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Tours put highlight on hauntings


NEW ORLEANS—The French Quarter is one of those places that's so easy to imagine being haunted that you barely need help picturing it. Help is available, though, in the form of ghost tours that pinpoint some of the Quarter's most notorious spots.

There is, for instance, the house on Royal Street where in the 1830s Dr. Louis LaLaurie and his wife, Delphine, are believed to have tortured, murdered and dismembered an unknown number of family slaves. To this day, people occasionally report seeing the ghost of a slave girl on the roof of the house, where Madame LaLaurie chased her and where, tour guides will tell you, the girl jumped to her death in the courtyard below.

Then there's the small hotel in the Quarter that is said to be haunted by children who occasionally wake guests by running down the hallways laughing late at night.

The New Orleans Ghost and Vampire Tour offers a very entertaining two-hour walk by some of the Quarter's ectoplasmic hot spots, twice each evening at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved at for $16; otherwise, prices are $19 for adults and $17 for students. The tour conveniently starts at Flanagan's Pub on St. Philip Street, where a stiff drink is advised but not required.

Other guides to the paranormal are Haunted History Tours, which starts tours nightly at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. from Rev. Zombie's Voodoo Shop on St. Peter Street, for $20 for adults and $17 for students; and New Orleans Spirit Tours, which runs a nightly 8:15 p.m. tour starting at Royal Blend Coffee House on Royal Street for $15 for adults and $9 for children under 12.

The three companies also offer cemetery tours that feature St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the city's oldest cemetery and the burial place of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.

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