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Haunted New Orleans GHOSTS AND SPIRITS

The Most Haunted Bars in New Orleans

The next time you’re in one of the great Old French Quarter bars looking for spirits, consider having a drink in a location famous for spirits of a different kind!

According to some locals, the following are the Most Haunted Bars in New Orleans and are among the best places for possible encounters with the unseen.

Alibi Bar

Located at 811 Iberville St. just off Bourbon, the Alibi is a popular late-night hangout that serves 150 different varieties of beer. Late-night munchies make this a prime spot for service industry types looking to unwind after a long night of waiting on others. Most say the Alibi is a sure bet for the best late-night burger in town! Playboy and Stuff magazines have featured the Alibi among the best bars in New Orleans.

Most of the sightings at the " HAUNTED" Alibi bar are in the bar area itself, where staff have reported incidences of glasses, bottles and cutlery flying off the bar onto the floor or sometimes in the direction of staff members. The activity is attributed to the ghost of a man who was supposedly stabbed to death behind the bar several years ago.

Patrons have reported encounters with a shadowy figure near the restrooms, and a misty apparition has sometimes been spotted near the service entry door.

The attic area, which is off limits to the public but where members of the staff are sometimes required to go, is said to have a particularly unpleasant atmosphere. Legend has it that the attic was once a makeshift hiding place for escaped slaves waiting for passage on the Underground Railroad. The sounds of sighs and soft crying have been heard near the old attic door.

Visit the Alibi online at www.alibineworleans.com


Pat O'Brien's

The great bar of the French Quarter is located at 718 St. Peter St. where it holds forth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Operators estimated that possibly a billion people have passed through the grand old watering hole in the generations it has been open. Famous for the ass-kicking Hurricane (more than just a pretty glass!), the old establishment boasts a ghostly reputation almost as well-known as its menu.

Probably the two most haunted areas of Pat's are the Piano Bar and the upstairs Ladies Room.

Employees from the early shifts, when the old building can sometimes be almost empty of customers, have reported strange cold spots and footsteps in the Piano Bar area. One bartender, restocking the bar alone one afternoon, distinctly heard the sound of footsteps behind him followed by the tinkling of piano keys. He looked around and found no one else in the bar and no apparent source for the ghostly sounds. Needless to say, he was quick to complete his inventory. Others have reported cold spots and the feeling of being pushed when no one is around.

The Ladies Room is said to be haunted by the ghostly spirit of a restroom attendant. Ladies who have retired to a stall in a mostly empty restroom have reported hearing footsteps and the sound of sighs in nearby stalls. One woman reported hearing a sudden peal of laughter from the stall areas when only she and one the lone (living!) restroom attendant were present. New female employees are generally very uncomfortable in the grand old privy, though some of the older workers just laugh and say that they can take the sounds in stride, just as long as they don't SEE anything!

Other employees report poltergeist-like activity in the courtyard area where they insist that a spirit likes to move the wrought iron tables and chairs around, and sometimes likes to hide the workers' ubiquitous green jackets while they are busy preparing for the day's crowds.

An old tradition at Pat O's is to have a photo memento taken of an evening spent there. Although some people look a little worse for wear, or worse than they recall, several have commented in hindsight that the Pat O's photos might be a good place to look for photographic evidence of ghostly occurrences. If you have any Pat O's memento photos and notice anything odd in them, please let us know and we will be happy to post them on our Ghost Photos page!

Pay a virtual visit to Pat O's right now at www.patobriens.com


Lafitte's Blacksmith's Shop

This old building, at 941 Bourbon St, looks almost as if it is about to fall down at any moment. But there's life in that old mortar: some of it supernatural to be sure.

Lafitte's just oozes with genuine haunted New Orleans atmosphere. Dimly lit, with flickering candles and dark woodwork, old fireplaces and a decrepit courtyard, it is easy for the truly ghostly minded to expect a ghost at every turn. But there is one ghost in particular that everyone hopes to see!

According to legend, the buccaneer pirate Jean Lafitte once used the location to run his shady business. The little blacksmith shop was once a front for a burgeoning smuggling business, which was the real source of Lafitte's wealth and as such the pirate was himself quite a regular at this location.

Some people say that there is still buried treasure somewhere among the ancient bricks; one aficionado insists, however that the treasure will never be found because of the amount of cursing, spitting and drinking that go on in the place. Everyone knows the old taboo that pirate's gold will just sink lower into the ground when surrounded by truly disrespectful scalawags!

There have been reports of hauntings in this old bar for years. A mirror in the upstairs area is said to be haunted by the specter of a woman. The fireplace grate in the downstairs bar, rumored to be the actual last resting place of some of Lafitte's gold, is said to be haunted by the ghost of the pirate Lafitte killed with the charge to protect the treasure for eternity. Staff and patrons have been alarmed by the sight of two ghostly red eyes staring at them through the grate and the atmosphere around the fireplace is said to be decidedly chilled and unwholesome.

Of course, several witnesses have reported seeing the man himself, Jean Lafitte, scowling from dark corner, twisting his black moustache in his gloved hand, obviously not pleased with the view. Several people who have seen the ghost say that as soon as it is aware of them, it will vanish into thin air.

Although Jean Lafitte sailed into Louisiana history long, long ago, this old building still stands and for those who want to get as good a feel for the old pirate as possible, this is a location not to be missed.is also perhaps the oldest Haunted building or haunted structure in the country still used as a bar. Needless to say, Lafitte's Blacksmith's Shop should not be missed.


O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub

This popular pub is located at 514 Toulouse and from the moment you step into the old carriageway you might as well be on the Emerald Isle. Duck into the Informer, the casual, friendly pub where patrons enjoy live music, imported Irish beers and whiskey, and satellite broadcasts of the footie (soccer) matches direct from the UK. The Informer hosts a weekly darts league and is the meeting place for many Celtic sports organizations in the Big Easy.

Across the way, in the Ballad Room, visitors can enjoy live music by Celtic and folk performers from all over the UK and America. Danny O'Flaherty, the pub's owner, often entertains the crowds with his unique Irish style.

At the rear of the carriageway is the gift shop and a delightful old New Orleans courtyard where patrons like to sit to enjoy a quiet drink or sample homemade Irish stew or Shepherd's Pie, just two of many delicious items straight from O'Flaherty's kitchen.

But these days people come as much for the hauntings as for the entertainment.

The Ballad Room balcony is said to be the most haunted spot in the entire building. The ghost of a woman, whom the staff have named "Angelique," is often seen peering down from the balcony when the ballad room is empty or swaying to the music on nights when the room is jammed with patrons.

"Angelique" is said to be the ghost of the mistress of a man who owned the house in the early 1800's and who fell to his death into the courtyard. Despondent upon the death of her lover, it is said the woman then jumped to her own death as well, this time plunging from the second floor gallery and falling into the stone cistern to her death.

The woman has been seen by patrons and employees alike and primarily appears in the upstairs area; her lover is said to haunt the courtyard area where his presence is felt as a cold spot passing among the tables and chairs.

The Informer is said to be haunted by the spirit of a man who hung himself in the building sometime in the late 19th century. His presence is often felt in the back of the bar area, near the door leading to the courtyard, where the atmosphere is sometimes heavy and sad. Some employees insist that they have seen the ghost himself, sitting forlornly at the far end of the bar in turn of the century clothes, staring blankly at one of the many tv screens. Right before their eyes, he will sadly fade away.

Visit O'Flaherty's online at www.celticworld.com

The Old Absinthe House

This grand old New Orleans institution, located at 240 Bourbon St. at the corner of Bienville, has been a fixture in the French Quarter for over 200 years.

Built in 1807, this location has been present for nearly every heartbeat of the grand old days of the French Quarter. Originally used as the headquarters for a local importing firm, the building was then converted to a neighborhood grocery and an importer of fine foods, tobaccos and wines from all over the world.

With the advent of the Creole Balls and the popularity of other places of culture in the French Quarter such as the Theatre d'Orleans and the French Opera House, the building the corner of Bourbon and Bienville became a popular late night habitat of New Orleans' salon society. The copper-colored wooden bar with its antique fixtures was built at this time, and as the name now suggests, the place immediate became a firm favorite among the followers of the Green Fairy.

Many locals and employees have reported encounters with a pantheon of famous New Orleanians, from Jean Lafitte to Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Andrew Jackson, "The Beast" Benjamin Butler, and even Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Any of these encounters could be likely, as all of these famous people passed through the doors of the Old Absinthe House at one time or another over the years.

Other spirits, perhaps not as famous, make their presence felt on an almost daily basis, moving bottles and glasses around behind the bar, moving chairs back and forth, and, most disturbing, opening and closing the bar doors: when staff look up, there is no one to be seen.

Local legend has it that the Old Absinthe House is located over a series of old tunnels, dug by Jean Lafitte and his bands of buccaneers. Although no evidence of such tunnels has been found, many insist that they are there and that they link with Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop further down Bourbon, with the Old Mint on Esplanade, ultimately ending at the river embankment, where Lafitte would have smuggled items (or himself) into the swampy darkness of the Mississippi River.

Official Web Site The Old Abstinthe House Bar http://www.oldabsinthehouse.com/


The Bourbon Pub

This infamous bar, located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets, is a wildly popular hangout with New Orleans' gay community.

There's never a dull moment anytime at the Bourbon Pub, but the place is especially lively during the Mardi Gras, when it plays host to the famous Drag Queen contest, and during Southern Decadence, one of the most popular gay festivals in the South.

Over the years, however, there have been several reports of paranormal encounters and activity at the site. Patrons and staff have experienced strange encounters on the balconies, where there are said to be unexplainable cold spots and disembodied voices, and also in the downstairs bar area where there are often encounters with the ghost of a diminutive Creole slave lady. Called "Mam" by the staff, she appears walking through the bar area in the early hours when the bar is mostly empty. She wears and old cotton dress and a bandana on her head, and carries a huge wooden spoon. Walking and muttering to herself, she sometimes stops and looks directly at staff members before disappearing into the shadows. Because the Bourbon Pub sits directly across the street from Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo, the last residence of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, many wonder if Old Mam might be connected in some way to Marie Laveau or her family. It's a short walk across the street even for the living, so it is quite possible that Old Mam is walking between the Pub and her old homestead...

Some patrons say it is haunted by a former owner, that doesn't like the recent renovations. Cups often move across the bar on their own. Foot steps are heard walking across the empty second floors haunted balcony.

Another strange happening at the Bourbon Pub has had patrons and staff scratching their heads in disbelief. Basically, it can happen at anytime of the day or night. Unsuspecting patrons will be sitting comfortably at the bar, engaged in conversation or enjoying a drink, when suddenly, out of nowhere, there comes a pop and a stunning "bang" on the bottom of the foot. Those who have experienced it say it feels like being hit with a stick or a piece of wood, and the first instinct was to blame Old Mam. However, many who have experienced it have likened it to a well-known form of S&M known as Bastinado, where the soles of the feet are struck with a wooden pole in a form of sexual castigation. Once a form of torture used by cultures all over the world, the practice is today widely known but is only popular in certain segments of society. This strange event has happened so often at the Bourbon Pub that the new spirit has been nicknamed The Bastinado Ghost.

Most patrons take it in stride and many who have yet to experience an encounter with the Bastinado Ghost complain that they have been left out. Those who have experienced it, though not harmed in any way, say they really don't mind but that they would rather have their feet beat by someone they can see, thank you very much...

Visit the Bourbon Pub at www.bourbonpub.com.






So the next time you plan to party in the French Quarter, put these very haunted locations on your "Must See" list, and maybe you will have a memorable experience of the paranormal kind!

Special Thanks to local paranormal enthusiast and Paranormal investigator GINA LANIER for her contributions to this story!



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