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Dawn came early in New Orleans. Although I had set my alarm for 9 or so, my cell phone ringing woke me much earlier, around 8:30. It was a stupid call. I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep. I got up and went down for breakfast and a cigarette. I had a bowl of cereal, two small containers of peach yogurt (of course), and something else. Or several something elses, including a cup of coffee in each hand. No, I’m not kidding.
I got dressed, checked my map, and headed out for St. Louis Cemetery via Decatur, of course. In addition to the 18 wheeler which pulled in after “Haste the Day” made their departure, three large tour buses had pulled up. Sweeeeeet!
Somehow, and I’m not sure how, I overshot St. Louis street or maybe I was just so tired I wandered too far east on Decatur or Bourbon or wherever the hell I was. I know at one point I was back on St. Ann and Dauphine. When I stopped trying to find St. Louis and just went north, I ran right into N. Rampart at Louis Armstrong Park and turned west to follow N. Rampart to Basin. (For future reference, there is a police station right on the corner of N. Rampart and St. Louis.)
St. Louis Cemetery #1 is exactly that, # 1 on the list of creepiest places I’ve ever visited and I live 45 minutes from where the Mothman lives, okay? Broad daylight, sunshine, breeze, beautiful day in New Orleans, place still gave me the creeps. Its like being in a maze and wherever you turn are more tombs. Sometimes you can pass the same spot twice and there’s a new tomb that you didn’t notice before. Just like it popped out of the ground like a dandelion.
My main reason for going to St. Louis #1 is because it is reportedly haunted by several individuals, including The Queen of Voodoo herself, Marie LaVeau. I did find where she was supposedly buried, although there was another tomb there that had just as many, if not a few more, XXX’s on it. You’re supposed to inscribed three X’s or make the X mark three times in the air, then request a wish, and leave an offering. All of which I did, twice, once at each tomb.
The eeriest of places within the cemetery was, what I call, Tomb Row.
As you can see, it was one long tomb, however, the plaster had worn away from the individually bricked crypts, reminding me strongly of “The Cask of Amontillado.” (Not “The Count of Monte Cristo” as I had mentioned to Seven. Wrong period, wrong author, wrong everything. I was tired!) Even stranger given that “Cask” is set during Carnival or Mardi Gras season. If there is one spot in New Orleans where the spirits walk with you, it is along Tomb Row.
There were three ladies around one tomb with incense and the like. I didn’t bother them. I saw this statue and smiled. Do you know why?
Two men were working on cleaning the tombs and there were also two tour groups. But again, due to the tombs, you could walk five steps and lose sight and hearing of all those other people. I used this statue as a landmark point to get me back to where I could figure my way out.
I wanted to stay longer but also knew that Seven would be calling for lunch and I figured I had enough time to swing back through Madame LaVeau’s House of Voodoo again and wander by the House of Blues for the 20th time.
In the midst of my wanderings and travels, I had no idea I did so much shit in such a short period of time, nor that it would take me so freakin’ long to write it all down.