Investigation Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller Investigation Date: December 5, 1992
During a sightseeing tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (considered the USA’s Most Haunted Cemetery) with National Park staff, we viewed the tomb of New Orleans Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau who lived from 1801 to 1881. The cemetery dates back to 1789 and is the oldest cemetery still standing in New Orleans.
HISTORY: Marie Laveau became the most powerful famous queen of the voodoo cult in North America because New Orleans was the only city in the USA where black arts imported from Africa and the Indies became so widely practiced and so deeply entrenched. Voodoo was based on black magic, charms, and good and evil spirits embodied in the symbol of a snake. Though its practitioners and chief adherents were blacks, whites sometimes sought its help in times of desperation, such as love affairs, revenge on someone or during frightful yellow-fever epidemics.
FINDINGS: With the water table being so low in New Orleans, these cemetery tombs were built above ground. The Laveau tomb is always covered with brick dust x-marks that are supposed to bring good luck. Whenever these marks are wiped off, they immediately reappear. There is no question that voodoo thrives today. Fresh flowers, beads, candles and other offerings were placed around Laveau’s tomb by followers as part of voodoo tradition. According to a local legend, Laveau’s spirit can be invoked to grant wishes,
We saw a voodoo shop on Royal Street. It took some nerve but out of curiosity we entered. The shop sold voodoo dolls, talismans, spell kits, statues and other creepy items. We felt very uneasy and didn’t stay long. Rosie was afraid the manager would cut a lock of her hair and use it for a voodoo ceremony. Me, I had nothing to worry about.