Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau is Still Alive in New Orleans
"We've all known since childhood that visiting the tomb of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau to make a wish was the place to go. We knew to sign with a brick-chalk crossroads "X," to bring pennies and gifts. We knew that she would help. This is something I have known my whole life!” States Bloody Mary, a Creole New Orleanian with a bloodline dating back to 1718.
“Her tomb, her life, and her afterlife have haunted New Orleans throughout the ages in whispers and hushed tones... In times of trouble and through troubadours who by broad daylight tell her tales."
“For eighty years on this earth Marie Laveau’s spirit raged on in the insurmountable odds of nineteenth-century New Orleans. Her spirit is venerated and will continue to permeate New Orleans, as will the controversies about her life and her tomb. In the special case of Marie’s legendary growth both before and after her physical death she has reached beyond the limits of just New Orleans. She is known the world over and is called on as the Popess of Voodoo. Add in the sheer number of people who visit her tomb, who evoke her spirit, willingly or not, she, is the number one spirit called upon in North America outside the confines of the church.” according to Hauntings, Horrors and Dancing with the dead by Bloody Mary 2016 Weiser publishing,
Native New Orleanian Marie Laveau 1801-1881 has the number one visited tomb in the country here in New Orleans St Louis Cemetery #1! Since there are no family members who actually own the tomb it is under the jursidciton of the Catholic Archdiocese. For 3 years since 2017 this cemetery pubic access is denied and you must travel with a licensed tour company to visit. No offerings are allowed at the tomb of Marie Laveau but altars and shrines throughout New Orleans are availablte to pay homage. Go to the Haunted Museum NOLA, Voodooo Musuem, Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo and the Healing Center for viewing altars, offerings and learning more. If you want to give Financial help you can donate direct to the Archdiocese for tomb restoration here .
Bloody Marys tours had taken groups for 25 years to visit Marie Lavesu at St Louis cemetery number one and explores all cemeteries in town on the longest running small group cemetery tours by van or by foot.
Legends still grow about Marie Laveau through recreated folklore from the web (or fakelore) and suddenly she is consorting with zombies or becomes a stealthy, baby-snatching, murderess as portrayed in American Horror Story and the confusion about Marie compounds in exponential proportions. Come learn the truth about the magic of Marie and the woman at Hoodoo Happenings, St Johns eve ritual and Swamp magic fest events for talks and tours with us in person . Meet our guides who are historians, authors and Voodoo priests at Bloody Mary's Tours at the Haunted Museum.
Legends of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau
Let’s go back a bit to enjoy some of the actual local legends from the last 150 years here in New Orleans:
“Her love spells were so wondrous that a rich client gifted her a cottage (on St. Anne Street) in gratitude. She led rituals there and in Congo Square. Those Voodoo orgies, especially on St. John’s Eve, were legendary displays of debauchery. The courts, judges, and policemen were all under Marie’s control. She stopped public executions by evoking storms. She was an angel of mercy and a mercy killer to the condemned, depending on the case. Her regular job as a hairdresser, a ruse, was just one way to get all the info that she desired (and the hair too!). She was updated by a slithering contortion of spies winding in an out of the rich homes who sold her their secrets to enchant all to believe that she could read your mind. She would even put spells on people just so they would come to her and have them removed, she did anything to turn a buck, her daughters grew to look just like her and they finally continued her reign granting her the glamour of illusion, of eternal youth. She died in a storm on the lake on her big day of St. John’s, when she called on the 'debbil' in the form of a snake. She had a big funeral with the who’s who in attendance, then her remains were buried and reburied again in at least four different cemeteries, particularly here she still answers requests, grants wishes, heals ya, makes ya rich and makes ya cry. She was and is forever Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.” - Bloody Mary’s Guide to Hauntings, Horrors and Dancing with the Dead. Weiser, 2016.
Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (Marie Catherine) 1801-1881
Would the exotic nature and devil-may-care attitude of Marie Laveau be as compelling if she hadn’t danced naked with a snake at the lake on St. John’s Eve? It probably would not, but she probably also did not. If Marie Laveau ever went ‘skyclad’ at her private rituals or while she concocted her gris-gris and stuffed her rag dolls, no one living really knows... but it is highly doubtful. We do know that: “they danced naked in their little chemises.” This overused quote on descriptions of Congo square rituals by onlookers is an oft repeated one but one wonders …Were they naked or in little chemises? And what about the drunken orgies? These orgies were more Bacchanalian than Caligulian, in older definitions anyway. And I do not think that the drinking part is anything new or unexpected in New Orleans.
The fact that Marie Laveau was a hirdresser has had specultion abou where her beauty shop was., but it was'n't . There was no beauty shop for hair may have been done inside the homes of the very rich. People dwell too much upon that short-lived hairdresser occupation as her source for power anyway, that job was in her young years, pre-voodoo queen time… The belief about inside info from spies in those houses" as the source of her psychic knowlegede was fueled by jealousy thrown at her by those weaker than she and those that do not belief in mystic abiities. There are still those who talk trash about those with true power today. According to many sources in the the Louisiana writers project: "Marie did physical healings as well as spiritual and psychic ones."
Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau had two husbands and many children. Only one husband was acknowledged by the Catholic Chrch. Some say she had a lot of lovers and yet she really was a devout Catholic who worked side by side with the church.
She died at home in her bed, on the hottest day of the year in the house that she was born in on St. Anne Street. Her demise was not as glitzy as dying in a storm in the lake like they often said, but a humble death followed by a well attended church funeral. The New York Times even printed her Obituary. The fact that these free women of color owned property in the 1800’s is one of the more unbelievable parts. Many other Laveau’s were born and later died in that same cottage and, sadly, she outlived all of her daughters except one, "Marie Philomene Glapion." It is Philomens marriage to 'Legndre' that had any descendants known in modern day. That last direct lineage has nearly died out. A recent pair of sisters, who would rather remain anonymous are the last living direct descendants. The local surnames Laveau and Glapion are no longer a direct lineage from Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, though may fake Laveau's come foward.
The creative pen of many male authors in the 19th and early 20th century took a certain slant to Marie Laveau and rolled with it. Through Marie they exposed all the shocking scandal that they could dig up or make up to forever stamp a derogatory label on the now superstitious, uncivilized behavior known as Voodoo. They were afraid of it, just a little, but arrogant and racist enough to feel superior enough to rewrite as they pleased. And they were certainly sexist enough to undress Marie against her will and redress her as they pleased. Every generation has redressed her a little, and reburied her with rumors instead of shovels. She is actually still in her mily tomb in St Louis cemetery Number 1, Vve Paris tomb, Shelf 2, tomb # 3 on the cemetery map of notables. Legends can grow to superhuman size or become degraded into the dark and murderous shadow stylr. Laveau's Legends have managed to do a little of both at the same time.
Bloody Mary reminds us, “To pull the real Marie Laveau out of the pages of time is an arduous task whether she be sky-clad, loin cloth covered with sea shell brassieres or the plain blue calico dress with lace up shoes as described by those who knew her…"
Who Was Marie Laveau?
Mamma, mambo, mamaloi, spiritual mother, voodoo queen, witch-doctor, traiteur, priestess, wife or lover, witch or nurse, black or white, sinner or saint? All of the above and a mysteie, or Loa too.
“Marie Laveau spirit sightings are reported at her tomb shrine and all around town. People still come to Marie’s hometown in search of. They come to New Orleans to tap the root, and take the power that our mother river so freely pours. But you better stay on the good side of the river. Marie did. Many do. I do. Marie holds the candle that leads the way for all those seeking magic to flock here to New Orleans. Salute her or she may burn you with the same.”
Originally posted July 2017