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Historic Haunts: Myths and Legends of the Vieux Carré

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New Orleans - A Haunted City

It's no secret that New Orleans is a very haunted city. Perhaps it's our age, our history, or our acceptance of the past as a part of the present. At any rate, we have more than our share of hauntings and ghosts. There are lots of ghost stories and haunted houses. So, it's no wonder that one of the best things to do, especially around Halloween is to take a haunted tour.

One of the Best Tours

The Historic New Orleans Collection offers an immensely popular tour called "Historic Haunts: Myths and Legends of the Vieux Carré" throughout the month of October. Based on research conducted at the Williams Research Center, "Historic Haunts" explores the truth behind some of the French Quarter's most chilling tales, focusing on 10 "haunted" places.

Historic Figures and Places

Infamous figures such as Madame Lalaurie, Marie Laveau and Jean Lafitte make appearances, as do the old Ursuline Convent, Napoleon House and a possible yellow fever morgue. The tour offers historical context for the legends surrounding these people and places, suggesting where the myths could have originated without necessarily debunking them.

The Historic New Orleans Promise

"We don't intend to dissect these tales in order to prove or disprove any of the legends," said docent education coordinator Lori Boyer. "The city is full of wonderful mysteries, which add to the flavor of our history. We intend to reveal different layers of the stories so that people may understand how and why each legend came to be. Visitors will learn about the ghastly details of each haunted location and then learn about the historical time period in which they occurred,"

About the Tour

The tour begins with the settling of New Orleans, when young French women were sent to the colony as brides for male settlers-and they were rumored to have brought vampires along with them. It continues into the time of Spanish rule, when French merchants plotted a rebellion but instead met an unfortunate fate. The tour also explains the atmosphere of death and decay that pervaded the city during the massive outbreaks of yellow fever in the mid-1800s.

When, Where and How Much

Tours are available daily Tuesday-Sunday, October 1-30 at 2 p.m. On Halloween Sunday, October 31, three tours will be offered, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. "Historic Haunts" is intended for an adult audience. Admission is $5, free for members. The Historic New Orleans Collection is located at 533 Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

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