Flingback Friday to the 3-in-1 Cemetery, Voodoo & French Quarter Tour ($13 by Groupon (or $25) + $1 entry to cemetery; 28 persons per tour) that I took in New Orleans in October!
The tour lasted over 2 hours, but with our experienced and exciting Tour Guide, ‘Stormy’, it was worth it. It provides you with a chance to enter one of the world-renown cemeteries, St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, while also visiting popular landmarks in the French Quarter. A bit of Voodoo culture and history was also included, as this adventure combined 3 tours in 1.
The French Quarter/Cemetery/Voodoo tour meets at the corner of Royal and Conti Street. Persons are to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time to check in.
You can learn how and why people are buried above ground and how the “Vault” works! The grave of the famous Queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau is also there.
I saw a lot of negative reviews of persons spending most of the time in the cemetery and it being too crowded. I would note that the key is to leave on an early tour and request Stormy.
Upon arrival, we were one of probably 3 other tour groups in the cemetery. Stormy was very considerate of other groups’ space, so we would stop and talk before a group left a particular landmark. I can’t say the same about other tour guides though. Close to the end of our Cemetery tour, many tour groups arrived and interrupted our stops or paths, but thankfully we didn’t have much time left in there.
As the tour moved to the Louis Armstrong Park, we could see more and more that Tour guide, Stormy was experienced, passionate, knowledgeable and talented. He even sang for us where the Congo tribes would sing and dance in different groups in an area called Congo Square. This historical landmark is the foundation of New Orleans’ Musical traditions, including Jazz.
The tour went over the 2 hours, but Stormy didn’t give any place more attention than the other. Everywhere was explained in full detail in a captivating way and he was able to answer all of our questions. Two thumbs up! #SugaEndorsed
To book your 3-in-1 Cemetery, Voodoo and French Quarter Tour (New Orleans LA), go to:
If you think you will never get to visit New Orleans or you don’t mind a few spoilers, here you go!
● Why are tombs in the New Orleans’ Cemeteries called Vaults?
They house thousands of persons. Once all the remains of someone have decomposed leaving the bones, the bones are collected, put in a bag and labeled. They are placed in the same tomb in an underground section or section below the tomb, called a vault.
● Nicolas Cage and Brad Pitt in New Orleans
Nicolas Cage fell in love with New Orleans when he visited. He bought properties there including a Haunted House that he ended up having to resell, losing a lot of money. A story was told that Brad Pitt ran out of that alleged ‘Haunted House’ and had to arrange for his belongings to be sent to him.
● Tomb Space in the St. Louis Cemetery #1
Though limited and extremely expensive, you can purchase your tomb space and place a tomb in the renowned St. Louis Cemetery where you wish to be laid to rest.
● Nicolas Cage (still alive) has his Tomb in the St. Louis Cemetery
● You can make a wish by Marie Laveau’s tomb
It is believed that if you knock on Marie Laveau’s tomb to wake up her spirit, then make a wish and mark three x-s on her tomb, that your wish will come true. She was especially known for granting love wishes. If you have the chance to revisit her tomb, you are to out a circle around those x-s to show that your wish has come true.
Note that persons are discouraged from marking any of the tombs. A woman was locked up in jail for painting Marie Laveau’s tomb pink. The tomb was white so if painted over, the paint would bleed through. They had some costly reconstructing to do.
● Persons currently reside at Marie Laveau’s home
● Why was Marie Laveau called the Queen of Voodoo?
It was believed Marie Laveau knew everything about everybody, that she could be in more than one place at a time and that she could make things happen to people. For instance, she would know a husband was cheating on his wife before the wife knew, then notify her. However, this was because she was a hairdresser by profession, so knew everyone’s business.
She had two daughters that looked and dressed just like her, who she also taught to tie their head wrap, called a tignon, just like her. Tignon is the French New Orleans version of African head wrap. Nobody else in New Orleans wrapped their head in that style. So when all three were seen in different places at the same time, it was believed she could be in three places at once.
In terms of voodoo, if a man was harassing a woman and the woman went to Marie about it, Marie would approach the man with a warning to leave the woman alone. Since she had the reputation of being the Queen of Voodoo, the man would instantly leave the woman alone and perhaps look the other way if he saw the woman ever again. She would be paid for these requests and this is how she gained wealth.
● Pioneer of Jazz, Louis Armstrong used to dig through garbage to provide food for his family.
● The late legendary soul singer, Aretha Franklin was inspired by Mahalia Jackson, who was the 1st black woman to start singing in the church. A performing Arts Theatre is now in Mahalia Jackson’s name.
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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