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                                                  THE HAUNTED JOURNAL
                         



There will be true ghostly encounters, ghost stories, ghost/haunted house/cemetery photos, other paranormal topics, and a lot more included in this section.


NOW READ:  A real life ghostly encounter in the New Orleans infamous French Quarter!


 
                                 
          GHOSTS in the FRENCH QUARTER

                                         
                                             by Lucinda MacGregor


    In the early 1970's I lived for a time on Royal Street in the famous (and sometimes infamous) French Quarter (also known as the Vieux Carre) of  New Orleans.   A friend of mine owned a bookshop on Royal. There were two floors. The second level was divided into two parts--one of which was part of the shop and the other was the owner's old living quarters that he vacated years before.  I needed an inexpensive place to stay in the Quarter since I was working at my mother's book & curio shop located nearby.  (I also worked two other jobs at hotels one of which was in the Quarter and the other the famous historic St. Charles Hotel that was later demolished to make room for a parking lot--the Historical Preservation Society evidently wasn't around in those days or had no influence to save the hotel.)  My friend agreed to let me stay in his old quarters.

    One night after the bookshop closed, I began hearing noises all around the place.  At first I wasn't sure what it was.  I had never heard anything like it previously.  I finally realized that the noises were large cockroaches (New Orleans having been built over swampland is a natural place for cockroaches to breed). Suddenly, while I stood in the middle of the studio apartment area I was bombarded with roaches flying across the room.  They seemed to be coming from all directions at once!  I immediately ran out and down the stairs to call a friend whose father owned a pest control company.  She said she would come right over. That meant I had to wait about forty-five minutes as she had to travel from a fairly long distance.  I wasn't about to return upstairs.

    Meanwhile, a little later I heard a loud clicking noise coming down the stairs.  It was one of those darn huge cockroaches!  Instinctively I ran to the front door and opened it waiting to see what would happen next. The cockroach made its entrance and ran across the floor making a b-line for the front door.  I moved back out of the way so it could go through the door.  After exiting the door the cockroach hopped down the steps and made its way along the sidewalk off to wherever cockroaches go.

    My friend finally arrived about an hour later and sprayed the place.  It was the kind of spay that left no residue of odor, so I stayed ther for the rest of the night.  (Knowing what we all know nowadays about insecticide, I shouldn't have stayed.)  She promised I wouldn't see any more roaches that night but would find a lot of dead ones the next day.  Well, she was as good as her word.  I did a lot of sweeping and
cleaning up.

    But, that was not the end of it.  Several weeks later I heard more strange noises and I investigated them enough to know that this time it wasn't roaches.  One night after the bookshop was closed while I was downstairs using the telephone I heard what sounded distinctly like several boxes being knocked over upstairs.  I checked it out but couldn't find any boxes out of place.  I then dismissed the noise and went back to my phone conversation.

    The next night I heard the same kind of noise while downstairs.  Now, this was getting more than a bit disturbing.  Once again I investigated and discovered nothing out of place.  Later that same night I was sitting reading on the bed upstairs.  It wasn't so late I couldn't still hear an occasional group of people walking by and talking loudly outside but it was late enough that I rarely heard any more vehicle traffic outside.  For the most part things were quiet.  Suddenly a folding screen, standing across the room, started rocking violently back and forth.  I then heard an intense clawing sound as if a cat was running its claws down the screen.  Meanwhile, I backed up against the brick wall totally petrified with fear.  I couldn't move. I just waited for the screen to stop rocking.  It did (what seemed eternity but the whole event probably didn't last more than a minute).  I just kept staring at the screen waiting for what would happen next--.
Well, I waited again for what seemed a long time but was about forty minutes.  I slowly got up and walked over to move the screen aside to I could look at it in the direct light.  I expected to see claw marks on it but there were none!  I then checked the door that led to the roof and the door downstairs.  Both were locked.
I decided to call a friend who lived down the street and ask him to come over.  I noticed then that it was one o'clock.

    My friend arrived just a few minutes later carrying an antique gun from the Civil War era!  We checked the door to the attic again.  Then we checked the attic and a small area that led to the other side of the attic that was part of the beauty parlor next door.  Both doors were locked.  We thought at first that there might be some way a cat might have entered the premises but we couldn't find one anywhere.  And the place was not known for having rats.

    My friend stayed and we talked until daybreak.  After that I decided to get some sleep until my other friend, the bookshop owner, came along to open up.  I decided right then to move out.

    I called an inexpensive local mover later the same morning to schedule him to come over and move my console tv out.  The place was furnished so I didn't have much and was able to move out the rest of my things in a friend's car.  Despite the inconvenience I moved back to my parents house indefinitely.

    During the next several years I talked to four individuals who previously lived in that studio apartment in the bookshop--one was my friend the owner, the next was an acquaintance who lived there before moving into an apartment across the patio in the back of the building, an artist friend who once lived in the studio apartment for a while, and a former boyfriend (still a friend) who also stayed there for a couple of years.
All of them told me basically the same story.  They experienced strange occurrences there but never bothered to tell anyone about it.  They were afraid people would laugh at them.  The only difference between what happened to them and what happened to me was that they only heard strange noises and could never find out why any of it happened.  I also learned that there was a story rumored around the Quarter for many years that someone was murdered on the patio and someone committed suicide by jumping off the roof.  I understand that it had something to do with some tragic love affair.  These buildings date to pre-Civil War times.

    In 1989 I stopped by the old bookshop to see how it had changed.  My friend relocated his shop to another part of the Quarter and someone moved in and opened up an occult shop in its place.  I asked him if any strange things ever happened to him since he moved in.  He told me about the previous owner and how she was terrorized by something in the place, got very ill, had to move out and sell the place.  After he moved in, he noticed the same cold spots she spoke of (something I never noticed) and occasionally some strange noises occurred.  He decided to perform his own rites of exorcism (he's a practicing Druid priest). Since he did that he hasn't heard any more strange noises and the cold spots disappeared.  Now I was always skeptical about things that go bump in the night, but we pretty much concurred that perhaps since the only individuals who experienced the worst occurrences in the place were female (myself and the previous owner) that evidently whatever was there probably held a resentment against females.  All of the others were men and what problems they experienced were very mild.  The only other answer might be that both she and I are extremely in tune with whatever entities existed there.  Now that's something I would rather not think about--!

    I will always remember what happened to me in that old French Quarter apartment.  Though I have lived in several others, I never noticed anything odd, but I will say that the Quarter has a special atmosphere.  It has a very haunted atmosphere.  The old buildings have been maintained pretty much as they were built. The entire area mostly looks like something where time stood still for a few hundred years.  It reminds visitors of something they would encounter in Paris.  It has a reputation for being haunted.  After all, this is the city where writers such as Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, Nancy Collins, and several more have based their vampire, ghost, and witch novels.  Many mystery writers have written endless stories and novels about scandals and murders in the French Quarter (as well as other areas of the city such as the old historic Garden District and the variety of old European-styled cemeteries with above-ground tombs).  Many of these writers reside in New Orleans.  The atmosphere gives them much incentive for creativity.  The history of the French Quarter is full of tales about ghosts, pirates such as Jean Lafitte, infamous murders, the selling of slaves in the slave markets, voodoo practioners such as Marie Lavou, Voodoo Queen and her daughter who followed in her footsteps.  I can't bear witness to the truth of those stories but I can state, without a doubt, that what occurred in that old bookshop did indeed happen because it happened to ME!

Now read what's in haunted Baltimore:



                                                   AT The POE GRAVESITE

                                             by Lucinda MacGregor




    In 1985 I lived in Baltimore for a few months.  I had an opportunity to visit the Edgar Allan Poe gravesite. It's located on the grounds of the Westminister Presbyterian Church at Fayette & Green Strs.  I took the tour given and I learned a lot of interesting things not just about Poe but also about the history of the area, the church, and the catacombs underneath the building.  I even managed to take some photos of the gravesite. The Church was built on the original site of the cemetery and the catacombs beneath are part of that old cemetery.  There is an interesting tomb inside the catacombs where coffins are stacked in a corner and a large variety of skeletons are piled nearby.  The church is in excellent condition and services are still held there.  The tour was fascinating, the catacombs appropriately creepy and the Poe monument is elegant. Every year on Poe's birthday (January 19th) someone dressed in black shows up at his grave and leaves a bottle of cognac and three roses.  The home that Poe lived in is located at 203 North Amity St. and is also open for tours.  Both the catacombs and the house are said to be haunted.


Some recommended Poe links:


Traveling With Poe
http://www.poedecoder.com/Qrisse/usastrip/

E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore
http://www.eapoe.org

A Poe Webliography
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~ehrlich/poesites.html

E. A. Poe Memorial
http://www.dgbn.com/coldmarble/poe/poe.html


MORE TO COME!