All Saints Day

A Good Night for Ghosts

History of All Saints Day

All Saints Day is celebrated the day after Halloween, November 1st. It is more important in South Louisiana than in any other area of our country. It is celebrated as both a Catholic Holy Day and as a day of family unity.

This day is similar to Latin American celebrations on the "Day of the Dead." Families gather to white wash or paint the tombstones of their loved one, make flower wreaths, and then decorate the tombs/graves for All Saints Day. The families would bring a picnic lunch to eat in the cemetery and work on getting the grave ready. In the afternoon of All Saints Day, the blessing of the graves would takes place. A priest would lead a parade around the cemetery. The priest would stop at each grave and bless it as a family member placed a candle on the grave.

Vidrine, Jane. "Louisiana Celebrations Rooted in Tradition." Folklife in Louisana 1989: 1. Web. 2015.

The Ghost of Jean Lafitte

Facts about Lafitte's Ghost

On Bourbon Street sits a quiet and unassuming building. Not only is it one of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter, it is also one of the most haunted. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop has a long haunted history. For years, there have been reports of ghosts, even what is possibly the ghost of Jean Lafitte, haunting this building.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop gets its name from Jean Lafitte, who was a pirate and privateer who called New Orleans home in the early 1800’s. A pirate and a privateer were essentially the same thing. A pirate worked for themselves while a privateer worked for a Government. They both looted and robbed. One was just socially acceptable, the other was not.

Lafitte became a local legend during the War of 1812 when he helped Andrew Jackson defend the city of New Orleans from capture at the hands of the British. Today, you’ll see many landmarks and buildings with his name in New Orleans.

When it comes to the ghosts and hauntings at Lafitte’s it comes as no surprise that the ghost most often seen in this building is the ghost of Jean Lafitte himself. He appears as a full bodied apparition. Full bodied apparitions are not as common as movies would make them out to be. Most of the time, ghosts are often seen as a mist, sometimes even a shadow person. A full bodied apparition would appear no different to you than a living person…except in this case our ghost is dressed in sailor’s gear.

The ghost of Jean Lafitte has never interacted with anyone. He has never said a word to anyone. He simply stands in the dark corners, staring at people until he is noticed, at which time his ghost disappears into the shadows. Now, this hasn’t happened just one of two times. It seems to be a fairly common occurrence here at the Blacksmith Shop. He is always seen on the first floor, most of the time near the fireplace that is inside.

So, if you’re going to be in New Orleans for a night, maybe you’ll want to come hang out for a chance meeting with Mr. Lafitte himself. You’ll notice that the entire place is light with candles…there is no electricity in most of the building!