A subject of many voodoo tours in present day New Orleans, Marie Laveau was a well-known woman who lived in the city in the nineteenth century. In her time, as well as today, Marie Laveau was known as the infamous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She was extremely wise, but also wielded a magical and mysterious power that bewildered those around her.
Marie Laveau’s Early Life
In the French Quarter of New Orleans, Marie grew up, the illegitimate child of a merchant and a Creole woman. When this future Voodoo Queen of New Orleans was eighteen, she married a man named Jacques Paris. Jacques disappeared after only a short couple of years of marriage. After his death, locals called Marie the “Widow Paris”. Many claimed that Jacques abused Marie. According to rumors, she used powerful magic to get rid of him. She inherited all of his belongings, which gave her a more powerful position. However, because of the lack of a corpse, the Voodoo Queen never had to attend a trial.
Laveau’s Incantations and Voodoo Practices
During the same timeframe that the townsfolk spread rumors and hearsay of Laveau and her evil incantations, Marie was building relationships with prominent people in New Orleans, including Father Pere Antoine of the St. Louis Catholic Church. Antoine even allowed Laveau to perform her Voodoo magic in front of the church. This act greatly outraged religious citizens. However, Marie Laveau helped enough of the community with her mystical magic. They claimed that her services were unique, not blasphemous. Rather soon, she began congregating her followers for voodoo circles. Everyone, from slaves to wealthy business owners, attended these circles. Witness accounts of these gatherings would speak of towering bonfires and people dancing wildly around the embers, sometimes covered in snakes, an animal popularly carried by Marie Laveau.
Although her rituals and reputations could be a bit disturbing, and possibly even terrifying, to some, she wasn’t only known as a monster. People of the town would travel to her for help, whether it be healing, protection, advice, or whatever else their heart desired. She displayed her wisdom and power during these meetings, becoming the new talk of the town years after he late husband’s disappearance.
Still Prominent, Even After Death
For years to come, Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, built her reputation. Many feared her, loved her or listened to her advice. In 1881, she died in her home at the age of seventy-nine. Even today, many call her one of the most influential women of all time, especially in New Orleans. Her grave, located in the well-known St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, is often visited by curious people taking ghost tours in hopes of seeing her apparition. Although she has been dead for over a hundred years, her spirit still roams the graveyard, watchfully and knowingly.