St. Louis Cemetery Number One – New Orleans

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil….

St. Louis Cemetery Number One New Orleans Lousiana
St. Louis Cemetery Number One
St. Louis Cemetery Number One
Gateway to the tombs

St. Louis Cemetery Number One on Basin Street in New Orleans, Louisiana is a fascinating place to walk around and explore. The graves are all above ground tombs that were mostly built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many have lost their former glory but the varying states of disrepair gives the place a lot of character and appeal.

People were buried above ground mainly due to the water table not far below the surface of New Orleans. You don’t want bodies popping up out of the ground! Can you imagine it? This is probably what gave rise to tales of Voodoo related zombies rising from the bayou!

Sacred Tombs New Orleans
Sacred Tombs
Mary Laveau  The Voodoo Queen New Orleans Lousiana USA
Mary Laveau – The Voodoo Queen

Speaking of Voodoo, I have to mention the tomb of The Voodoo QueenMary Laveau (1801 – 1881). A Creole woman from a coloured family that were free of slavery who became the worlds most famous practitioner in the ways of Voodoo. She was apparently very active in Voodoo ceremonies and the like in the French Quarter of New Orleans from the 1820’s to 1860’s when for some reason she suddenly devoted the rest of her life to the Catholic Church! Weird huh?

It is said that after she retired her daughter Mary Laveau II took over her ways of Voodoo, but also that even after the death of Mary Laveau there were still sightings of her around New Orleans! More possible zombie tales I guess? Very interesting indeed and I am sure this made for great subject matter for all manner of stories and rumours in the French Quarter. A whole level of tourism exists even today around Mary Laveau.

St. Louis Cemetery Number One Tomb of the Voodoo Queen
Tomb of The Voodoo Queen

Her tomb is the most famous in the cemetery and according to local folklore you present The Voodoo Queen with a gift (the concept of a gift is very open to interpretation!), mark the tomb three times, then spin around 3 times and make a wish. I actually saw people doing this! I wonder if their wishes came true? Not something for me, but fascinating none the less!

Gifts Voodoo Queen Tomb  New Orleans
Place a gift
Voodoo Queen Tomb New Orleans
Place your marks, spin around 3 times and make a wish

Not all the tombs are old in the cemetery. One of the more interesting newer ones is pyramid-shaped and was built by actor Nicholas Cage in 2010 to be his future tomb! Based off some of his movies and his interests I guess this is a suitable future resting place? The otherwise unmarked tomb has an inscription in Latin “Omnia Ab Uno” which reads “Everything From One“. It looks pretty sturdy. I hope it stands up to the test of time when he actually needs it!

The future resting place of Nicholas Cage New Orleans
The future resting place of Nicholas Cage

Take a wander past the tombs and read the fascinating inscriptions. It is an interesting step back in time. Who knows maybe your wishes may come true following a visit to the tomb of The Voodoo Queen?

Tombs St Louis Cemetery No 1 New Orleans Louisiana
The cemetery is a fascinating place

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Interesting! Beautiful photographs! I especially love the “Sacred Tombs” shot. Did you spy any spirits? That Nicolas Cage is a planner, eh? Funny tidbit! t.

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks. I think if you could go at night you might spot a spirit or two. As for my visit, the closest I came was the fact that I am pretty sure some of the people wandering around in there had drunk a considerable amount of spirits in nearby Bourbon Street!

    2. Deano says:

      Nicholas Cage is well prepared indeed!

    3. Deano says:

      On another note, for some reason WordPress will never let me successfully click the like button on your posts. But great work as always 🙂

      1. Ah, thanks! The feeling is mutual! 🙂 (Again, lovely post! I love strolling through old cemeteries. Did you spot any cats?)

      2. Deano says:

        You know I strangely don’t recall seeing any type of creature there at all, be it cats, birds or insects…..interesting indeed

  2. How many followers now? These are great? Has lonely planet contacted you to write for them??

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks. Ha, no not on their radar 😉

      I have a few hundred followers, but that isn’t much compared to the top blog writers! I am trying to get back to writing more. Most of my time is taken up with either working or travelling, need to find some more time!

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