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The Most Famous Witch of New Orleans is Alive Today

by Brenda K Oswalt

The most famous voodoo queen in American history was a resident of NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) and her legend lives on today.  Be sure to take the tour.

There are a lot of things to do in New Orleans.  Not the least of which is eating, drinking and enjoying “all that jazz” but if you really want to experience the true flavor of the original New Orleans French Quarter, visit Marie Laveau’s grave. She will captivate you and help you understand a bygone way of life that lives on today.  The origins of NOLA are very much a part of the Marie Laveau experience.

Now Just Who Was Marie Laveau?

Marie was a beautiful Creole “Free Woman of Color” born Sept. 10, 1794.  She became known as the most powerful Voodoo Queen New Orleans had ever entertained.  Not only did the local citizenry respect Marie, they also feared her.  Voodoo, a blend of Catholicism and a strain of West African based religion was practiced by the black population of the area. Marie knew how to cast a spell with Voodoo dolls, which were actually religious deities called Loahs, and she was a proficient medical doctor of her day, who tended many a local person suffering from Yellow Fever.

It’s not hard to envision the elation a mother would have felt when this gorgeous coffee-colored woman magically saved her child’s life by nursing the little one through the fever-induced illness.

She Do That Voodoo so Well

Marie Laveau was called a voodooienne, which means she was the queen of all the Voodoo women.  Local folks of every color would visit her to not only get a lover but to also get rid of a lover.  Strangely enough, she married her first husband and he disappeared shortly thereafter.  But, she subsequently became the common law wife of Christopher Glapion and went on to have some 15 kids by him, the youngest of which followed in her Voodoo-practicing footsteps. Seems as though her fertility charms worked exceptionally well.  Whether it was a root, a lotion or a potion, rich and poor alike swore by her wares for restoring health, wealth and happiness. She was practically elevated to sainthood, as a result.

Pay a Visit to Marie’s House

Visit the house of the witch of New OrleansThe humble little cottage at 724 Dumaine St. is now the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and it is reminiscent of the quaint old house on St. Anne, where Marie Laveau was born.  She died there and her mother had lived and died there too.   Marie Laveau is a NOLA legend that seems to grow every year.  If you visit the museum, I promise you will be entertained and educated beyond whatever you could imagine with respect to the practice of the Voodoo arts and Marie Laveau in particular.  It is a vital part of New Orleans history, and in a way, a part of America’s historical lineage.  Enjoy the lyrics of the Marie Laveau song “The Man Done Gone”, made popular by boomer Bobby Bare; just click on the link at the end of the article.

Marie Lives Today, Take the Ghost Tour

No visit to the museum or a trip down NOLA Voodoo lane would be complete without the famous hosted “Ghost Tour” that deposits tourists at Marie Laveau’s gravesite.  Word of mouth has kept Marie alive in a saint-like way and some that have left flowers, coins and other mementos there at her humble little tomb have ask for Marie to help them or their loved ones and have believed that she heard them from beyond the grave. Marie was kind in life and rendered aid to those that suffered.  Who’s to say that she’s not still performing her chants and rituals on the other side today?  The daily newspaper put it very well over 131 years ago, “While God’s sunshine plays around the little tomb where her remains are buried, by the side of her second husband, and her sons and daughters, Marie Laveau’s name will not be forgotten in New Orleans.“ Daily Picayune – June 18, 1881.

More About Marie Laveau:

Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare


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Brenda Oswalt is a French-trained cook, writer, businesswoman and inventor who holds several medical patents.

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  1. Christina Gregoire

    Whoa! I've never heard of Bobby Bare. He's great!