In the case of the spooky, the otherworldly, and the weird, there are few states within the US that may maintain a candle to Louisiana. This fascinating and intriguing southern state is most well-known for New Orleans, the jazz and voodoo capital of the nation, however there are many uncommon and off-the-beaten-track sights throughout the size and breadth of the state.
Full of wierd and different locations to go to and issues to see, virtually all over the place in Louisiana has a macabre story to inform. The house of Atakapa, Caddo, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Houma, Natchez, and Tunica tribes for hundreds of years, the realm was colonized by the French in 1682.
It has had a troubled previous, with quite a few wars being fought over its territory and management being handed round between the French, Spanish, and British empires, and it turned the 18th state of the Union in 1812 with the Louisiana Buy.
A part of the rationale Louisiana is so filled with the weird and the macabre is its lengthy historical past of slavery. From the primary French arrivals to the Civil Struggle, slavery performed an enormous half within the story of Louisiana. This has contributed to the concentrate on demise and voodoo that the state is notorious for and performs a big half in most of the myths and legends related to locations and occasions all throughout Louisiana.
From roadside sights and voodoo museums to haunted plantations and mysterious cemeteries, Louisiana is bursting with the peculiar and the unnatural and is the right vacation spot for adventurous vacationers searching for different experiences.
Listed below are among the greatest, weirdest, and creepiest sights to find in Louisiana.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
A go to to New Orleans wouldn’t be full with out studying a little bit concerning the metropolis’s darkish previous and its associations with voodoo. If you’re cruising from New Orleans and need to discover the macabre facet of the town, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, which is devoted to the historical past and beliefs of this fascinating faith, is the right place to begin.
Positioned within the coronary heart of the historic and delightful French Quarter, the museum was as soon as the house of the (in)well-known voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. It presently homes a surprising and infrequently spine-tingling assortment of artifacts, books, and different paraphernalia related to voodoo.
Common excursions are provided of the home and the museum, and there are even workshops and lessons on the deeper mysteries of voodoo, for the bravest of holiday makers!
Jazzland was as soon as a thriving theme park in New Orleans, constructed on the positioning of the previous Six Flags park and opened in 2000. The park was devoted to the pulsating, vibrant historical past of jazz that makes the Massive Simple such an thrilling metropolis to go to.
Nevertheless, the park was badly broken throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and by no means reopened.
Today it’s virtually fully underwater, with rides and buildings poking out of the brackish swamp, and is a tremendously eerie and atmospheric place. Visits might be difficult, however it’s a tremendous place for city exploration and trendy spoil images.
Marie Laveau’s Tomb
The historical past of New Orleans is intertwined with the historical past of voodoo, and there’s no determine within the historical past of voodoo extra outstanding or extra vital than Marie Laveau. This highly effective, well-known, but finally mysterious girl exerts a strong affect on the notion of New Orleans, and stays revered and virtually worshipped to at the present time.
Not rather a lot is understood for sure about her life or her demise, however her remaining resting place is a must-visit for vacationers, novice occultists, and anybody excited about voodoo. Her tomb lies in St. Louis Cemetery No.1, and though some students have solid doubt on whether or not her physique is genuinely contained in the atmospheric mausoleum, it’s a good spot to go to.
Believers nonetheless go to the grave and mark it with an X, within the hope that Marie’s affect extends past the veil and she is going to grant them a want, though this observe doesn’t appear to conflate with any recognized voodoo observe.
Even when this macabre and intriguing tomb holds no curiosity, New Orleans’ attractive cemeteries are a implausible attraction all by themselves, due to the intricate centuries-old tombstones and attribute above-ground internment.
The Singing Oak
For an altogether completely different expertise, head to New Orleans Metropolis Park to find the Singing Oak, one of the vital charming and stress-free auditory artwork installations you’re more likely to uncover wherever. This 300-year-old stay oak tree is rigorously hung with wind chimes, which suggests the tree ‘sings’ at completely different tones at completely different instances of the day.
The delicate, magical sound creates a splendidly stress-free ambiance and makes sitting beneath the branches of the tree an beautiful technique to get away from the quicker tempo of metropolis life.
As with so many locations in New Orleans, the tree was as soon as used for voodoo ceremonies, however as of late it’s pure peace and tranquility.
Honey Island Swamp
Journeying past the town limits of New Orleans opens up a complete vary of various, but no much less wonderful and weird experiences for the adventurous traveler.
The primary port of name for explorers must be Honey Island Swamp, a 40-mile-long stretch of wetlands simply exterior of the town, which is a haven for alligators, water moccasins, all method of birdlife, and nutrias.
Nevertheless, essentially the most fascinating side of Honey Island Swamp is one among its extra fantastical purported residences. Legend says that the swamp is house to a mysterious, ape-like creature with grey fur and shiny yellow eyes.
Some tellings of the parable declare that it’s the offspring of an unnatural coupling between a neighborhood alligator and a chimpanzee that escaped from a close-by zoo! No confirmed sightings have ever been reported, even by essentially the most devoted cryptozoologists, however quite a few wild animals have been discovered mangled and mutilated, supposedly victims of this otherworldly creature.
No matter your emotions about US monster lore, a tour by way of the swamp is a pleasant expertise. It’s also an excellent likelihood to grasp a little bit extra concerning the Cajun lifestyle, as virtually the entire native tour guides grew up in communities subsequent to the bayou and are very happy to regale you with tales of their upbringing, traditions, and tradition.
Fort Proctor would possibly appear like some form of Arthurian spoil, however it’s really a Nineteenth-century fortification designed to guard the Louisiana shoreline and New Orleans from maritime assaults.
Regardless of its ruined look, crumbling into the swamp on the sting of Lake Pontchartrain, it by no means really noticed motion in both the Struggle of 1812 or the Civil Struggle. It was accomplished too late to play an element within the former, and hurricane injury noticed it deserted simply earlier than the latter started.
Today guests can take a kayak tour and paddle across the fortifications, which is a superb technique to stand up shut and private with the historical past of the place.
Abita Thriller Home
Standing like some form of monument to American roadside kitsch, the Abita Thriller Home in Abita Springs is likely one of the most eccentric sights that Louisiana has to supply. It’s primarily a life-size cupboard of curiosities, crammed with all types of oddities and bizarre artifacts, from two-headed calves to shrunken heads.
Initially constructed by John Preeble, a Louisiana artist, as someplace to retailer his increasing assortment of outlandish gadgets after it outgrew his personal residing quarters. Today guests can discover the home and the gathering for an enchanting perception into the thoughts of a collector.
Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum
Rogues, rascals, and even straight-up villains occupy an attention-grabbing and barely uncommon area within the collective creativeness of American folklore. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of essentially the most well-known and most beloved outlaws ever to have run riot within the US, met their destiny in an ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana, and this museum is devoted to them.
Telling their story by way of a set of artifacts associated to Bonnie and Clyde (together with the automobile they have been killed in and Bonnie’s purple hat), this can be a uniquely American attraction, and properly value a go to.
English nation gardens are well-known the world over, however you’ve most likely by no means heard of a Louisiana swamp backyard! Jungle Gardens, situated on Avery Island subsequent to the Tabasco manufacturing unit, are the one instance of their form on the planet, a surprisingly lovely and thoroughly curated bayou backyard, and chook sanctuary.
The gardens have been initially constructed by Edward McIllhenny, the son of the inventor of Tabasco sauce, as a non-public wildlife protect on his personal land, and have been opened to the broader public in 1935. The gardens are house to egrets, herons, and ibises amongst different chook species, in addition to alligators and turtles. A self-guided tour takes you thru the charming pure magnificence, previous a 9-century-old statue of Buddha, and a butterfly home.
The Tabasco manufacturing unit subsequent door can be open to the general public and is properly value a go to in case your tastes run to the warmer facet of life!
Rayne Frog Competition
The title of Frog Capital of the World may not be essentially the most extremely contested accolade round, however it’s one which the residents of Rayne, Louisiana are mighty pleased with. Yearly in April, the town of Rayne performs host to the Rayne Frog Competition, an eccentric however extremely thrilling occasion devoted to the consumption of frogs.
The Competition contains a frog legs consuming competitors, in addition to a frog-themed parade, and a very good carnival filled with rides, all of that are, you guessed it, frog-themed.
Touchstone Wildlife & Artwork Museum
One of many least-known sights in the entire of Louisiana, this fascinating museum situated simply exterior Shreveport is an actual secret jewel. Devoted to the ‘preservation’ of wildlife as artwork, it contains a assortment of over 1,000 taxidermied animals, in addition to a pleasant gallery of artworks by native artists.
As talked about earlier, slavery is unfortunately a big a part of the historical past and heritage of Louisiana. That is most starkly demonstrated by the various historic plantations scattered across the state, most of that are architecturally gorgeous if tragic in ambiance.
Most of the former plantations provide excursions, however Myrtles Plantation is exclusive, as it’s reputed to be one of the vital haunted locations in the US. A go to to this website is a should for anybody with an curiosity within the supernatural, and ghost hunters, occultists, and informal guests alike have all reported spooky sightings.
Probably the most notorious ghosts that hang-out the grounds is Chloe, a slave lady who was murdered by her house owners after she was caught eavesdropping on their conversations. Sightings of Chloe have even been caught on digital camera on numerous events.
Bonfires on the Levee
If you’re fortunate sufficient to be spending the vacation season in Louisiana then a go to to St. James Parish for Christmas Eve is completely obligatory. The native festive traditions of this Cajun neighborhood are really mindblowing, a month-long preparation culminating in an explosive denouement on the evening earlier than Christmas.
All through December, residents of the parish construct bonfires alongside the levee, historically within the form of a pyramid, however extra lately in a wide range of sizes and shapes that mirror present affairs or popular culture.
One in every of these bonfires is lit each evening till Christmas Eve, when they’re all full of fireworks and set on fireplace, abruptly. This explosion of fireside, lights, and noise illuminates the evening sky for miles round and makes for a very exceptional and considerably pagan backdrop for the arrival of Papa Noel, the Cajun Father Christmas, on his sleigh pulled by alligators. This marks the start of Christmas and is a very distinctive expertise.
All too typically when vacationers consider Louisiana they solely take into account New Orleans and its essential sights. And the Massive Simple is undoubtedly an unbelievable place to go to. However sticking to the primary vacationer path and avoiding the extra uncommon sights and experiences, each within the metropolis and additional afield, misses the purpose of this implausible state.
Louisiana is bursting with bizarre sights, weird traditions, and interesting, distinctive cultural experiences, and it’s properly value going past the conventional to search out what really makes this state particular.
Preserve studying US articles