New Orleans, LA is home to one of the most intriguing and eerie Ghost Tours in the nation, Omni Royal Orleans Come explore its spooky offerings with Haunted Journeys.
The property that the hotel currently sits on dates back to the 1830s, when a small dirt-floor café stood here. Later, a hotel was constructed, with the original name of the St. Louis Hotel. It was built by the Creoles who inhabited New Orleans in 1838. It served as the rival to another hotel that was built by Anglo-Americans known as the St. Charles Hotel.
Here at the St. Louis Hotel, local trade in real estate, local goods, and even slaves occurred. Yes, indeed, this property soon becomes a significant site for trades in the Southern United States prior to the Civil War, becoming one of the major hubs for the slavery trade.
Most of the time, there would be auctions occurring with landowners making bids and purchasing for slaves. The slaves were originated from parts of the United States and had been brought in by boat from other port cities like Baltimore. While slaves were waiting to be bought or sold, they were held captive in an undisclosed location somewhere in the French Quarter. In 1840 alone, slave sales were ranging to about $50,000 (or $1.5 million in 2019 valuation) were sold out of the St. Louis Hotel alone.
During the Civil War, the hotel served as a medical facility for Union Soldiers after the city itself was seized in 1862. As Reconstruction in Louisiana was underway, the State of Louisiana purchased the building where it would serve as the “de facto” Capital Building. From there, it became one of the occasional meeting places of the Louisiana legislature.
In 1841, the hotel was completely destroyed by a fire but was completely rebuilt using the previous plans. During the Civil War, the hotel was used as a makeshift hospital for wounded soldiers. Following the war, the building was sold to the state and temporarily used as the Capitol - seat of Louisiana's "Carpetbagger Legislature".
After the Civil War, the ownership changes were constant. Over the years, the hotel along with the French Quarter was deteriorating. Like much of the French Quarter, the hotel once again faced disaster and dealt with serious damage after a hurricane had battered the city in 1915. That part of the French Quarter would not be touched until at least 1960 when the hotel was rebuilt and later named the Omni Royal Orleans.
The ghostly activity tends to focus on the second floor of the hotel so if you stay the night here, try and request a room on that level. But again, this place is a cesspool for the haunted, so anywhere you settle into, expect a spectral activity of some type.
It has been reported several times that the spirit of a maid is said to be wandering the halls, making sure that each of the guests is comfortable and ensuring that their stay was a pleasant one. One other guest had mentioned that their sheets were said to be tucked in almost perfectly while waking up. They didn’t recall the sheets being tucked in prior to going to sleep. It was almost as if the maid was doing her best to keep the guests warm and have an enjoyable sleep.
Of course, the sounds of moaning and groaning in the halls have also been reported. While it was said that the slaves had been kept captive at the hotel or nearby in the French Quarter, many have said that the phantom noises may be from the spirits of those slaves that had endured harsh conditions and treatment as they were being bought or sold to other slave owners.
Despite the hotel being destroyed and rebuilt in the same spot on two occasions, it’s perhaps fitting to say that in a place where hauntings and spiritual activities have happened almost constantly, the spirits of the French Quarter still seem to be taking up residence at the Omni Royal Orleans hotel (even after waiting years or decades until the place was rebuilt).
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