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Enter with extreme caution! You are about to explore some of the strangest, most terrifyingly haunting cemeteries on earth. 
 
Do you question the existence of ghosts? 

 

Haunted Cemeteries and Burial Grounds

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Cities of the Dead and Vampire Tales: New Orleans, Louisiana 

St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 - Zuko.com  1998The centuries-old, above ground cemeteries of New Orleans, are icons to an earlier time.  These hauntingly beautiful cities of the dead came into existence due to the unusually high water table under the old city. 

The soggy earth made under ground burial impossible before modern drainage systems were devised.

On dark stormy nights it was not uncommon for caskets to literally pop out of the ground and float down the streets.  Of course, this was quite unsettling for the residents, and after a few unpleasant incidences of the dead floating by their homes, above ground burial was agreed to as the only secure sane solution. 

These eerily beautiful and unique cemeteries have also served as an inspiration
to numerous film producers and authors of the macabre.  For example, Anne Rice one of New Orleans' more famous resident authors, in crafting her haunting, gothic horror stories of vampires and the undead.  Interview With The Vampire, The Vampire Chronicles, a spellbinding screen adaptation of Anne Rices best seller, was filmed with Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 as the backdrop.  This ornate gothic necropolis figures prominently in Annes other books, as the macabre refuge of the vampire Lestat.


St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Tomb of the Voodoo Queen - Dr. Von Zuko 1998
In the famous old city of New Orleans, just outside the colorful and infamous French Quarter lies a crumbling ancient cemetery with a eerie notoriety of its own. This cemetery is well known for mysterious happenings and vaporous apparitions, it is also the final resting place of Marie Laveau (1794-1881), otherwise known as the "Voodoo Queen of New Orleans."

Unlike conventional cemeteries that are laid out as neat rows in grid like patterns, the St. Louis No. 1 is a unique, twisting labyrinth of narrow walkways. These narrow footpaths wind their way through serenely beautiful marble mausoleums, massive wall vaults, and dilapidated unmarked tombs. Walking through this ancient necropolis in the wee hours of the morning can be an unnerving and eerie experience, in fact many visitors have reported strange encounters with the spectral inhabitants of the graveyard.

Since 1881, an apparition of the Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau, has materialized many times in the narrow passages of the cemetery. Her tomb has become a shrine to those interested in Voodoo or the occult. In the cover of darkness, practitioners perform secret Voodoo rituals. Practitioners often leave small offerings, scratching three Xs with a piece of soft red brick on the crypt and knocking three times on the wall of the tomb; believers do this to request special favors or invoke spells.

Marie Laveau was said to have been well over 100 years old when she died, yet she was reported to have been as beautiful and vibrant as any 25 year old woman.  It can only be assumed that her devotion to the practice of Voodoo held the secret to her eternal beauty.  Perhaps it is the pursuit of this enduring youth and beauty that compels the Voodoo practitioners to pay homage to Marie Laveau to this day. 

With numerous unmarked and crumbling tombs within the necropolis, unexplained phenomena seems to be common place. Strange mournful sounds emanating from the cavernous crypts and inexplicable glowing vaporous masses have startled countless numbers of people wandering the ancient cemetery. In one area of the cemetery, the ghostly image of a mans face frequently appears on the wall of a tomb, as if he is looking out from someplace on the other side of reality.

Note: St. Louis cemetery No. 1 is the oldest surviving necropolis in New Orleans, it is a preservation project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, defacing or marking the tombs such as described above is considered vandalism and could result in fines or your arrest.

Use your better judgment; dont do it.

by: Dr. Von Zuko 1998 

 


Haunted Cemeteries Index:

Dr. Von Zuko's Recommended Books and Films on the Paranormal:


Graveyards of Chicago: The People,...
Ever wonder where Al Capone is buried? How about Clarence Darrow? Muddy Waters? Harry Caray? Or maybe Brady Bunch patriarch Robert Reed? And what really lies beneath home plate at Wrigley Field? Graveyards of Chicago answers these and other cryptic questions as it charts the lore and lure of Chicago's ubiquitous burial grounds.

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A Walk in St. Louis Cemetery No1

Voodoo Tomb - Dr. Von Zuko 1998

A mysterious unmarked crypt, baring the tell tale signs of  Voodoo ritual.  Three X's scratched on the tomb in red brick and  offerings left at the door.

 

 

 


The above ground crypts of St. Louis Cemetery #1

St. Louis Cemetery No 1 - Photo Dr. Von Zuko 1998

by: Dr. Von Zuko 1998
 

"Dare to explore the boundaries beyond conventional wisdom, examine the evidence in addition to the beliefs." 
 DRVZ 1998  (Back to the Paranormal Realms Index )

 

 
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