A bearded ghost and vampire tour in Nawlins
Posted on the 25th Oct 2012 in the category travel

You can't beat a good old American ghost story. They take them seriously over here, I've been on about ten over the years and the French Quarter Phantoms Tour in New Orleans did not disappoint. The fact it started and finished in a pub did not hurt - Flanagans on St Philip Street.


The fella who walked us round the haunted and murder hotspots of this remarkable place had a goatee beard, as has every other ghost guide I've ever seen. If you ever do go on a ghost tour and the guide does not have either a goatee or comedy facial hair then head for the hills, even if it is a woman.

The French Quarter has plenty of gruesome history, the hospital where soldiers had their legs sawn off is now a posh hotel, but according to the bearded bloke guests often see rivers of blood and smell the stench of rotting limbs, not unlike some of the bedsits I've lived in down the years.

Then of course there is the old convent where nuns desperate to get away from the whores of the docks came to nurse the sick and needy, and according to our guide looked after pale virgins who arrived with their belongings in a coffin. Handy for the old days because it sounds like almost everyone died before they hit puberty.

Then of course there are the  TB sufferers whose ghostly figures became shorthand for zombies around town. 
When on a ghost tour in Baltimore's brilliant Fells Point area one of the locals shouted at our group - "We're from Baltimore - we bullshit." But in New Orleans the locals, who must get sick of tourists wandering around looking for vampires, shout "ohhhh ahhh oohhhhh" at the tours. Which seemed quite apt I suppose.

This is Halloween, which is "mardi-gras for locals" so there are plenty of costumes and decorations everywhere, they take Halloween very seriously over here, it seems the number one holiday to get drunk and dress up for. 

Our guide was in his element when he saw Nicholas Cage's old mansion. The imposing grey building is the most cursed in the nation, no one has owned it for longer than nine years and all manner of shit has gone on in there, I mean Cage made flop Ghostrider 2 whilst owning the deeds to the house.

As the guide banged on about this nasty lady who used to torture slaves, sew cocks on to women's fernangles and throw young girls off the roof, my mind started to wander. Well my stomach did anyway the smell of the po-boy sarnies in the shop opposite the cursed mansion got me going, the guide said that if you told the shop owner you'd seen a young girl falling off the mansion he would not bat an eyelid. I thought about doing that but just ordered a roast beef po-boy with mustard and pickles. It just seemed easier.

For more information about the rather brilliant 'historically accurate and fun' ghost tour visit http://www.frenchquarterphantoms.com.



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