Haunted Hotel, THE Haunted Hotel situated at 623 Ursulines in New Orleans’s oldest and most infamous neighborhoods – the French Quarter – just celebrated its centennial birthday.
New Orleans is home to a host of superstitions, mysteries, and eclectic personalities – from both of this world and the next. Accounts of nefarious settlers, voodoo ceremonies performed under the cloak of night, and macabre unsolved mysteries have created the perfect breeding ground for tales told of ghostly sightings and phantoms of gruesome crimes.
One such grisly report is told in hushed warning – albeit, in a light-hearted fashion, to the patrons of The Haunted Hotel where nearly a dozen murders have taken place over the last century.
“Please don’t die during your stay, We hate cleaning up dead bodies…” The Haunted Hotel
The Axeman, one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th Century in New Orleans began his gruesome butchering crime spree in early 1918. Appearing to target the Italian community, the Axeman usually used the victim’s own axe to attack them in the dead of night while they slept.
The true identity of the Axeman was never confirmed. Was he one of the several people questioned and then later released due to lack of evidence? Was he one of the assistants trying to crack the case? One theory is that he was the unassuming handyman, renting one of the back rooms in the slaves quarters in what is now the hotel. We may never know.
In the spring of 1919, the New Orleans newspaper reportedly received a letter from the Axeman. Now, whether the letter gives insight to the murderous mindset showing that the Axeman was toying with New Orleans terrified population or he was just a lover of jazz, is still debated today in the quiet courtyard of Haunted Hotel.
The Mysterious Warning
You read the letter and come to your own conclusion of the ghastly criminal mind that terrorized the city –
“Hell, March 13, 1919
They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.
When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know who they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company…
Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will, I could slay thousands of your best citizens, for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.
Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people.
Here it is; I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe).
— The Axeman”
Nearly every dining hall, saloon, and home of the French Quarter had jazz melodies pouring out of its open windows and doors into the streets. No one lost their lives to the Axeman’s brutality that night. Was he in the streets or saloons that night, watching the crowds, listening as musicians played song after song in an effort to protect New Orleans? Or was he in his rented room doing a simple repair?
The Haunted Hotel
Again, we may never know. What we do know is that many hotel guests have told of their experiences while staying in one of the rooms. Experiences of unexplained noises – sometimes a grinding of metal on stone – in the night. Other times there is an uncomfortable presence but when the guest looks around, no one is there. Paranormal experts say that spirits can be attached to a physical item. Perhaps the Axeman is attached to the old rusty axe that was found in a dark corner of the attic during remodelling.
Amenities of The Haunted Hotel
Off-street parking – first come basis
Convenient walking distance to restaurants and nightlife
Warm and friendly staff that helps ward off malicious spirits
A stay in the Haunted Hotel is not for the faint of heart. Are you brave? Brave enough to stay one night? The entire night? Will you be the guest that one of the many spirits trapped on this realm reach out to? Or will you have a quiet and peaceful nights rest in one of the hotels overstuffed beds adorned with crisp white linens and fluffy pillows? The only way to know is to book a room. When you arrive, don’t expect a greeting by the bellhop – he was murdered, the poor soul.
“Is breakfast included? Never happens, ghosts don’t eat silly.”
Did you survive a night in the Haunted Hotel? Did you hear the axe being sharpened? Share your other-worldly experience details. We are dying to know.
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