Since New Orleans is below sea level and because the city was built on swampland, burying people in the ground is not a good idea. They can pop up when there is a good rain or when the voodoo is right. So, the local people harkened back on their roots and did that French thing of stacking the bodies like cordwood above ground in stone tombs (see prior post Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris). These photos are from the graveyard in the Garden District where hundreds of movies have been made. If you were a movie producer and needed a graveyard with above-ground tombs, you filmed here in New Orleans.
I thought Marie Laveau was buried in this graveyard but found that not to be true. As I walked around looking for her grave, I stumbled across the local cemetery historian (alright, a homeless guy who knew the area and was taking some tourists on a tour). He asked me if I wanted to join his tour and I said I only wanted to find Maria Laveau’s grave. He told me she was not buried here and that this was a safe cemetery and that they “didn’t allow no voodoo in this cemetery.” He told the me he had previously gotten a bag of chicken feet from the butcher and lined them up at the two entrances to the cemetery. Since then, there has been no trouble for anyone visiting the cemetery – or so he said. I thanked him and gave a tip of three bats wings, one eye of newt, and a pinch of ebazeeba (alright I’ve watched Elvira Mistress of the Night too many times) and left to find Maria Laveau.