Haunted Stays VIII: Haunted Hotels of The French Quarter

Hotel Provincial Fountain

Welcome to New Orleans, the Crescent City, the Big Easy, whatever you prefer to call it. This unique city in the deep south has long been believed by many in the paranormal field to be a place of mystery, magic and ghosts. If you should ever visit New Orleans for either sightseeing or hunting its many ghosts, you may want to consider staying the night in these two haunted hotels.

Hotel Provincial

Much like the city that surrounds it, Hotel Provincial has a long and storied history of gruesome death and darkness. Originally, the hotel was a convent for the Ursaline Order of nuns. After serving God for several years, the building was converted into a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers in 1722. Between 1722 and 1870, the building changed hands until the building became old and dangerous for habitation. Finally, the building was torn down to make way for a new one. Sadly, that new building didn’t last long, a fire burned it to the ground in 1874. When the fire brigade sifted through the rubble and charred remains, they discovered that several people had perished in the inferno.

A century later, the building was resurrected from the ashes in 1969 and reopened as Hotel Provincial, the French Quarter’s poshest hotel. However, something of the building’s past remained, as staff and guests complained of encountering disturbing entities in its rooms and halls making the Hotel Provincial a hotbed of psychic phenomena.

The overwhelming majority of the hauntings at this French Quarter hotel appear to be nothing more than psychic imprints, more commonly known as residual hauntings. Witnesses have told strange tales of the sudden appearances of soldiers in tattered, blood-soaked uniforms moaning in agony. These shades of a time long since passed are believed to be the soldiers who were patients when the building was a hospital.

The patients of the old veteran’s hospital aren’t the only ghosts seen around the hotel. A few guests have walked into their rooms to see phantom doctors attending to their patient’s wounds as small streams of blood flow down the halls. The ghosts of Hotel Provincial may not be interactive with the living, but this doesn’t make them any less terrifying.

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Bourbon Orleans Hotel

In the old days of New Orleans, before the emancipation of slaves, it was considered fashionable for men of means to take mistresses of mixed race as lovers. While they were free, these women were considered unacceptable by New Orleans’ society. Parties were often held in local hotels for the purpose of wealthy men meeting these lovely young women and Bourbon Orleans Hotel was a popular location for these parties. Today this French Quarter hotel is haunted by its notorious past.

Like many old hotels, Bourbon Orleans started out as a convent for The Sisters of the Holy Family. This particular convent was unique as it was the only convent in the south for nuns of African descent. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the convent was deconsecrated and reopened as a social club for wealthy young men looking for a good time.

Unlike the ghosts of Hotel Provincial, the specters of Bourbon Orleans are very much aware of their surroundings. Some of the most active ghosts at the hotel are children running up and down the halls. These children are believed to be the progeny of the wealthy men who frequented the social club and their mistresses. Much like living children, these spectral children delight in playing harmless pranks on the staff and guests.

If there was any one room in the building said to be the most haunted, the grand ballroom would be it. People in the vicinity of the ballroom have heard talking, laughing and music emanating from the ballroom as if a lively party was in full swing. While others have claimed to catch a glimpse of apparitions in period attire dancing to music that hasn’t been played in the ballroom for centuries. Oftentimes, curiosity has caused these people to cross the threshold to get a better look at this bizarre vision of the past. But when they do, the party abruptly ceases, and the apparitions vanish leaving in its wake a dark room filled with a cold chill.

The first-floor reception is said to be home to a rather unpleasant old man. The grumpy figure sits in a chair chomping away on a cigar as he reads his paper. When someone approaches him, he gives them an angry glare and fades away.

Perhaps the most comical story about the ghosts of the Bourbon Orleans was an isolated incident. One afternoon a maintenance man was working in a stairwell when he became frustrated and unleashed a stream of crude words. Suddenly, he felt what could only be described as a slap across his face. As he stood there speechless, he could feel a presence that clearly disapproved of his choice in words. Staff believe he was sharply corrected by one of the godly women that served their god there centuries earlier.

New Orleans is a town celebrated for not only it’s culture, but its many tales of ghosts and other supernatural beings said to stalk the night. The very foundations cry out with stories of bloodshed and ghosts forever in anguish.

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About Rick Hale 106 Articles
Rick Hale became interested in anomalous phenomenon at an early age after encountering an apparition in his grandparent's home. Rick is the author of "The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghost and Demons," and "Behold! Shocking True Tales Off Terror...And Some Other Spooky Stuff." Rick has been published in Haunted Times Magazine, Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, Spookyisles.com and Legends Magazine. Rick appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and Ghost Tapes: The Series found at YouTube.com.

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