New Orleans Voodoo Tours
The history of New Orleans is intertwined with that of Voodoo, an ancient folk religion that traces its roots back to Africa. For hundreds of years, many residents of New Orleans have feared the dreaded Voodoo curse and its malevolent magic, which some believe can destroy their enemies and alter the course of their lives. Veiled in mysticism and superstition, Voodoo legends have influenced the city’s culture and inspired songs, books and movies.
The History of Voodoo in New Orleans
When large numbers of Haitians migrated to the Crescent City from Cuba in the early 1800s, they brought their Voodoo religion with them. In addition to the belief in a supreme being, the religion has less powerful intercessor spirits known as loas. Each spirit serves a purpose and can enter a practitioner to ward off illness and misfortune. New Orleans folklore is also filled with tales of Voodoo practitioners transforming into animals or causing animal spirits to dwell in others.
The Code Noir enabled slaves to freely gather in Armstrong Park, then known as Congo Square, to practice their religion. Saint Dede, a slave from Santo Domingo who bought her freedom while residing in New Orleans, was the city’s first Voodoo Queen. She held her rituals near the St. Louis Cathedral. Another famous practitioner was Marie Laveau. Considered by many to be a Queen of Voodoo as well, Ms. Laveau incorporated “holy water” and candles into Voodoo rituals. Her pact with a parish priest and the practice of encouraging customers to attend Mass formed a permanent bond between Voodoo and Catholicism in the city.
Voodoo Tours of New Orleans
Commonly regarded as a superstition or cult, Voodoo rites and traditions are still practiced in the city. Local shops sell candles, herbs, powders and oils related to the religious rituals as well as gris-gris amulets and Voodoo dolls that can be used during rituals to bring good luck, ward off evil and settle conflicts. Some of the best tours in New Orleans explore the mystical world of Voodoo. Guests can visit Voodoo altars, shops, Congo Square and the grave of Ms. Laveau in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Tour guides weave chilling tales about zombies and explain religious rituals with tales that blend history, facts, myths and folklore. Discover how Voodoo hides in plain sight, its connection with Mardi Gras and the creation of jazz. Learn about the fusion of Voodoo and Catholicism in New Orleans, present-day practices and the reason for jazz funerals. The Crescent City also has a Voodoo museum that displays artifacts, which chronicle the history of Voodoo in New Orleans.
Where to Stay in the Big Easy
The Maison St. Charles Hotel and Suites combines historic Louisiana charm with modern style and amenities. Conveniently located on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line in the lower Garden District, the hotel provides easy access to the French Quarter and other area attractions. Guests of the pet friendly hotel enjoy complimentary continental breakfasts, high-speed wireless and gym access as well as an outdoor pool and spa. The Maison St. Charles Hotel and Suites can also accommodate a wide range of business and social functions in its meeting rooms and unique courtyard spaces.