This wouldn’t be the first time someone asked me about haunted New Orleans. It wouldn’t be the last either. It’s that kind of town, where people can’t help but think about ghosts. I think the city gets its reputation from what people see on TV. Go figure.
La Belle Esplanade is not haunted, to the best of my investigations. I took a ghost hunting class at Delgado Community College on the other side of City Park from our house. Who says you can’t get a quality education at a community college? Truth be told, I didn’t finish the entire course of instruction. It was too never-wracking for my delicate sensibilities, but I feel comfortable being considered close enough to be an expert in most things ectoplasmic.
“What can you tell me about haunted New Orleans?” the veiled lady in the black dress asked me.
“I can tell you they offer tours all about that very subject in the French Quarter. Along our stretch of Esplanade Avenue, not so much,” I answered.
“Have you ever seen a ghost in your inn?” she pursued.
“Not even once, though unreliable sightings have been reported to me. Once, someone took a picture.”
The lady lifted her black-gloved hand to her lace-veiled mouth. At least, I assume there was a mouth under that veil. It’s black lace was so thickly woven, I don’t know how she could see through that thing.
When I told her that it was I, your humble narrator, who had taken the picture in question, she seemed less impressed.
One afternoon, I was sitting in one of the chairs in our Les Pêches Suite when I looked out the window that leads to the bedroom’s private balcony. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a silhouette of a beautiful girl from the rear. She was looking out through the oak trees that line Esplanade Avenue to something across the street. She was dressed from another era, much like the veiled lady in the black dress to whom I was speaking.
I got out my camera and I took a picture.
“What happened next?” the veiled lady asked me.
What happened next was…
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À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
Sunday, November 20, 2017: Halloween is but a distant memory.