Vampires and Voodoo: Halloween in New Orleans

New Orleans — By Eva Langston on October 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm

There’s nothing the people of New Orleans like better than putting on costumes and hitting the streets.  That’s why Halloween is one of best times for a visit to the Crescent City.  The October weather is sunny and beautiful, and with temperatures in 70s by day and 60s by night, you won’t have to worry about wearing a coat and covering up your costume!

Lafayette Cemetery

Get in the spooky spirit during the days leading up to Halloween by going on a Haunted History Tour then ducking into Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a dark little bar that used to belong to the infamous pirate, Jean Lafitte.  You can check out the New Orleans Voodoo Museum then wander through the New Orleans cemeteries which are known as the “Cities of the Dead.”  St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, on the edge of the French Quarter, is home to the tomb of Voodoo priestess Marie LaveauLafayette Cemetery No. 1 is just off the St. Charles Streetcar route in the Garden District, and is often called “the vampire cemetery” for its role in the movie Interview with a Vampire and its close proximity to the home of writer Anne Rice.  You can only visit the cemeteries during the day, but if you’re in the mood for a good scare after dark, take the Canal Streetcar up to The Mortuary in Mid-City.  During the Halloween season, this real, hundred-year-old mortuary is turned into a first-rate haunted house.

Halloween weekend is always a great time.  For the little ones, Audubon Zoo stays open late for their Boo at the Zoo celebration with trick-or-treating, costumes, and games.  For the big kids, Voodoo Music Experience sets up in City Park for a three day festival of rock bands and cocktails.  The Krewe of Boo throws their annual Halloween Parade through the downtown area, and in the days leading up to Halloween, the French Quarter begins to flood with costumed revelers.

On the night of the 31st, there is always plenty of fun in the French Quarter, but the real place to go is Frenchmen Street.  Not only are the bars and clubs hopping with live music and dancing, but the street is a nonstop parade of people in amazing and elaborate costumes.  The only rule – you have to wear a costume, too.  New Orleanians are as serious about their costumes as they are about their parties.

[Photos: Sorian/Kerry Vaughan/Creative Commons; Adam & Eve by Eva Langston]

Tags: costumes, Frenchmen Street, Halloween, New Orleans, October, parade, Voodoo

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