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He struck a match to look at his watch In the flare of the light they saw a young woman just at Pitot's elbow a young woman dressed all in black with pale gold hair and a baby sleeping on her shoulder She glided to the edge of the bridge and stepped noiselessly off into the black waters from Ghost Stories of Old New OrleansGhosts are said to wander along the rooftops above New Orleans' Royal Street the dead allegedly sing sacred songs in St Louis Cathedral and the graveyard tomb of a wealthy madam reportedly glows bright red at night Local lore about such supernatural sightings as curated by Jeanne deLavigne in her classic Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans finds the phantoms of bitter lovers vengeful slaves and menacing gypsies haunting nearly every corner of the city from the streets of the French uarter to Garden District mansions Originally printed in 1944 all forty ghost stories and the macabre etchings of New Orleans artist Charles Richards appear in this new editionDrawing largely on popular legend dating back to the 1800s deLavigne provides vivid details of old New Orleans with a cast of spirits that represent the ethnic m?lange of the city set amid period homes historic neighborhoods and forgotten taverns Combining folklore newspaper accounts and deLavigne's own voice these phantasmal tales range from the tragic brothers lost at sea as children haunt a chapel on Thomas Street in search of their mother to graphic depictions of torture mutilation and deathFolklorist and foreword contributor Frank de Caro places the writer and her work in context for modern readers He uncovers new information about deLavigne's life and describes her book's pervasive lingering influence on the Crescent City's culture today

10 thoughts on “Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans

  1. says:

    First published in 1946 Jeanne deLavigne's excellent Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans fell out of print for a long while In 2013 the Louisiana State University Press remedied that with a new edition including a foreword by folklorist and LSU Professor Emeritus of English Frank de Caro As de Caro accurately says of the 40 stories collected in this book deLavigne gave her legends a literary twist and the tales in the book read like literary stories All of these genuinely eerie and allegedly true ghost stories brim with fully developed characters intricate plots intimate settings and great attention to historical detail The world is full of books of ghost stories but very few of them are well written enough to ualify as literature This one does Note Like all art this book is a product of its place and time readers offended by occasional racial or ethnic slurs might not enjoy this collection

  2. says:

    This collection of ghost stories was originally published back in 1946 and a lot of the stories have not aged well at all That's compounded by the fact that rather than just recounting the stories each one is given a historical fiction treatment with characters and dialogue A lot of it written out in pidginyeah Lots of Massas in there There was nothing overtly mean spirited ba dum tss about it all it just doesn't sound good when read through the context of the modern day I was cringing through a good portion of the bookIt is a very thorough collection of New Orleans ghost stories for all that A lot of the stories in the book are ones I still heard when I lived down there And in a city known for its ghosts that's a pretty impressive feat

  3. says:

    I found this book in my grandma’s library when I was young and it scared me than a littlebut I read it all and several of the stories again and again usually by my small bedside reading light late at night It’s been many years now but I remember thinking and feeling the stories were from another time one that has faded from this world The stories succeeded in planting images in my head that stuck for years This is a real ghost book The real thing

  4. says:

    So far from an academic standpoint I liked the foreword the best It gives uite a few nice points of trivia about the author her time of writing and even a bit of background on some of the ghostly going on described in the book All in all it was a great addition to the original bookNow the stories themselves are written in an entertaining way and easy to follow despite the books age I would therefor recommend it to anyone even younger readers who are looking for a thrill What you won't find here are reliable accounts of somewhat suspicious going ons around New Orleans These are full blown ghost stories with shimmering apparitions and levitating furniture They are collected from true believers and retold in a manner your grandpa would use to frighten you around the campfire not in any analytical way But that makes it a fun read and even though some of the dialects the author put in for entertainment and which are often grossly overdone can be difficult to read through fluently they are not undeceivable Not even for me a non native speaker

  5. says:

    My husband is than a little surprised that I was reading a book of stories since I can't even watch commercials for scary movies However reading them is a whole different experience and this is a delightful book This book was published in 1946 originally The author is a native of New Orleans and did her research with old newspaper clippings diaries and interviews Are the stories all true? Not likely Some are uite obscure and she says in her opening note that it's possible that no one in the city had heard than one or two of the stories in their entirety before she published this book The stories read like stories with dialogue from the early 1800's and containing details that she could never have verified These are not accounts of ghost sightings The author was a writer not a journalist and it makes the book so much fun to read I don't care if they're true or not honestly I just like a good story Food Cracker Jack You can munch along and eat half a box put it down for awhile and finish it off later without missing anything

  6. says:

    I loved this 1946 classic not as much for the ghost stories as for the glimpse into New Orleans culture of the times References to the War Between the States blatant and unapologetic racism and sexism lively charactersnone of it is sugar coated for our times I had to add it manually because it's out of print and not in the Goodreads database but worth tracking it down

  7. says:

    “Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans” is a must have for any New Orleans buff tour guide or historian It’s one of the best collections of ghost stories that I have had a chance to read Read here