Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Madam Marie Laveau's Ghost

I recently reconnected by email with my old Vivian friend Jay Denny. Finding out at a North Caddo High reunion that I had started writing novels he bought a copy of Big Easy and began reading. Like me, Jay Denny lived in New Orleans for a time and here is a ghost story he swears is true. He is allowing me to tell it but made me promise not to reveal the actual hotel and bar so as not to offend the ghost of Madam Marie Laveau.
* * *
When I was nineteen, I lived across the street from Madam Marie Laveau’s house on St. Anne’s. In the seventies, I worked in a hotel on Rampart. It was rumored that part of Madam Marie’s bed was on the wall above the bar. It was a side piece that had a sliding door. This is so she could close herself off totally while sleeping and no one could cast a spell on her.

In the nineties, after a long sojourn in California I was back in New Orleans for a visit and decided to stay at the hotel. I went in the bar to see if the bed side was still there. It was, but the bar had been remodeled, the bed side moved it to a new spot.

I didnt tell a soul thinking some disrespectful person might mark it up if they knew the story. After checking into my room, I went about the business of seeing old friends from my LSU days and having dinner with them. We ate at recently opened Baco on Rue Chartres.

After returning to my hotel room I retired for the evening and turned out all the lights but one in a little dressing area kept coming back on. Thinking it had a short, I unplugged it. It came on again! Then I realized my room was directly over the bar and the piece of Madam Marie’s bed. Now that I think of it, maybe she was trying to thank me for not giving away her secret.


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