Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1

New Orleans, Louisiana



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Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is located at the corner of St. Louis Street and Basin Street in New Orleans, Louisiana (Orleans Parish). It is owned and maintained by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The coordinates are 29° 57' 56.3" N, 90° 4' 28" W.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was founded in 1789, and it is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. Located at the corners of St. Louis and Basin streets. At one time the cemetery was much larger (300 square feet) but today it is much smaller due to development around it. Like most cemeteries in New Orleans, most of the graves are above ground tombs or wall vaults.

Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It just recently (March 2004) benefited from a big restoration project.

Saint Louis Cemetery is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of Marie Laveau, a Voodoo priestess, and her daughter...both are buried in this cemetery. Supposedly they return to life each St. John's Eve and lead their faithful voodoo practitioners in a wild ceremony/orgy. The area in front of her grave is filled with all sorts of gifts left by cemetery visitors - beads, herbs, bricks wrapped in foil, dried beans, bones, etc. Also, her tomb is covered in small x's or crosses...people draw them on the tomb for luck. It's also said that if you turn around three times, either clockwise or counter clockwise, in front of her tomb and then knock on it three times your wish will be granted.



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