Apropos of Halloween, I’d like to share a condensed article from our sister blog about New Orleans Witch Houses.
It would be rash to say that there are a lot of witch houses in New Orleans. Despite the neighborhoods’ reputations, there are far fewer witch houses in Tremé or the 7th Ward than anyone thinks are there. Everyone knows a couple of New Orleans witch houses but the way to take a census isn’t to ask everyone you know how many witch houses they know and then add up the answers.
A lot of people know the most popular witch houses. Just because 20 different people know the same witch house on Perdido Street doesn’t mean there are 20 different witch houses. There are, however, moe than one, even if the the number isn’t as high as the guide books may lead you to believe.
SECRETS OF NEW ORLEANS WITCH HOUSES
People who live in New Orleans know how many witch houses there are. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. Spend enough time in this wonderful city we call home and you’ll figure out a lot of things and ways to get by.
The New Orleans witch houses in Tremé and the 7th Ward aren’t tourist attractions. They are so far off the usual tourist radar that when tourists, find the, they’re lost. Your typical New Orleans tourist wants to get his or her voodoo from a French Quarter voodoo shop. About all the supernatural your typical New Orleans tourist can take is a drunken ghost tour through the French Quarter and having his or her palm read in Jackson Square.
The rest of New Orleans is not the French Quarter. It is better. It’s more magical.
The real New Orleans is where people live out their lives by working, loving, laughing, raising families, burying parents, forging friendships, celebrating Mardi Gras, making ends meet, making good memories, nurturing traditions, being a part of this giant post-Katrina social project of rebuilding a great city better than it was before, improving the best parts and making the worst parts much, much better. New Orleans is very, very good. The best is yet to come. We’re going to have the best Mardi Gras ever next year.
I’ve been in my share of New Orleans witch houses. It has most times been a dull affair. One of the owners of one particular witch house, Josephine, who I know from Liuzza’s-by-the-Track, wanted to talk to me about the meaning of life. “Uh-oh!” my conscience told me and my conscience was right. Josephine and I had Barq’s root beer and deviled eggs in her parlor for an hour while she cayenned me with question that I did my best to answer vaguely.
That’s the way it’s been most time I’ve been a witch house, except for the times when it wasn’t like that at all. I’ve got some good New Orleans from those good times.
There is nothing ominous about New Orleans witch houses, about New Orleans voodoo, or about New Orleans ghosts. Most of the people who believe in these things are harmless kooks. I’ll take a kindly eccentric over a malevolent one, any day. As New Orleanians, we’re all in the together.
NEW ORLEANS HAS FEWER WITCH HOUSES THAN YOU THINK
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