I like to visit New Orleans whenever possible, but not for the famous Mardi Gras, there are other things about that city that draws me to it.
The city and its people are rather laid back, I like that kind of atmosphere, a carefree style without concern about anything. Most of the people are friendly, and you can strike up a conversation without getting a sour look in return for speaking to a total stranger. Also, their accents of Creole mixed “French” is quite interesting to listen to.
I go for the authentic Cajun food, I can’t get enough of those wonderful spices they cook with. This last time we went, I had the “full Cajun” dinner, it consisted of Jambalaya, with spicy sausage, dirty rice, and of course some gumbo….it was like I died and went to heaven (gee I hope there’s Cajun food in heaven).
Another thing so compelling about the city is just the beauty of the architecture of the buildings. Many of the buildings were built in the late 1700’s, and the styles you will find are, Creole cottage, Creole townhouse, American townhouse, Shotgun house, and Double-Gallery homes. Many of these homes are surrounded by beautiful azaleas, and old oak trees. A good way to see these homes is by riding on one of the streetcars, such as the “St. Charles” line. This one passes many antebellum mansions, historical monuments, the Audubon Zoological Gardens, and Loyola and Tulane Universities.
I do not advise going there in the heat of summer, but rather plan to go in spring or in the fall. If you have never been, there is a good reason for this advice. It is not a very clean city and garbage cans litter the back alleys and they are even posted out front of some establishments. I suppose the cans are there because it is a city where people are allowed to walk around with drink in hand (and not get stopped by the police).
New Orleans is classified as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. Given its history and how it was founded, it is no wonder it has this title or has so many sightings of ghosts. It is founded on a huge area of swampland, and was considered an ideal area to build because of its location on the Mississippi River.
The French believed it would be a good area for trading, so it was established in 1718, and built by prisoners that were sent over from France. These prisoners were the first residents of New Orleans, a population of thieves, murderers, and rapists. The living conditions were horrible, given that there were many mosquitoes, alligators, snakes, and disease. All of this made a perfect atmosphere for hauntings and ghosts.
The first time we visited, we stayed at Le Pavillon Hotel. It was built in 1907, and is listed as a member of historic hotels of America. It has many antiques and beautiful chandeliers throughout, a very elegant atmosphere.
It is said to have four resident ghosts, a teenage girl named Ada, from the 1840’s, a young man from the 1920’s era, and an aristocratic couple, also believed to be from the 1920’s. It is known for inexplicable sounds and smells, voices and poltergeist activity.
When we stayed there, one night I woke up hearing voices in the hallway….it was around 1:30 or 2:00 am. Nothing really that scary for me. However our most recent stay in New Orleans, we were staying at The Ambassador Hotel (not really that great, but the price was right).
The first night, I woke up due to the noises in our room. It is hard to describe what it was, but it sounded like someone playing a game of “jacks” on the floor. I could hear the sound of metal (the jacks) and what sounded like a little rubber ball bouncing off the floor. There were creaking sounds like someone standing there also. The whole hotel has hardwood planks that run throughout it, and it creaks whenever you walk on it. Sometimes it sounded like someone moving a step stool, flipping it over and over. I was tired, so managed to go back to sleep…even with the noises.
My husband says it was my imagination, and in his mind, that is all it was. Even though I woke him up to ask him if he could hear it also.
His response was that it was just hearing someone walking on the other side….and the sound travels through the planks. Well, gee…that doesn’t explain the bouncing ball noise or the metal sounds.
The next night (just as I knew in the back of my mind), the noises started again, same spot, around the same time. I once again woke my husband up, and he once again dismissed it. But this time, the noises became louder, and it even sounded like someone threw something big and hard against the wall….all the way on the other side of the room, by the window. This really unnerved me, and made me very uncomfortable. What if it throws something at me, or tries to hurt me. I decided to do something about it, as I couldn’t get to sleep. I remember reading in the Bible, that we can tell evil or spirits to go away, and it has to comply. But, you have to say specifically, “In the name of Jesus Christ, be gone”
So I sat up in the bed and said that in a very loud and commanding way. I also told it to “go away”.
It worked! No noises for long enough for me to go back to sleep. Of course my husband thought I was crazy and just annoying him, by waking him up again.
By the end of the day, for our final night, I knew it would happen again, but this time I was prepared, and went to sleep with my mp3 player on. I was not going to have that pesky ghost or whatever keep me up. Sure enough, like clockwork….it did happen again. It managed to get even louder, and more obnoxious….like it knew it would have to to wake me up. And once again, sounded like someone was throwing things against the wall (every once in awhile). I turned up my mp3 player and went back to sleep.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted to request a different room after the first and even second encounter, but my husband didn’t want to bother the hotel staff, and mostly he didn’t want them to think we were crazy (that’s the real reason). Because of my “open-mindedness”, I think I am tolerant of certain things that I cannot explain. If it weren’t for that, I’m sure I would have ran out of there screaming.
We have had other encounters with ghosts, so I just don’t understand why he is in denial. I will save those for another post.
Well, anyway, we managed to enjoy our stay again in New Orleans…..it has such a tormented history….no wonder it has so many ghosts. I won’t let them keep me away though, as there is always something new to discover there in that wonderful old city.