Countless locations throughout New Orleans are rife with spirits and the paranormal. One of these sites that stands out is the Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. Although there is also a second and third cemetery, this particular one is infamous for its history and shocking events.
In 1789, the first Saint Louis Cemetery was opened, with the sole purpose of replacing the Saint Peter Cemetery, which is no longer existent. It became the city’s new central burial ground, where many remains were laid to rest in the coming years. These deceased ranged anywhere from wealthy proprietors to paupers, and also included Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Queen. Even today, prominent people wish to lay claim to a resting place in the cemetery, including actor Nicolas Cage, who purchased a pyramid-shaped tomb there in 2010.
Although the history of the cemetery is captivating in itself, it doesn’t equate to the fact that it is considered one of the most haunted catacombs in America. One of the most commonly sighted apparitions is a man named Henry Vignes, who was a nomad sailor during the nineteenth century. His melancholy spirit is often seen wandering throughout the graveyard, seeking his family tomb, which was stolen from him shortly before his unfortunate demise. Another revenant, known as the Ghostly Alphonse, also traverses the land in search of something. His spirit has been known to stop visitors by taking their hand and pulling them aside. Then, with a broad, toothy grin, he’ll ask the tourist to take him home and then wither away. Alphonse’s seemingly kind-hearted soul has also been seeing removing the flowers and gifts from other graves and placing them on his tomb. In addition to these two lost souls, hundreds of others roam the land, frightening numerous guests that stroll through their ultimate resting sites.
Although it was once a location accessible to outsiders, the Saint Louis Cemetery cemetery was sealed to the public in 2015, due to a sharp rise in vandalism in the area. However, those lucky enough to book a ghost tour in the cemetery are still granted access and allowed the privilege of walking through the historic land that has rested within New Orleans for hundreds of years. It is through these tours that those with an enthusiasm and fascination for the supernatural are granted the chance to have a run-in with the dead occupants.