The Old Ursuline Convent: Most Haunted Place in the French Quarter?

Surrounded by a high fence and security cameras, the Old Ursuline Convent casts an ominous shadow over the French Quarter. Steeped in mystery, the Convent is linked to some of the most well-known ghost and vampire stories in New Orleans and, staring up at the locked attic windows, it isn’t difficult to see why… Catholicism is…

Elvis and New Orleans

One of the only things I love more than New Orleans is Elvis. Back in 2011, on my maiden solo voyage to the United States, on route to Graceland, I was able to visit the French Quarter for the first time and so, to my mind, the two are rather closely and fondly linked – they…

Some New Orleans Folk History (as told by Robert Tallant)

Voodoo in New Orleans – Robert Tallant 1946 You’d be hard pressed to spend any amount of time in the French Quarter, particularly a French Quarter gift shop, and not come across copies of Robert Tallant’s books. I’m hesitant to call either Voodoo in New Orleans or The Mysterious Voodoo Queen histories, at least in…

This Guy…

Travel (when you’re a young historian) isn’t always about seeing historical sites and learning the history of historical buildings and the ghosts that live in them. Sometimes it’s not even about history, its about the present. On my most recent trip to New Orleans, I was out on a late afternoon walk in Jackson Square,…

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

(Located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip) Where would New Orleans be without the legend of the Pirate Lafitte? Well, they would probably be still pretty well off, because they are not wanting for interesting historical characters, but still, he does bring a certain something to the already rich history of the city….

International Cat Day

As much as it’s nice to travel, to see the world, meet new people, try new things and to eat new food, it’s also always nice to come home. My experience of coming home is enriched by the fact that I know my cat, Elwood, will be there waiting for me. Today is International Cat…

They Call Him Touchdown Jesus

St Anthony’s Garden sits behind the St Louis Cathedral and, although it is fenced off today, was once a popular duelling ground for the French, Spanish and America inhabitants of the city. Duelling in New Orleans was a custom introduced from Europe and, in the early days at least, did not often result in the…

Cafe Du Monde – Romance and Beignets

It’s oft been said that no trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Café Du Monde. Funnily enough, I’d visited the city a few times without stopping there, but rather than it being due to ignorance, my reason for giving it a miss had always been the crowds. Despite being open 24…

Madame John’s Legacy – 632 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, LA

(Madame John’s, from the opposite side of the street) The first time I remember seeing Madame John’s Legacy was in the film Interview with the Vampire, in which it features only briefly in a scene where Lestat and Claudia are entertaining a Creole family before (presumably) killing them and drinking their blood. I was about 9…

Ye Olde Pharmacy Museum

It’s been many years since listening to a tour narration has made me so sick to my stomach and that I’ve had to leave the room, despite enjoying the tour content and having a genuine interest in what was being discussed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that my experience at the New Orleans Pharmacy…

The Sultan’s Palace – Haunted House or Historical Hoax?

One of the most popular (and most historically questionable stops) on a haunted tour of the French Quarter is the infamous Sultan’s Palace. Rather than pulling the story apart, trying to determine fact from fiction, I am going to recap it here as I’ve generally heard it (certain details will change depending on the account…