New Orleans was founded in 1718 and is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. This city has witnessed more than its fair share of hardship over the centuries, so it is no surprise that there would be so much residual energy hanging around from the past.
This city has survived yellow fever epidemics, slavery, the Natchez Revolt, the Civil War, destructive hurricanes, massive fires and many other tragedies.
Despite all this craziness, New Orleans has always bounced back to vibrant life. Also known as one of America’s most unique cities with their distinct Creole cuisine, romantic architecture, lively music, parties and celebrations, it is no wonder why people flock here…and why some never leave…
In this article we highlight 3 of our favorite haunted hotels in New Orleans. We explain the history of each hotel and tell their most renowned ghoulish tales.
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Dauphine Orleans Hotel
French Quarter | 415 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70112
You want history and ghosts? Then the Dauphine Orleans Hotel is the place to stay. The site of this hotel has records dating back to 1775! One the most notorious structures being that of May Bailey’s Place, a famed bordello that opened in 1857. May Bailey’s Place was the city’s first licensed brothel, as well as its most popular and prosperous. However, before the brothel days, this is site is where artist John James Audubon painted his famous Birds of America series from 1821-1822. Now, May Baily’s is a fun historical and “spirited” bar serving up spirits and craft cocktails.
Another structure, now known as the Herman House was once the site of the Samuel Hermann’s 1834 manor, built using the best country brick, sand and cypress. He was a wealthy German born banker that ended up losing his fortune and home in the English Cotton Market crash of 1837.
It is said that this house was also the site of a rougher brothel, The White Elephant, where the women were ruthless and notoriously feared. Guests can now stay in one of the 16 Hermann Guest House Rooms as a part of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. Since 1969, the Dauphine Orleans Hotel has been established as an elegant and timeless accommodation in the French Quarter. During the 1991 renovation of the Carriage House cottages, original brick walls, wooden posts and handmade nails were revealed and believed to have come from the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte’s blacksmith shop.
The site of Dauphine Orleans Hotel has a lot of history, stories and ghost sightings. Here are some of their tales.
Although there weren’t any Civil War battles fought in New Orleans, Confederate soldiers often found themselves seeking reprieve at the city’s many bordellos, like May’s Place. So it is not surprising that some of these boys would still be hanging around.
There is one soldier in particular that is seen wandering the courtyard. To many he is known as the “Worried General,” but ghost investigators have concluded that his name is Eldridge.
In addition to the Confederate soldier, there is also a dark-haired soldier possibly from the Civil War also wandering around the courtyard near May’s Place. Unfortunately, not much else is known about our Creole friend, but maybe if you stay at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel you will have a chance to meet him yourself.
May Baily’s Place
According to the hotel manager, this is the most active section of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. The bartenders report everything from bottles being moved, barstools floating and entities of Baily’s working girls, apparently still working. From all reports, all seems to be friendly, just a bunch of spirits not ready to let go of good time.
One the entities, that people describe as the “whimsical women,” may have possibly been one of May’s ladies of the night. She is seen prancing and dancing around playfully. It is believed that she became an alcoholic after working at May’s and that might account for the spirit’s strange behavior, but she sounds fun to me.
Millie Baily’s story is a rather sad one. Millie was the little sister of May Baily and hated living the brothel life. She finally met and fell in love with a confederate soldier in 1861. Against all odds, he proposed and Millie was going to lead the life of her dreams. Legend has it that she was so excited about her wedding as she sewed her wedding dress, even caressing it at times.
Sadly, her fiancé was shot dead in a gambling brawl and Millie never worn that beloved dress to the altar. Strangely, it is said that she did wear it often around May Baily’s Place. Today, guests have reported seeing Millie in her lace wedding dress standing near her sister’s former establishment.
Amenities the Living will Love
Andrew Jackson Hotel
French Quarter | 919 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
What is now the Andrew Jackson Hotel first opened in the 1792 as a boarding school for boys that had been orphaned by the Yellow Fever. In 1794 fires raged through the city claiming many structures. Legend has it, that the boarding school was consumed by the fire, claiming the lives of five boys. This however has recently been questioned as some city records show that the building that is now the Andrew Jackson Hotel may have survived the fire.
Immediately after the fires, this structure actually functioned as a federal courthouse until the late 1800’s. The hotel took its name from an event that occurred at the courthouse in 1815. General Andrew Jackson (later the seventh U.S President) was held in contempt of court and charged with obstruction of justice.
The Andrew Jackson Hotel has stood the test of time, as it is one of the older buildings still standing in New Orleans. Here are the ghost stories that still haunt the hotel.
Armand and the other boys
This young boy ghost is thought to have either been pushed or jumped from the second-story balcony. Armand likes to hang out in room 208 and he is rather playful, so don’t expect to get much sleep if you stay in this room. He is known to wake up guests, laughing and even pushing them out of bed.
Apparently the spirits of young boys, who were most likely victims of the fire, playing in the courtyard at night can be heard. All over the hotel, guests have reported seeing apparitions of little boys as well as hearing giggles and little feet running about. Multiple people have even heard what sounds like cereal being poured on the floor.
This helper is still working hard, cleaning rooms and fluffing pillows. Not a bad ghost to have around huh? I wonder if she can do laundry too. Doesn’t seem like guests have to worry, but the housekeeping staff feels watched when they are cleaning rooms and often their work will get rearranged. She must like things just so and takes her job very seriously.
I don’t know why the former president would want to hang around an old courthouse, but apparently his full apparition has been spotted wandering around the second floor. It is a historical building and I am sure there are male entities from that era that may still be hanging around, but my intuition tells me it is doubtful that this particular spirit is Andrew Jackson.
Amenities the Living with Love
The Hotel Monteleone
French Quarter | 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Sicilian born, Antonio Monteleone moved to America and purchased a 64-room hotel on Royal Street in 1886. Over the years it has continued to grow to over 600 rooms. The Hotel Monteleone didn’t only turn out to be a successful venture for Antonio, but for generations to come. It is one of the last remaining family-owned and operated hotels in New Orleans, with generation after generation of Monteleones’ ensuring love and care of this historical hotel.
What is really special about this hotel (from a writer’s perspective) is all the literary greats that called The Hotel Monteleone home. Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway all stayed here and even incorporated the hotel into their works. Truman Capote loved staying at The Hotel Monteleone, and frequented the Carousel Bar & Lounge.
Modern writers like Anne Rice, Stephan Ambrose and John Grisham have also stayed at The Hotel Monteleone. With so much literary history, the hotel became a literary landmark in 1998. It is one of only 3 hotels in the United States to hold such a title!
The Hotel Monteleone continues to be loved by many. With fun glamorous features like the Carousel Bar, it is no wonder that some guests have choose to stick around this place.
Former Employees that never clocked out
William “Red” Wildemere was an employee that died at the hotel. The lobby restaurant door is known to always open despite being locked. Turns out the spirits of a former chef and waiter are still busy and don’t like the door shut. As a bartender myself, I can relate to their frustration.
Little Maurice Begere
This one is almost too much for me to write and as a mother it breaks my heart. Apparently the parents of Maurice, Josephine and Jacques, were frequent guests of The Hotel Monteleone and loved the French Quarter nightlife. Little Maurice was often left with his nanny at the hotel during the evenings so his parents could enjoy a night on the town.
Sadly, one night when they were out, Maurice fell sick with a high fever and passed away before his parents returned to the hotel. The mother was so distraught that she returned to the hotel every year in hopes of connecting with the spirit of her baby. Maurice did come to her one visit, comforting his mommy. Today, guests still claim to see and hear the toddler wandering around the 14th floor.
14th floor children
The 14th floor is technically the 13th, but superstitious builders usually skip numbering this floor. Anyway, the “14th” floor seems to be a hot bed for paranormal activity among spirit children. Guests have reported seeing a group of kid ghosts playing together in the hallways. The elevator has been known to randomly stop at the 14th floor even when guests have not pushed that floor, especially if living children are riding. Maybe the ghost kids are just looking for someone to play with?
Amenities the Living will Love
That’s a Wrap!
Okay, so who’s ready to book a few nights in one of the most haunted cities in America!? The funny thing is, if you don’t stay at one of the hotels listed…you will probably still be staying in a haunted hotel. That is just how New Orleans rolls. I shared these three hotels with you, because of their history, their stories, and their beautiful accommodations. I hope you enjoy your time in New Orleans and remember…it’s just a bunch of hocus pocus.
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