The Dauphine Orleans Hotel is a notoriously haunted location that sits only a stone’s throw away from Bourbon Street. Located in the center of the French Quarter, this hotel has over a hundred rooms where guests regularly report ghost sightings, disembodied voices and more. But why is this location so infested with spirits?
In the late eighteenth century, a man named Don Andres Almonester y Roxas owned the Dauphine Orleans Hotel’s plot of land. He also owned most of the surrounding real estate as well, and eventually donated part of the hotel’s land to the local Charity Hospital. For a time, the land was used to treat the various ill citizens of the city. From this period, the land would trade between many hands, usually belonging to the wealthy. But it wasn’t until 1857 that the building’s use took a darker turn.
In 1857, May Baily’s Place opened where the Dauphine Orleans Hotel now stands. This business was a brothel, which was a location where people of ill-repute would often gather and participate in illicit activities. May Baily opened this establishment after her father died during the yellow fever epidemic, hoping to strike rich during hard times. With the help of a family friend, the business soon opened its doors. Luckily for Baily, she also received a license from the city deeming all activities within as legal.
Over the course of roughly a century, May Baily’s continued to run and thrive until eventually being converted into the Dauphine Orleans Hotel in 1969. Since then, guests and employees alike have reported ghostly apparitions, phantom footsteps and disembodied voices. But who are these ghosts?
The Ghosts That Dwell Within
Many of the people who have witnessed ghosts claim that some are simply patrons from the past. Men visiting their favorite brothel, even after death. There are also reports of the ghosts of prostitutes, still roaming the old building in search of their next customer. However, there are a couple of ghosts that seem to show themselves more than the others.
Millie Baily, May’s younger sister, was not interested in the lifestyle her sister chose in the red-light district. Instead, she wanted something more meaningful, and thought she had found it in a Confederate soldier she fell in love with. After courting for a while, the soldier proposed to Millie and they were soon to be wed. Tragedy unfolded the morning of the wedding day, however, and Millie’s fiancé was shot and killed during a card game. Devastated by the loss of her groom-to-be, Millie spent the remainder of her days wearing the wedding dress she would never get to walk down the aisle in. To this day, visitors and employees of the hotel claim to see her ghost wandering the building in that wedding dress, still grieving over the loss of her fiancé. In addition to Millie’s spirit, others claim to see the spirit of an angered soldier, whose boot-steps have been reported late at night. Could this be Millie’s murdered fiancé?
While there are many mysteries surrounding the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, one thing is for certain: there are paranormal forces within. Some are customers in search of a good time, others are grieving brides-to-be that still don their white dress. Unlike many other haunted locations, the Dauphine Orleans Hotel is not closed to the public. So, if you’re ready to witness the paranormal firsthand, book a room with them. And while you’re at it, come take a tour with us!