Friday, September 30, 2016

Place d'Armes Hotel - New Orleans, LA (The Spectral Girl)

625 St. Anne St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
29.958753,-90.063406


            Walking around the French Quarter, as with any tourist location, you usually cannot walk more than twenty feet without running into a gift shop. As you look around for your Mardi Gras beads, shot glasses and offensive t-shirts, you will probably see a plethora of paintings and postcards showing the iconic Jackson Square. This picturesque view of the Saint Louis Cathedral and the gated square is probably the most photographed area of the city.
            Jackson Square was designed in 1721 and was mimicked after the famous Place des Vosges in Paris, France. When the small village of New Orleans was initially designed, it was built on a grid system. The center block was used for military parades and other public gatherings so this area was called the Place d’Armes or Place of the Arms. As the city expanded, the Place d’Armes continued to remain as the central hub, with all buildings radiating from it. By 1815, the land was renamed Jackson’s Square, after the city’s famed hero, Andrew Jackson. From here, decorative touches would be added to the area by the previously mentioned Baroness Micaela Almonester-Pontalba, such as the ornate shrubbery and wrought-iron fences. Today, Jackson Square is visited by thousands of people a day and is a prime place to catch interesting street performers, buy one-of-a-kind artwork and get your fortune read by many of the individuals claiming to be psychic. For more information regarding that subject, please refer back to the Bottom of the Cup Tearoom blog.

             Only a stone’s throw from Jackson Square, right next door to Muriel’s Restaurant, is the Place d’Armes Hotel. Parts of the hotel are some of the oldest remains left in the city. The structure was originally built in 1725 and served as the first school in the city. In 1788, the first Great Fire struck New Orleans on Good Friday. The school was not spared, as it was completely engulfed in flames. Tragically the school’s headmaster and many of the young students perished in the blaze. The location was eventually rebuilt and the current hotel was erected, which is now owned by the Valentino family of New Orleans.
           The Place d’Armes is reportedly one of the most haunted hotels in the city amongst the Hotel Monteleone and the Bourbon Orleans. Guests and staff alike strongly feel that the hotel is primarily haunted by the teacher and the several young children who all died here years before. Others have also seen the apparition of an elderly man with a beard and a young girl in a nightgown that wanders the hallways. Guests have reported hearing a knock on their door at odd hours of the night. Upon slowly opening their doors, they see the entity of a young girl who then asks if they have seen her grandmother. Before the guests can reply, she suddenly vanishes into thin air! Should you decide to stay at the Place d’Armes, stay alert, as you never know who or what you may encounter. In New Orleans, the high level of strangeness can be from the living or the dead!

6 comments:

  1. Searching for anyone who has stayed at the Place' De Arms hotel in New Orleans, and who has experienced seeing an apparition of a cleanly shaven tall man dressed in a black 2 piece outfit, and black wide brimmed hat. The only apparition I have ever seen in my life still haunts me to this day 18 years later. I stayed in a room there back in the year 2000. It had exposed brick, a window or two, and faced the court yard. My boyfriend and I were taking a nap around 3 pm. I was on the side of the bed closest to the door. I woke up, opened my eyes and saw a tall man just inside our room, his back was to our closed room door. He was staring straight ahead at the window with no expression, arms to his side. He was almost stiff like in appearance. He was quite somber looking and dressed all in black with black shoes . It was a thick wool like look to his pants that were mildly too short and his coat was also very short wasted, and the front landed just above his pants button. The only look I can describe is what I thought to be more of a school boy uniform for the period in the late 1700's or early 1800's I believe, but I'm no scholar when it comes to period clothing. This was a man in his 30s i think, so to be in a school boy uniform doesn't seem all that correct of a description, but that is exactly what I saw. Hat and all. Maybe adults wore a similar uniform/suit? When I saw this man, I was thinking I was still asleep, but the moment I realized I was definitely awake my heart just fell into my stomach, and I quickly turned to wake up my boyfriend. A mere 0.09 seconds of taking my eyes off of him made him disappear. Unlike the chills I have gotten upon hearing strange, unexplained noises on a few occasions, I got a rather sick feeling inside when this apparition appeared, and when I think back to the experience I still get an almost ill and stomach churned feeling. There's no denying that it was real no matter how much I try to tell my mind it wasn't. It did happen, and I did see an actual apparition. I don't believe 95 % of people's experiences when I hear them, and I try to find ways to pessimistically explain them away, but I will forever know in my own heart what I saw was absolute. If there is anyone who has experienced seeing this same apparition I think it may give me a bit more peace inside to discuss it more and see others have seen the same. Nothing has ever stirred me as much as this experience of the supernatural, and reluctantly I see I have to believe my own experience. These true experiences really leave one with many questions and wonder as to what in the world goes on when someone dies and their energy or spirit or who knows what still lingers on! It's very upsetting if you ask me. I would have rather not experienced it. Thanks for reading and for any replies.

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    1. I stayed in the same hotel back in June and experienced almost the exact same thing. I woke up in the middle of the night and my body was facing my husband who had his back to the courtyard window. I, too, saw a tall, slender gentleman wearing a hat standing beside our bed. It was dark so I could not see his face, but it was easy to make out the figure I was looking at. By the time I screamed at my husband to wake up, the man was gone.

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  2. Hi there McKenna,
    I’ve just read your post and yes we had a similar experience at the place d’armes In 2011.We never actually saw anything like yourself but on our 3 night stay (we knew nothing about haunting whilst staying there so weren’t looking out for anything) we often heard the sound of lots of children running and playing, but when looking outside for them there was no one around. This seemed to happen frequently and we were puzzled to where the children were if we couldn’t see them, but hear them loudly.
    The freaky part came when my partner was getting in bed at night and felt someone come from behind and actually tuck the covers in around her.
    On the last night, we were looking for something to do so did a ghost tour as they were heaps around. On the night the guide mentioned our hotel but didn’t go into detail, so afterwards we asked him what he knew. He firstly asked us which part of the hotel we were staying and when I said it was one of the back courtyard rooms facing the brick wall his face smirked, we asked him further and he explained that there was a fire a few hundred years ago and the school got burnt down, he said those rooms and courtyard at the back of the hotel were built on the site of the fire and people often hear the sound of the children!!! I’m getting shivers reliving this as not thought about it for a long time! Also he explained that the headmaster often is seen around (that sounds like who you would have seen and maybe who would have tucked my partner in at nighter)
    It’s my only experience of this kind and like you I generally try to come up with other logical ways to why things happen, but in this case I cannot.
    It was very scary once we knew the history and after the ghost tour which was our last night we stayed out into the early hour as we didn’t want to go back to the room!!!

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    1. Hi there. I'd love to speak with you further about your experiences. Karen

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  3. We just got back from stying at Place d'Armes for four nights in Room 301 and had some weird things happen.

    Yesterday before we were going swimming I went to grab my inhaler which was on the bed and it was not there, even though I know I put it there not even 10 minutes earlier. My traveling companion, Amy and I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it, so I opened a fresh one and off we went to the pool.

    We came back from swimming a few hours later and guess what was sitting on the middle of the bed? My inhaler! ������������

    I was wearing glasses when I went to bed, and they ended up being moved from my side of the bedside table, to the other side, on the floor, against the wall!

    A bit later Amy wanted to go to the vending machines to get some drinks and the door wouldn't open, no matter which way she turned the lock. She explained to our ghost (who we feel is a young boy) that he could either go for a walk with her, or stay with me, and the door suddenly unlocked after she spoke to him.

    This morning I went to take a shower and my soap was gone. It was sitting in the soap dish in the tub for 4 days and all of a sudden it's gone!! We were off to the airport before I could look around and try to find it.

    I didn't feel any malevolence from this ghost and I truly believe he enjoyed playing the trickster and spending time with us. There was a man in a blue bathrobe standing on the balcony next to and below us but he never spoke to me, so I'm unsure if he was real or not. We are planning a trip back in April and want to stay in the same room.

    PS: This is not the first time a ghost has hidden things on Amy and I. They must know that we believe!

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  4. Hi there. I would love to speak with any guests who had experiences at this hotel. I work for a TV production company called Saloon Media in Toronto. Please contact me at karen.kemlo@saloonmedia.com Thanks!

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