On the subject of the spooky, the otherworldly, and the weird, there are few states within the US that may maintain a candle to Louisiana. This fascinating and intriguing southern state is most well-known for New Orleans, the jazz and voodoo capital of the nation, however there are many uncommon and off-the-beaten-track points of interest throughout the size and breadth of the state.
Full of strange and various locations to go to and issues to see, nearly all over the place in Louisiana has a macabre story to inform. The house of Atakapa, Caddo, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Houma, Natchez, and Tunica tribes for 1000’s of years, the realm was colonized by the French in 1682.
It has had a troubled previous, with quite a few wars being fought over its territory and management being handed round between the French, Spanish, and British empires, and it turned the 18th state of the Union in 1812 with the Louisiana Buy.
A part of the rationale Louisiana is so stuffed with the weird and the macabre is its lengthy historical past of slavery. From the primary French arrivals to the Civil Struggle, slavery performed an enormous half within the story of Louisiana. This has contributed to the give attention to demise and voodoo that the state is notorious for and performs a big half in most of the myths and legends related to locations and occasions all throughout Louisiana.
From roadside points of interest and voodoo museums to haunted plantations and mysterious cemeteries, Louisiana is bursting with the peculiar and the unnatural and is the proper vacation spot for adventurous vacationers in search of various experiences.
Listed below are among the greatest, weirdest, and creepiest points of interest to find in Louisiana.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
A go to to New Orleans wouldn’t be full with out studying slightly in regards to the metropolis’s darkish previous and its associations with voodoo. In case you are cruising from New Orleans and need to discover the macabre aspect of the town, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, which is devoted to the historical past and beliefs of this fascinating faith, is the proper place to start out.
Situated within the coronary heart of the historic and delightful French Quarter, the museum was as soon as the house of the (in)well-known voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. It at present homes a shocking and sometimes spine-tingling assortment of artifacts, books, and different paraphernalia related to voodoo.
Common excursions are provided of the home and the museum, and there are even workshops and courses on the deeper mysteries of voodoo, for the bravest of holiday makers!
Jazzland was as soon as a thriving theme park in New Orleans, constructed on the positioning of the outdated Six Flags park and opened in 2000. The park was devoted to the pulsating, vibrant historical past of jazz that makes the Huge Straightforward such an thrilling metropolis to go to.
Nevertheless, the park was badly broken throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and by no means reopened.
As of late it’s nearly fully underwater, with rides and buildings poking out of the brackish swamp, and is a tremendously eerie and atmospheric place. Visits might be difficult, however it’s a tremendous place for city exploration and trendy wreck pictures.
Marie Laveau’s Tomb
The historical past of New Orleans is intertwined with the historical past of voodoo, and there’s no determine within the historical past of voodoo extra outstanding or extra necessary than Marie Laveau. This highly effective, well-known, but finally mysterious lady exerts a strong affect on the notion of New Orleans, and stays revered and nearly worshipped to today.
Not so much is understood for sure about her life or her demise, however her remaining resting place is a must-visit for vacationers, novice occultists, and anybody taken with voodoo. Her tomb lies in St. Louis Cemetery No.1, and though some students have solid doubt on whether or not her physique is genuinely contained in the atmospheric mausoleum, it’s a good spot to go to.
Believers nonetheless go to the grave and mark it with an X, within the hope that Marie’s affect extends past the veil and she’s going to grant them a want, though this apply doesn’t appear to conflate with any recognized voodoo apply.
Even when this macabre and intriguing tomb holds no curiosity, New Orleans’ attractive cemeteries are a incredible attraction all by themselves, due to the intricate centuries-old tombstones and attribute above-ground internment.
The Singing Oak
For an altogether totally different expertise, head to New Orleans Metropolis Park to find the Singing Oak, one of the charming and enjoyable auditory artwork installations you’re prone to uncover anyplace. This 300-year-old reside oak tree is rigorously hung with wind chimes, which suggests the tree ‘sings’ at totally different tones at totally different instances of the day.
The smooth, magical sound creates a splendidly enjoyable ambiance and makes sitting beneath the branches of the tree an beautiful method to get away from the quicker tempo of metropolis life.
As with so many locations in New Orleans, the tree was as soon as used for voodoo ceremonies, however nowadays it’s pure peace and tranquility.
Honey Island Swamp
Journeying past the town limits of New Orleans opens up an entire vary of various, but no much less wonderful and strange experiences for the adventurous traveler.
The primary port of name for explorers needs to be Honey Island Swamp, a 40-mile-long stretch of wetlands simply exterior of the town, which is a haven for alligators, water moccasins, all method of birdlife, and nutrias.
Nevertheless, essentially the most fascinating side of Honey Island Swamp is certainly one of its extra fantastical purported residences. Legend says that the swamp is residence to a mysterious, ape-like creature with grey fur and vivid yellow eyes.
Some tellings of the parable declare that it’s the offspring of an unnatural coupling between an area alligator and a chimpanzee that escaped from a close-by zoo! No confirmed sightings have ever been reported, even by essentially the most devoted cryptozoologists, however quite a few wild animals have been discovered mangled and mutilated, supposedly victims of this otherworldly creature.
No matter your emotions about US monster lore, a tour by the swamp is a pleasant expertise. It is usually an excellent probability to know slightly extra in regards to the Cajun lifestyle, as nearly the entire native tour guides grew up in communities subsequent to the bayou and are very happy to regale you with tales of their upbringing, traditions, and tradition.
Fort Proctor would possibly seem like some kind of Arthurian wreck, however it’s truly a Nineteenth-century fortification designed to guard the Louisiana shoreline and New Orleans from maritime assaults.
Regardless of its ruined look, crumbling into the swamp on the sting of Lake Pontchartrain, it by no means truly noticed motion in both the Struggle of 1812 or the Civil Struggle. It was accomplished too late to play a component within the former, and hurricane harm noticed it deserted simply earlier than the latter started.
As of late guests can take a kayak tour and paddle across the fortifications, which is an excellent method to stand up shut and private with the historical past of the place.
Abita Thriller Home
Standing like some kind of monument to American roadside kitsch, the Abita Thriller Home in Abita Springs is among the most eccentric points of interest that Louisiana has to supply. It’s primarily a life-size cupboard of curiosities, crammed with every kind of oddities and peculiar artifacts, from two-headed calves to shrunken heads.
Initially constructed by John Preeble, a Louisiana artist, as someplace to retailer his increasing assortment of outlandish objects after it outgrew his personal residing quarters. As of late guests can discover the home and the gathering for an interesting perception into the thoughts of a collector.
Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum
Rogues, rascals, and even straight-up villains occupy an fascinating and barely uncommon area within the collective creativeness of American folklore. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of essentially the most well-known and most beloved outlaws ever to have run riot within the US, met their destiny in an ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana, and this museum is devoted to them.
Telling their story by a group of artifacts associated to Bonnie and Clyde (together with the automotive they had been killed in and Bonnie’s pink hat), it is a uniquely American attraction, and nicely price a go to.
English nation gardens are well-known the world over, however you’ve most likely by no means heard of a Louisiana swamp backyard! Jungle Gardens, situated on Avery Island subsequent to the Tabasco manufacturing unit, are the one instance of their variety on the planet, a surprisingly lovely and thoroughly curated bayou backyard, and hen sanctuary.
The gardens had been initially constructed by Edward McIllhenny, the son of the inventor of Tabasco sauce, as a non-public wildlife protect on his personal land, and had been opened to the broader public in 1935. The gardens are residence to egrets, herons, and ibises amongst different hen species, in addition to alligators and turtles. A self-guided tour takes you thru the charming pure magnificence, previous a 9-century-old statue of Buddha, and a butterfly home.
The Tabasco manufacturing unit subsequent door can also be open to the general public and is nicely price a go to in case your tastes run to the warmer aspect of life!
Rayne Frog Competition
The title of Frog Capital of the World won’t be essentially the most extremely contested accolade round, however it’s one which the residents of Rayne, Louisiana are mighty pleased with. Yearly in April, the town of Rayne performs host to the Rayne Frog Competition, an eccentric however extremely thrilling occasion devoted to the consumption of frogs.
The Competition contains a frog legs consuming competitors, in addition to a frog-themed parade, and a very good carnival stuffed with rides, all of that are, you guessed it, frog-themed.
Touchstone Wildlife & Artwork Museum
One of many least-known points of interest in the entire of Louisiana, this fascinating museum situated simply exterior Shreveport is an actual secret jewel. Devoted to the ‘preservation’ of wildlife as artwork, it contains a assortment of over 1,000 taxidermied animals, in addition to a pleasant gallery of artworks by native artists.
As talked about earlier, slavery is unfortunately a big a part of the historical past and heritage of Louisiana. That is most starkly demonstrated by the numerous historic plantations scattered across the state, most of that are architecturally gorgeous if tragic in environment.
Most of the former plantations supply excursions, however Myrtles Plantation is exclusive, as it’s reputed to be one of the haunted locations in america. A go to to this web site is a should for anybody with an curiosity within the supernatural, and ghost hunters, occultists, and informal guests alike have all reported spooky sightings.
One of the vital notorious ghosts that hang-out the grounds is Chloe, a slave woman who was murdered by her homeowners after she was caught eavesdropping on their conversations. Sightings of Chloe have even been caught on digicam on varied events.
Bonfires on the Levee
In case you are fortunate sufficient to be spending the vacation season in Louisiana then a go to to St. James Parish for Christmas Eve is completely obligatory. The native festive traditions of this Cajun group are actually mindblowing, a month-long preparation culminating in an explosive denouement on the evening earlier than Christmas.
All through December, residents of the parish construct bonfires alongside the levee, historically within the form of a pyramid, however extra just lately in a wide range of sizes and styles that replicate present affairs or popular culture.
Certainly one of these bonfires is lit each evening till Christmas Eve, when they’re all filled with fireworks and set on hearth, unexpectedly. This explosion of fireside, lights, and noise illuminates the evening sky for miles round and makes for a very outstanding and considerably pagan backdrop for the arrival of Papa Noel, the Cajun Father Christmas, on his sleigh pulled by alligators. This marks the start of Christmas and is a very distinctive expertise.
All too typically when vacationers consider Louisiana they solely take into account New Orleans and its foremost points of interest. And the Huge Straightforward is undoubtedly an unbelievable place to go to. However sticking to the principle vacationer path and avoiding the extra uncommon sights and experiences, each within the metropolis and additional afield, misses the purpose of this incredible state.
Louisiana is bursting with bizarre points of interest, weird traditions, and engaging, distinctive cultural experiences, and it’s nicely price going past the conventional to search out what actually makes this state particular.
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