OPINION | History of New Orleans’ Halloween events

Casey Wade, Staff Writer

(Shivani Bondada)

New Orleans, “the most haunted city in America,” is known for year-round spooky ghost tours, above ground cemeteries, vampires and Voodoo shops. As a result, Halloween in New Orleans is not celebrated like most cities in the United States. 

New Orleans was originally home to the infamous Madame LaLaurie and the first lady of Voodoo, Marie Laveau, who contributed to the city’s haunted history. These unique and historical Halloween traditions include parades, costume balls and parties in the French Quarter, in addition to classic trick-or-treating. 

Halloween’s importance dates back to the Catholic founders of New Orleans who were gearing up for the Feast of the All Souls Day on Nov. 2. Leading up to the Catholic holiday, New Orleanians would go to cemeteries and spend time cleaning up for the departed. In the 300 years since the city’s founding, Halloween has evolved to become the present holiday. 

Every year, thousands of tourists and locals alike fill the French Quarter for a night of festivities. For example, The Krewe of Boo, New Orleans’ official Halloween float since 2007, travels through the Quarter. The elaborate floats draw a large crowd, and you cannot find anything like it outside of New Orleans. 

It is also a New Orleans tradition to visit Frenchmen Street for the holiday. On  Frenchmen, music may be found on every corner, or perhaps a party that will last all of Halloween night. 

One of the many advantages of going to Tulane University is the opportunity to live in a vibrant and historically rich city. Tulane students should attempt to immerse themselves in the city’s traditions, which include those associated with Halloween. Halloween season is a great time for students to consider exploring more of New Orleans history by attending a cemetery tour or diving into a history lesson about the French Quarter.

Halloween in New Orleans is not limited only to the French Quarter, and there are plenty of spots Uptown for Tulane students to celebrate the holiday. Prytania Theater shows Halloween movies all through October and shows “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the days leading up to Halloween — costumes are encouraged. 

There are a number of haunted houses Uptown and more on Saint Charles Avenue that are decked out in Halloween decor for viewing. Two of the most popular decoration sports are the Skeleton House — 6000 Saint Charles Avenue — and the Ghost Manor at 2502 Magazine Street. 

Overall, Tulane students are given an extraordinary opportunity to further explore the city in which they will spend their college years. Whether students attend a parade, explore a Voodoo shop or listen to music on Frenchmen Street, Halloween is an unforgettable and classic New Orleans holiday! 

Leave a comment