• Tag Archives Madame Lalaurie
  • Grave Discoveries: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans – Part 1

    IMG_5949 (800x271) One of the highlights of visiting New Orleans for the RT Booklovers Convention was the opportunity to visit a very historic cemetery, the oldest in Louisiana, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

    Of course the main draw, after watching Season 3 of American Horror Story-Coven, was the grave of Marie Laveau. Marie Laveau was the voodoo priestess of New Orleans and wielded what many considered otherworldly powers. The more likely truth was that as hairdresser to the rich and prominent, she had her finger on the pulse of the community and leveraged her knowledge in all sorts of interesting ways to her ultimate benefit.

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    Voodoo networking if you will.

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    You’ll notice lots of little Xs on her grave. Supposedly, by marking three Xs on her stone and performing a very specific ritual complete with spins and an offering of gifts as homage, you could invoke Marie’s spirit to do favors for you from the great beyond. Or if you can’t be bothered to visit the actual grave, you can purchase a few spells from this voodoo entrepreneur. Seriously. Google it. You’ll be amazed.

    The fact American Horror Story – Coven was set in New Orleans and that the RT Booklovers Convention was being held in NOLA this year was a happy coincidence for me. Marie Laveau and her nemesis Madame LaLaurie were the main characters. The urban legend is that Marie Laveau is immortal and still alive in NOLA. Each of her daughters was also named Marie and apparently held a striking resemblance to their mother, which fueled that myth and made for a ripe and luscious storyline for Coven. So you can imagine I was even more excited to get to see Madame LaLaurie’s grave in the same cemetery.

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    Madame LaLaurie was not a nice woman. She tortured and murdered slaves while her husband held cocktail parties in the French Quarter…at this house.

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    Notice the Xs on Madame LaLaurie’s grave too. Like we need that maniac back and on the loose.

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    A few of the other graves had X’s and offerings as well. This was for some other voodoo priest. Our guide said that if people really understood who he had been they wouldn’t be trying to invoke him, which of course made us all the more curious. Well played, tour guide. Well played.

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    You can see people left what they had on them or could find lying around. Lipstick, seashells, beads, gum. If I were a powerful voodoo deity, I’d be a little pissed about the gum.

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    Other graves had stones or coins on them as a tribute to their visit and not an offering in hopes of returned favors. I see this in cemeteries in my own Midwest community from time to time. Haven’t seen any Xs however.

    Come back next week for another visit to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. There were too many amazing graves for just one post.

    Speaking of graves…

    Have you read book one of my Reaper Series?

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    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     


  • Ghosts, Vampires, Voodoo, Tarot Readings, and Mardi Gras Floats – NOLA Had It All!

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    New Orleans is a magical place.

    Sure, it’s the scary sort of magic, but that makes it all the more interesting. If you were ever going to have a tarot/palm reading, New Orleans seems like the place to do it and who better than The World Famous Voodoo Bone Lady?

    All of the readings seemed pretty vague to me, but hey, what do I know. I didn’t accurately predict the Superbowl outcome on National TV.

    Heck, I can’t even predict my own actions.

    One thing I can predict is that if you visit New Orleans, there will be voodoo. Some of it will come 32 ounces at a time on Bourbon Street but real voodoo can be found here at Voodoo Authentica’s Voodoo Shop & Museum where your voodoo isn’t ‘Made in China’.

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    After our trip through the Voodoo Museum, we all decided we needed to balance our spiritual energy and stopped inside the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. A mass was going on inside so we stayed in the lobby, but we felt properly cleansed all the same.

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    Ironically enough, after we left the church, I made a new friend on Jackson Square.

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    He claimed he wasn’t a demon but an alien. Uh huh. Those horns, claws and beady red eyes say otherwise.

    Another must do activity is Spirit Tours of New Orleans. Dawn and I took a daytime Cemetery and Voodoo tour around the French Quarter and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. I’ll have a Grave Discoveries post soon featuring St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 because it was amazing. I wish I had time to visit ALL of the NOLA cemeteries. It will just give me a good excuse to return. I’m thinking a Halloween visit would be most excellent.

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    The home of the notorious murderess Madame Lalaurie.

    Another night we went on Spirit Tours Ghost & Vampire Tour of the French Quarter. Dawn and I were the only ones to show up that night and our guide, Judy, gave us the five-star treatment despite a brief downpour.

    Being a huge American Horror Story: Coven fan, this was the highlight for me of that tour… the home of the notorious murderess Madame Lalaurie.

    We also visited several other haunted sites including the Ursuline Convent. The girls brought over from France were actually intended to be virgin brides for the soldiers. They arrived pulling trunks, which resembled caskets, filled with their belongings thus giving rise to to the locals calling them ‘Casket Girls’ and starting rumors they were somehow supernatural.

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    You can learn more from the Southern Area Paranormal Society.

    Another stop we made was to Mardi Gras World where they store the elaborate floats. Nothing too spooky there, but I did discover where exactly at least one Wild Thing is.

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    You can see I made another friend.

    On the bus back to the Marriott after our visit to Mardi Gras World another author on the bus was encouraging people to pull a tarot card from her bag o’ promo for a quick reading. I reached in, fished around blindly and pulled this one from maybe a hundred random selections…

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    Her name is Keri Stevens and her book Stone Kissed looks AH-MAZ-ING.

    Keri started to tell me the card wasn’t a bad card, that it represented change but before she could finish, I blurted out the fact I write Reapers. She took one look at me and said, “I’m done with you.”

    Well played, Keri. Well played.