THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DRINKING AT NEW ORLEANS’ MOST HAUNTED BARS: GHOSTLY RESIDENTS, CLASSIC SPIRITS, AND SPOOKY HISTORY
In New Orleans, ghosts love drinking just as much as the living. With all of the classic cocktails like the Sazerac, Pimm’s Cup, and Absinthe Frappe, it is no wonder those who have passed on tend to stick around. Some historic bars of the French Quarter are over 200 years old and home to the most troubled souls in the city. Between the pirates and daiquiris at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and the musical haunts and Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s, there are plenty of spirits to fill a night out in New Orleans.
Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street
After seeing fires and prohibition-era craze, the 200-year-old Absinthe House has become a favorite bar to some of New Orleans’ most famous spirits. Enjoy a classic Absinthe Frappe, or “Green Fairy,” next to the souls of either Jean Lafitte, Andrew Jackson, or Marie Laveau. Apparitions of pirates, generals, and voodoo queens may be rare, but many experience chairs moving, doors slamming, or invisible hands pouring themselves a drink.
The Seance Lounge at Muriel’s Jackson Square
Muriel’s Jackson Square restaurant and bar takes pride in accommodating its ghostly resident, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan. In 1788, Jourdan purchased the property and turned it into his dream home. One evening, after losing his home as a result of his gambling addiction, Jourdan fell to his death from a second-floor window.
Many believe Jourdan spends his time in the afterlife as a floating orb in the Seance Lounge upstairs. The courtyard bar also hosts a famous poltergeist — a mischievous one known to throw glasses from behind the counter. Visitors can grab a Sazerac at either bar and pay homage to Jourdan in the place his spirit loves most.
Brieux Carré Brewing Company
Passionate beer enthusiasts take pride in crafting the most exciting on-tap lagers at Brieux Carré Brewing Company. With a mission to stay funky and embrace the weird, the microbrewery serves new concoctions weekly. Brieux Carré Brewing Company resides off Frenchmen Street in the Marigny, a lively location known for its jazz clubs, bars, and tasty food.
Napoleon House on Chartres Street
What was once the site of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile, a Civil War Hospital, and a mafia grocery store has become one of the most haunted bars in New Orleans. Napoleon House, named after its exiled resident, serves as an eatery and bar for the living and the dead. Those who order a pressed muffuletta and Pimm’s Cup may get more spirits than requested. The enraged ghosts are said to treat diners and drinkers with ill will and leave glasses on the bar after closing.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street
New Orleans’ most scandalous pirate opened the building that is now one of the most haunted bars in the United States. 941 Bourbon Street was a hub for Jean Lafitte’s smuggling, looting, and pillaging throughout the early 19th century. Today, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is home to many lost souls, and the ghost of Lafitte himself is said to haunt the bar’s dark corners. A frozen daiquiri, made with real juice, may help take the edge off.
The Original Pat O’Brien’s on St. Peter Street
Dueling pianos and the original Hurricane recipe aren’t the only things the original Pat O’Brien’s is known for. The old-style Irish pub has been operating since 1933, leaving plenty of time for visitors from the afterlife to accumulate. Many bartenders and regulars report hearing disembodied footsteps follow them throughout the bar. Some souls even follow women to the restroom — rustling in the stalls next to them with no visible feet to match. However, the spookiest paranormal encounters happen at the dueling pianos. Restless spirits often strike a single piano note or drag a chair across the room to let everyone know they have arrived.
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