Louis Cemetery #1 for this two-hour, daylight-only tour. During the drive, a guide tells tales about people from the French Quarter’s long ago past who may still be hanging around today as ghosts (but there are no ghosts in the bus, of course). At the cemetery, a professional, licensed guide continues the stories with tales of the famous and infamous people who are buried there, as well as the evolution of Voodoo.
When guests get to the tomb of New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, they’ll learn how she was able to be in two places at once. They’ll also be able to make a wish or cast a spell at her tomb. A little history lesson happens, too, when the guide explains the above ground burial customs of the region and the origins of some of the tombs.
Guests walk away with a souvenir “Gris Gris” bag containing a Voodoo amulet.
- Tour departs from the Gray Line “Lighthouse” Ticket Office at Toulouse St. & the Mississippi River at the Steamboat Natchez Dock
- Price: Adults $27.00; Children ages 6-12 $15
- Dates and times vary depending on time of year – confirm with website
- Reservations are recommended 24 hours in advance
Good for Families with Older Children
The Ghosts of New Orleans Tour from Ghost City takes guests on a tour in hopes they will encounter a ghost along the way. Guests visit the most notorious haunted locations in the famous New Orleans’ French Quarter on this 90 minute tour. The tour visits haunted restaurants, hotels, and more. Along the way, guests will hear the true story behind the haunted LaLaurie Mansion, home to many tortured ghosts, and also visit sites of grisly murders and crimes where the victims are said to still haunt the living.
- Tour departs from 798 Chartes Street
- Price: Ages 12 and up $19.95; Children ages 6-11 $9.95; 5 and under are free
- Tours begin nightly at 6pm and 8pm
- Advance ticket purchase is required
Good for Giving You Nightmares
The 4-in-1 Ghosts,Voodoo,Vampires and Witchcraft Walking Tour from Witches Brew Tours encourages guests to take multiple pictures with flash photography because more often than not, something inexplicable finds its way into a photo during this dark-of-night ghost tour. The tour leads guests through the historic French Quarter and stops at buildings well known for paranormal activity and tragedies.
What makes this tour especially scary is that many of the stories told on this tour are true, so it may not be suitable for kids under 10. Tour guides take guests to the location where one of the world’s oldest vampires spent time in New Orleans in the 1920s. They also visit New Orleans’ most haunted house, the residence of Madame Delphine LaLaurie – the inspiration for Kathy Bates’ character in American Horror Story. In between there are stories of hauntings, spirits, and paranormal activity that have happened over the centuries in New Orleans.
- Tour departs from the corner of Royal and Conti Streets, directly across from Latrobe’s restaurant
- Price: Adults $25; Students, military with I.D, and seniors $20; Children ages 6-12 $12
- Tours begin at 5pm and 8pm
- Advance ticket purchase is recommended; walk ups are welcome to stand by
Good for a History Lesson
Saints and Sinners Walking Tour from French Quarter Phantoms doesn’t water anything down when it comes to the colorful history of New Orleans. This tour takes guests through the best and worst of the strange city with a dark, dark past. Not so much a ghost tour as it is a tour through the city highlighting the unique and interesting rumors of conspiracy, witchcraft, and vampires. It also highlights the truths of a Voodoo priestess and other historical figures through the centuries in this city that has had more than its fair share of saints and sinners.
- Tour departs from 718 N Rampart St. at the corner of Orleans Street and Rampart Street
- Price: $20 ages 17 and up. No one under 17 is permitted on this adult-themed tour
- Tours begin at 1pm daily
- Advance ticket purchase is recommended
Remember, no matter which tour you take, tour guides work hard to learn the history of New Orleans so they can pass on the information to you in a fun, educational, and a little bit spooky way. They always appreciate a tip at the end of the evening if you appreciated their expertise.
There’s never a bad time to visit New Orleans, but Halloween has got to be one of the best. In addition to all of the usual food, culture, and general wackiness the city has to offer, the annual Voodoo festival is a weekend-long music and arts adventure. More than 65 bands, immersive art installations, a beer hall, and, of course, amazing costumes are all part of the experience. The food on-site is made by some of the city’s top local chefs, but at some point, you’re going to have to eat outside of Voodoo. When you do, here are eight top picks for uber-delicious, not-too-expensive, super-chill places to go. These locals-approved restaurants might be busy, but they won’t be overrun with tourists.
It’s really hard to get pizza that tastes like it’s from New York outside of New York. But the aptly named Pizza Delicious makes it possible. Their thin crust is crispy but still doughy, and also completely satisfying. Funky toppings (sriracha pineapple, anyone?) and house-made pastas will further delight your palate.
Jack Dempsy’s Restaurant
Don’t let its hole-in-the-wall appearance fool you: Jack Dempsy’s serves up some fine New Orleans fare. With recipes passed down through generations, the fried seafood platters, po’ boys, and mac n’ cheese here are the real thing. This is Southern-style fill-you-up food – you won’t leave hungry.
Neighborhoods: Marigny, Bywater
Local, fresh, and healthy is the mission at Satsuma, which serves up scratch baked goods, fresh juices, and fine coffees, plus salads and sandwiches. With cafés in two locations – in the Bywater and the Marigny – it’s a great place to fuel up for the day.
Bacchanal describes itself as “a wine laboratory where food music and culture collude with Holy Vino,” and it’s a wonderful place to gather. With live jazz in the courtyard seven nights a week, patrons pick their poison from the “Old World” wine shop (yes, there are cocktails, too), then move into the dining rooms or backyard to enjoy the Mediterranean-meets-NOLA menu. This is a popular destination with locals and tourists alike; expect a wait most evenings.
The ribs, brisket, slow-cooked pork, juicy chicken and house-made sausage at The Joint are all smoked right out back. Add some proper sides and fixins, sit back, and enjoy the shack-like décor. This isn’t just some of the best BBQ in New Orleans, it’s some of the best anywhere.
Juan’s Flying Burrito
Neighborhoods: Uptown, Garden District, Central Business District, Mid-City
If you have a hankering for some really good Mexican, head to Juan’s Flying Burrito, which calls itself “the world’s first Creole Taqueria.” This crowd-pleaser serves interpretative traditional Mexican mixed with local ingredients, so if your squad is on a Margarita kick, this is the place to go. And with locations in four neighborhoods, you’re never too far from one.
Neighborhood: Garden District
For more than 90 years, Casamento’s has served up traditional New Orleanian fare alongside Italian classics. Joe Casamento, an Italian immigrant who opened the space, covered the eatery floor to ceiling in tile, and the original décor still remains. (Be sure to make a trip to the rest room here, which will through the incredible kitchen.) Eat anything you want off the menu, but if you don’t order the chargrilled oysters, you’re a fool.
Café du Monde
Neighborhood: French Quarter
There are plenty of great spots to eat in the French Quarter, but the famous Café du Monde really shouldn’t be missed. Opened in 1862, this New Orleans institution retains an old time-y feel, as servers in paper hats deliver plates of beignets and dark-roasted chicory coffee round the clock. It’s impossible to resist these squares of fried dough topped with mountains of powdered sugar. Is it touristy? A bit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.