Second only to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Halloween in this city is unlike any other holiday. Ghosts and ghouls, witches and wizards and drunk people alike fill the streets of the “BOO CARRE” to celebrate. All Hallow’s Eve is not just a singular day, but rather a whole month of decorations, costumes, and parties starting on October 1st. The Stanley Mansions along St. Charles fill with draping ghosts hanging from the trees and skeletons laying out on the front lawns. Neighborhood churches turn into pumpkin patches, and the French Quarter turns into a massive party with vampires and zombies running around.
The history of supernaturalism in New Orleans is a lengthy one, complete with enchanting stories about the Voodoo Queen, Marie Levau, and the werewolves that haunt the depths of the bayous in the swamplands. But if you’re not a fairytale freak like I am, you probably just want to hear about how to celebrate Halloween in New Orleans. So, where do you start?
First, a ghost tour in the French Quarter. Yes, I’m serious, book that $11 ticket, pick up a mango daiquiri on the way, and get to walking. Although these tours are often considered tourist traps, the guides have a spooky way of informing you about the city’s haunts, and it will make you fall in love with the southern charm of New Orleans even more.
Next: Krewe of Boo. Every year, the spooktacular parade rolls down Decatur Street with horrifyingly beautiful props and creepy costumes that come to life, all as they throw eerie souvenirs at you. It rolls on October 19th this year, so click here for more details.
New Orleans is no stranger to dead bodies and spirits. One drive across the bridge from Uptown to Downtown presents 3 different views of the famous cemeteries that grow above ground and are hauntingly captivating. Take a stroll through one of the many dead communities.
The Skeleton House is a New Orleans tradition that brings spectators to the corner of St. Charles and State Street. Boo Brees, Blake Skelton, Marrow-lyn Monroe and Scary Potter are amongst my favorites. Don’t miss this fabulous (and very punny) photo opportunity.
So, whether you’re dressing up as Barbie Dolls with your friends (like I am), or staying home to watch John Carpenter’s Halloween, take advantage of our city’s love of all things spooky with one of these haunting activities.
Cover Photo: Maddy Harbert