Stories from St. Louis Cemetery: The City of the Dead


If you’re an avid paranormal enthusiast in search of your next haunted travel location, then you absolutely can’t beat New Orleans. Not only is it considered one of America’s most heavily haunted locations, but it’s home to some truly historic sites as well. The very famous St. Louis Cemetery is both, so no trip made to New Orleans in the hopes of spotting a ghost or two would be complete without a visit.

Why Is the St. Louis Cemetery So Haunted?

Despite the fact that cemeteries are permanent homes to hundreds (if not thousands) of dead, the great majority of them don’t tend to be very haunted. However, the St. Louis Cemetery is a major exception, as it has been the site of multiple paranormal sightings for over 200 years.

As to why, many theorize that people simply want to see ghosts there, so they do. However, that doesn’t really account for the number of die-hard skeptics and generally level-headed people who have also said they’ve had a brush with a possible spirit within the walls of the St. Louis Cemetery. There are even multiple police officers who have a story or two to tell!

One theory has to do with the high number of graves and tombs that have been broken into over the years. (There are quite a few graves that have been allowed to fall into disrepair as well.) Many believe that’s a sure way to stir up a few ghosts! Another points to the number of voodoo rituals and séances that have been performed at the cemetery over the years.

Getting to Know the Ghosts of St. Louis Cemetery

When you consider the fact that the St. Louis Cemetery has been in existence for nearly three centuries, it only stands to reason that there have been countless people laid to rest there. That said, there are numerous ghosts and shades associated with the site. However, the following are some of the most famous.

Marie Laveau

If you want to know the most famous ghost of this location, then look no further than voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. She was a free woman of color who quickly rose to fame in the 19th century as one of New Orleans’s most famous voodoo practitioners. Locals have also reported seeing her walking the city’s streets ever since her death. Some even say she was brought back to life by a powerful voodoo spell.

As far as the St. Louis Cemetery in particular goes, many visitors have reported seeing her shade strolling among the graves. If you’re hoping to spot her yourself, keep an eye out for a woman of color wearing a head scarf and ceremonial clothing. You might even be able to spot her walking into the Glapion family tomb, which is the place where she’s said to have been laid to rest.

Henry Vignes

Henry Vignes was a seaman who was betrayed when his family vault was sold for personal gain by a trusted acquaintance whom he trusted with ownership. He is said to have been buried in the pauper’s field area for that reason.

If you’d like to spot Henry, keep an eye out for a solid form that almost looks alive. He will be tall, have very distinctive blue eyes, and be dressed in a white shirt. He is said to be looking for his family’s vault so that he can finally be properly buried.


Although no one truly knows how Alphonse met his end or who he is, many visitors claim to have met him. He appears as a young man who looks very much alive and approaches visitors. He takes their hands, asks for help returning home, and then promptly begins to cry before disappearing. He is said to be afraid of the Pinead family vault and has been known to tell some visitors to steer clear of it.

Other Citizens of the Cemetery

There are a variety of other noteworthy and interesting folks said to haunt St. Louis Cemetery as well. Some visitors even believe they’ve seen their ghosts. They include:

  • Barthelemy Lafon, a former architect and city planner who joined the notorious Lafitte brothers in acts of piracy after the Battle of New Orleans.
  • Paul Morphy, a chess champion famous all over the world.
  • Etienne de Bore, a Louisiana sugar mogul who was once a King’s Musketeer.
  • Several soldiers who fought and died in the Battle of New Orleans.
  • Bernard de Marigny, a gambler credited with introducing New Orleans to craps.

Should you decide to visit the cemetery yourself, always make sure you follow the rules. Don’t break into the cemetery at night. Instead, consider signing up for one of the site’s many ghost tours, as they’re considered to be one of the best ways to experience the cemetery. Happy phantom hunting!