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The Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1

st louis cemetery bnw

New Orleans, Louisiana

Is there anything creepier than an old cemetery, especially an old cemetery at night? No disrespect to the dead, but most of us would prefer spending our days (or nights) ANYWHERE else, unless what you’re in search of is a ghostly encounter.

New Orleans’ above-ground cemeteries have been fodder for storytellers and authors for centuries. Because the city is built below sea level, and therefore the threat of flooding high, in-ground burials were not  practical. Thus began the practice of above ground tombs.

This graveyard sits in the midst of the city at the corners of Basin and St Louis Street. It has been there so long it’s estimated that 75 percent of the tombs inhabitants have no known living relations.

st louis cemetery

Visitors have claimed to witness phantoms, figures, and Civil War ghosts skulking through the maze of tombs and crypts.

The most infamous of the spirits is the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Her ghostly specter has been seen many times haunting the cemetery grounds, especially near her tomb. A century or more ago, a rumor began circulating that if you wanted the Madame to grant a wish, you must knock three times (to wake the dead), with a piece of chalk draw three “X’s” on her tomb, knock three times again, and then tell her your wish. If it is granted, you are instructed to come back, circle the “X’s”  you drew, and leave the Queen a thank-you offering.

madame laveau

However, making requests of voodoo queens might not be a smart move. We certainly would recommend against it.


If you’re looking for a place to begin your ghost hunting adventures, it seems like St. Louis  Cemetery No. 1 is a sure thing.


Basin at St. Louis St.
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 482-5065

Neighborhood: Treme

Hours: M-Sat. 9-3; Sun. 9-12

Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Admission Cost: Free


Next time you’re in New Orleans, why not try one of these local cemetery tours, and let us know how it was!


Haunted New Orleans Tours


Haunted History Tours – Cemetery Tours