231-Marie Laveau – New Orleans

Marie Laveau was the voodoo queen of New Orleans in the late 1800s. She is supposed to have been born in the French Quarter in 1801. She was the daughter of a white planter and a free Creole of Color and became a hairdresser who catered to wealthy white families. Oral traditions suggest that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs and saints with African spirits and religious concepts. It is also alleged that her feared magical powers came in fact from a network of informants in the households of the prominent that she developed while a hairdresser and that she owned her own brothel. She excelled at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by apparently instilling fear in their servants whom she “cured” of mysterious ailments. Many songs have been written about here and she is still revered in New Orleans.

On June 16, 1881, the New Orleans newspapers announced that Marie Laveau had died. This is noteworthy if only because she continued to be seen in the town after her supposed demise. It is claimed that one of her daughters assumed her name and carried on her magical practice after her death. She is said to be buried in Saint Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans in the Glapion family crypt. Still, the tomb continues to attract visitors who draw three crosses (XXX) on its side, hoping that her spirit will grant them a wish.

Here tomb is in an “interesting” area of New Orleans (was I PC enough?) After seeing her tomb, I hoped to have my wish granted of getting out of the graveyard alive (since people were being killed every night in this area). Instead of being a scofflaw and marking her tomb, I drew three Xs on my forehead, got a glazed look in my eye, and walked out with a sideways shuffle. None of the locals saw that as unusual and I lived to be a weirdo again somewhere else.

laveau3X marks the spot – three are even better.

laveau2Notice the daily offerings at the foot of the tomb.

laveau1Don’t be a scofflaw!