The Voodoo Museum
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana (724 Dumaine St.)
When to visit: Open 10-6 everyday
Cost: $7 (discounts for students, seniors, military, kids)
Time needed to enjoy: 30-45 minutes
If there’s one thing New Orleans is known for, it’s voodoo. Well, that and Mardi Gras. And Bourbon Street. And jazz music. And Louis Armstrong. And Hurricane Katrina. And Cajun food. And its French history. And its interesting architecture. And the shotgun homes. And the streetcars. And the cemeteries. And Cafe Du Monde.
Ok… if there are 13 things New Orleans is known for, then voodoo is definitely one of them. And that brings us to the Voodoo Museum. This is a small, mom-and-pop style museum created by founder Charles Massicot Gandolfo. For $7, you can tour the facility, which is located in the heart of the French Quarter right off Bourbon Street. It’s a cozy museum, with just a few rooms, but they are loaded with memorabilia, altars, skeletons, beads, dolls, masks, candles, photos, and historic documents.
Perhaps the most famous name associated with New Orleans voodoo is Marie Laveau, known as the Voodoo Queen. The old song “Marie Laveau” was playing on the speaker as I strolled through the building. The hallway contained portraits of Laveau and information about her life story. She was born in 1801 and practiced voodoo for many years.
If you’re interested in Laveau, make sure to visit her tomb at St. Louis Cemetery #1.
Many visitors like to leave coins on some of the displays in order to gain good luck from the spirits. I thought about taking part, but I couldn’t decide whether leaving change in a skull was more likely to bring good luck or bad luck. It seemed like tempting fate to mess with the spirits, so I kept my pennies in my pocket and moved on.
Rooms inside the museum include the Gris-Gris Room and the Altar Room. Those who don’t know much about voodoo can learn a lot – or just be entertained by the unusual sights – while visiting the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
Would you visit the New Orleans Voodoo Museum?