New Orleans may be known for its upbeat Jazz music, exciting Mardi Gras, and a million different takes on Jambalaya, but did you know that along with its celebratory culture, this famous city has a dark side, one that some may even call infamous?
New Orleans was the starting point of the slave trade in the U.S., a frequent stop for pirates, and is the place where voodoo originated from. Many of those dark times saw the death of many people, like voodoo queen Marie Laveau, pirate Jean Lafitte, and victims and soldiers of the War of 1812 who are said to still haunt the city today. In fact, an article published in USA Today named New Orleans one of America’s 10 most haunted cities.
So, when planning a trip to New Orleans, don’t miss out on the town’s eerier side and join one of New Orleans ghost tours.
Editor’s Note: All tours listed here are bookable through GetYourGuide – our no. 1 choice when it comes to booking guided tours and excursions. They have an excellent reputation, great customer service, competitive prices, and free 24-hour cancellation. You seriously can’t go wrong by booking your tours with them.
3 in 1 French Quarter, Cemetery, and Voodoo Tour
Witches Brews Tours does an amazing job immersing you in the mystical life and afterlife of New Orleans. Three experiences are combined into one as you walk through the city for two hours. From the banks of the Mississippi River all the way to the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, your guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing. Throughout your two-hour walk you’ll learn everything from the history of the city’s African American culture to why the dead are buried above ground. New Orleans is filled with both interesting and spooky facts, and this tour guarantees you’ll learn both.
Haunted Pub Crawl
This haunted pub crawl in New Orleans is all about fun. In two hours you’ll walk just under a mile and have plenty of bar stops. With a drink in your hand you’ll visit well-known sites like Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and the LaLaurie Mansion, which you may remember from “American Horror Story: Coven”. Your guide will keep you laughing with their hilarious storytelling, and they’ll give you great drink recommendations along the way. If you want to catch a buzz while learning more about this unique city, this is one of the best haunted tours in New Orleans.
Legends, Folklore, Superstitions & Spells
Bring along the whole family for this fascinating tour in which you’ll learn about the history, legends, myths, folklore, spells, and superstitions of New Orleans. On this two-hour walking tour you’ll stop at 15 different locations, each with its own captivating story. Not only will you learn about the practice of voodoo, but you’ll also visit the home of Marie Laveau, the New Orleans Voodoo Queen. Other highlights are the legendary creature living in the swamps of Louisiana, and Cajun superstitions. Your insider tour guide will tell you all you need to know about the dark history and mythology of New Orleans.
Ghosts, Vampires, Voodoo & French Quarter Tour
Among the best ghost tours in New Orleans, this tour immerses you in the spiritual turbulence, witchcraft, voodoo rituals, and vampire theories of the Big Easy. Your charismatic guide will keep you entertained on this two-hour walking tour as they lead you through many of the city’s revered neighborhoods. The tour includes everything from spooky sites like the St. Germaine House, one of the French Quarter’s most photographed homes, to the true story behind Kathy Bates’ character on “American Horror Story: Coven”. When it comes to vampire tours in New Orleans, this is the perfect mix of historical and spooky.
5 in 1 Ghost & Mystery Evening Tour
It can be difficult to choose just one when it comes to picking from all of the New Orleans haunted tours. This one makes your choice easy, not only is it a 5-in-1 experience, but Haunted History Tours has been rated number one in New Orleans. You’ll learn about ghosts, vampires, and the occult, plus you can experience paranormal activity in the country’s most haunted city. They even encourage you to bring your camera so you’ll have memories of the paranormal activity you see. Designed to be a comprehensive introduction to haunted New Orleans, if you only have time for one haunted tour, this is the one for you.
Ghosts & Vampires Walking Tour
Steady your nerves with a 2-for-1 hurricane drink before this top-rated New Orleans ghost and vampire tour. Once your drink is in hand your professional storyteller guide will keep you on edge throughout your two-hour walking tour as you meander through the shadowy corners and dark streets of some of New Orleans’ renowned neighborhoods. Learn why you should be afraid of the Mad Butcher, hear about Madame LaLaurie’s love of torture, and find out what really happened to the Octoroon Mistress. This intense and thrilling tour will give you the perfect introduction to the blood-thirsty vampires and ghosts in New Orleans.
St. Louis #1 Cemetery History Tour
Well-known as the best cemetery tour in New Orleans, your Haunted History Tours guide will lead you through the oldest and most interesting burial ground in the city. Learn about intriguing local burial practices while wandering through the ancient maze of above-ground tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. You’ll get glimpses of the final resting places of many of New Orleans’ most notable celebrities, including the second most visited burial site in America, that of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Recommended by Travel Channel, the History Channel, and A&E, you can’t go wrong with this graveyard tour in New Orleans.
Sinister Criminal Intentions Murder Tour
A tour that truly lives up to its name, this haunted history tour will have your stomach turning as you learn graphic details about the city’s most grisly and murderous acts. You’ll visit several locations in the French Quarter where unspeakable acts happened. The history lessons will tell of New Orleans’ seedy beginnings all the way up to the depravity that still happens today. Hear about the unsettling story of Katrina Cannibal’s murder and suicide and also learn the real truth behind the sinister socialite Madame LaLaurie. If ghosts aren’t your thing, this is one of the greatest haunted tours in New Orleans for you.
Dead of Night Ghosts and Haunts Bus Tour
The Dead of Night Ghosts and Haunts Tour will show you why the Big Easy is truly the most haunted place in North America. One of the most popular ghost city tours in New Orleans will bring you through the city streets on a comfortable, air-conditioned bus. Your guide will take you on a two-hour tour into darkness as they detail stories of urban legends, murder, and betrayal. You’ll cross one of the USA’s most notorious streets, once referred to as “the port of missing men”, and hear the captivating ghost stories that made New Orleans famous. If you want to relax on a bus and photograph paranormal activity along the way then you’ll love this tour.
Voodoo History Evening Tour
There’s no other tour like this offered in New Orleans. It helps you understand beyond the Hollywood stereotypes of voodoo and learn about its origin, how it came to New Orleans, how it’s practiced, and where it stands today. You’ll even learn why it’s so different from voodoo in Africa and Haiti and hear stories about a hysteria that gripped the city for more than 100 years. This 90-minute tour will allow you to see exclusive locations and meet voodoo practitioners. If you’re looking for an academic tour that helps clarify the often feared and misunderstood religion, this is the ideal voodoo tour in New Orleans.
Bonus: The Haunted Mortuary
Once home to a family with six children, this 1872 mansion was later purchased and converted into a grand funeral home that is said to have performed more than 20,000 funerals between 1928 and 2004. But business suffered in the later years and it was sold and is awaiting renovations. However, when Hurricane Katrina hit, plans were abandoned, and so was the building.
In 2007 the property was purchased, with the new owners turning the decaying funeral home into the Haunted Mortuary, one of the most famous New Orleans haunted houses that seems to have actual souls occupying it. According to its website, a phantom woman in white has been seen on the top floor crying for her husband who had long since passed on. There have been legends told of a tall, well-dressed man who shows himself when he believes people are disrespecting the cemeteries nearby. Two rambunctious children, a boy and a girl, have been said to play pranks on the unsuspecting living. There have even been accounts of a former mortician who spies on employees as he continues his work in the basement.
These are just some of the stories that paranormal investigators have found, and what you may find on your haunted tour.
When your tours are over, if you’d like to unwind in a slightly less-haunted place, Bourbon Orleans Hotel, located in the French Quarter is sure to give you a restful sleep after a day of experiencing New Orleans ghost tours.
Airbnb is also a great option for finding a nice place to stay. For specific recommendations, make sure to check out our guide to the best Airbnbs in New Orleans.