Floats & Ghosts

My first home in New Orleans was on the Endymion route, and the energy of living in the middle of it all has never left my bones. New Orleans does that to a person. She captures a part of your spirit and never returns it, even after you leave. Perhaps that explains why the Cresent City is so full of ghosts. 

Mardi Gras Parade

The Visitor

I moved out of MidCity when I bought a precious little cottage in Gentilly, so when Mardi Gras came around, I was no longer in the thick of the Endymion experience. But that didn’t keep me away. My old neighbors and friends on the route still had their parade parties, so I fought the traffic and the chaos to park myself and my cocktail front and center for the floats and beads. It was Endymion’s 50th anniversary; the krewe had my divided and distracted attention. But parades aren’t for everyone. 

About 20 floats in, and my “significant other” had had enough. He was done. And I knew when to pick my battles. (I am now a personal peace activist.) The thickness of the crowd and the grandness of the floats overshadowed the setting sun as we found our way back to our car, safely parked off the route. I dropped him off at his 19th-century clothing factory turned condo in the Marigny and journeyed home to my cottage in Gentilly, where my dogs and something else were waiting for me.    

 

Ghost Hunt

Recently returned from a Ghost Hunt at Old South Pittsburg Hospital, I began suspecting that there was something “going on” in my house. Sleepless nights with upsetting dreams, orbs in my living room, and my dogs behaving like they were afraid to be alone in their home, rang alarm bells in my head. Had something followed me home from the investigation at the abandoned Tennessee hospital? I was exhausted and beginning to question my sanity. Endymion was the perfect excuse to get on Neutral Ground (if you’re from New Orleans, you know what that means). 

Mardi Gras Dogs

 

It felt like a wall of bricks blocking me from entering the front door. I pushed and found 200 pounds of canine huddled, ready to make a run for it. “What’s going on, girls?” They glued their bodies to my legs. I tossed my beads through the thick air and watched them slide across the kitchen table. There was something off in the atmosphere. My first thought was Someone was in my house. 

After a few seconds of ear rubs and chin scratches, I led my lame excuses for protection toward the backdoor. Still triple-locked. Looking out the window, I saw the gate was still latched and locked, as well. So my scaredy dogs and I walked slowly into my bedroom, prepared to fight with the parade souvenir go-cup sloshing around in my hand. And that was when I saw what I never ever would have imagined. For historical accuracy, my muttered response was, “Holy fuck.”

 

Haunted Armoire

My 6-foot wide, 7-foot tall, 3-door antique armoire was moved entirely away from the wall where it lived and was now in the middle of my bedroom. I stood frozen. For how long? I have no idea. I remember the dogs behind me, I felt them panting; that’s when I snapped out of my shock daze. If you have ever seen a color for which there is no name, then you know what it’s like not to have a word to describe an emotion. I was in an ineffable moment.

As I slowly stepped backward towards my bedroom door, my pups moved with me, like the changing of the guards. “Are you on your way over? My armoire is in the middle of my bedroom. Did you hear me? My armoire is in the middle of my fucking bedroom!” My voice was remarkably calm until I realized what I was saying. My boyfriend got to my house a few minutes later and though he wouldn’t admit it, was visibly shocked by the boldness of this activity. 

Haunted Armoire

After years of ghost hunting and investigations, dozens of images caught on camera, hours of EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), dozens of scratches and touches, and even witnessing small objects move, this was truly unbelievable. As we stood staring at the largest and most expensive piece of furniture I owned like it was a monument, our eyes traveled to the top; nothing had fallen over. The picture frames, the candles, and the twinkle lights were still woven around and plugged in; the only thing disturbed was the armoire itself, as it was now four feet away from its home.

We stood in silence without the need for words. He moved to one end and I to the other as we gently pushed the old wooden monolith back into place. I watched above my head as two of my pictures tipped over. I must have been blinded by the mysterious grand gesture and failed to regard the ribbon that kept the first and second doors closed was untied. We looked at one another, and as he shrugged with a twitch of excitement, I looped the ribbon back around the 2nd door’s key and tied it back into a bow.    

“I’m Not Done”

We went about the rest of the evening in our usual post-sundown routine. We talked about what had happened, and we shared our theories. We discussed setting up investigation equipment in my house over the next few nights. I was on the fence; this was my home, not an attraction. With the kitchen clean and the yawns on repeat, I promised to sleep on it. We crawled into bed; I grabbed my book and peered over the novel to check back in with my armoire. The ribbon was untied and dangling again. Ghosts like to have the last word. 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!