Monday, September 5, 2016

Andrew Jackson Hotel - New Orleans, LA (The Haunted Hotbed of New Orleans)

919 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

            With a little under sixty locations covered so far in this blog, we now reach the city of New Orleans, said to be the most haunted city in the United States. This claim may very well be true, as you will see that New Orleans makes up nearly half of the state’s paranormal hot spots. I have always been so fascinated with New Orleans and the plethora of history it contains. It's almost as if New Orleans was founded on the simple goal of becoming a haunted city a century or so later. Settled in 1718, New Orleans literally served as dumping grounds for the worst that society had to offer. Murderers, rapists and thieves from all over the world basically fled to New Orleans as a safe haven. Throw in the fact that the city was already home to clashing cultures such as French, Spanish and Irish; New Orleans was a ticking time bomb.
             As most people know, most of these haunts originate from the French Quarter. What many may not know is that almost every location in the French Quarter is built over something that once stood prior to 1788. It was on Good Friday, March 21, 1788, when the Great New Orleans Fire began, destroying eight hundred and fifty-six of the one thousand one hundred structures in the city! Said to have started at the location that is now 619 Chartres Street, the home of Army Treasurer Don Vincente Jose Nunez, nearly the entire city was destroyed in five hours! Due to this fact, it is often impossible to pinpoint the origin of many of the French Quarter hauntings. Such is the case with our first location, as a building historically known for one event is haunted due to a completely different happening in a building that once stood here.

            The Andrew Jackson Hotel sits on 619 Royal Street and is the quintessential New Orleans Hotel. Its great location and accommodating features make it a great place to stay when visiting the “Big Easy”. The hotel gets its name from, of course, one of New Orleans most influential figures, Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson. The seventh President of the United States was the key player in the
Artist's rendering of the original courthouse.
victory at the Battle of New Orleans and is considered to be a true pioneer of the city.

            The hotel was not built until the early 1900's. Prior to this, the location served as the old United States courthouse. It was in this building that the beloved Jackson was indicted for contempt of court and charged with obstruction of justice. United States District Judge Dominick Hall fined General Andrew Jackson one thousand dollars for contempt of court. On December 16, 1814, Jackson declared martial law in the city of New Orleans. All persons who entered or left the city were required to report to General Jackson’s office. Fearing another attack by the British, Jackson maintained martial law in the city after the British were defeated on January 8, 1815.
            Louis Louaillier, a member of the state legislature, anonymously wrote an article in the newspaper criticizing General Jackson. After discovering Louaillier’s identity, General Jackson ordered his arrest. A writ of habeas corpus to release Louaillier from prison was sought from and
Andrew Jackson Hotel Lobby
granted by Judge Hall. In response, Jackson arrested Judge Hall and imprisoned him with Louaillier. General Jackson then banished Judge Hall from the city. Once a peace treaty had been established, Judge Hall returned to the city to seek retribution. Hall felt this was a blatant abuse of power by Jackson and had him report to court in civilian clothes where, without legal representation, personally filed contempt charges on him. After hearing of the fine imposed, citizens who greatly supported Jackson pooled their funds together. Jackson refused to accept their money and quickly paid the thousand dollars on the spot.

            The courthouse was demolished in the early 1900's, with the current hotel being built shortly thereafter, hence the name as an ode to Jackson. Allowing one to dig even deeper into the property's history, we fall back prior the great New Orleans fire. Although most records have been destroyed, it has been said by many that prior to the courthouse, stood a boarding school for young
Beautiful courtyard area.
boys. As the fire engulfed most of the French Quarter in such a short amount of time, many lost their lives in the enormous blaze. It is rumored that five young boys who resided at the boarding home were unable to escape and died on the grounds.

            It can only be expected that with such an immense amount of history, there comes an equally dense level of haunted stories. Many guests have reported hearing the sounds of young children playing at late hours of the night. Ghostly shadows and the apparition said to be of Andrew Jackson himself, have been seen wandering through the hotel. Activity is said to centralize around the second floor so if you book a room here, be sure to ask for one there! One's guess is as good as another in regards to what exactly is the origin of the hotel's hauntings but years of guests' reports show something is definitely there. Whether it is “Old Hickory” himself or the spirits of lost young children, you be the judge!

1 comment:

  1. I being one that has met with many strange events, happened to make reservations for myself and then my 10 yr. old grandson for one night in order to be close to the Amtrak Station. At the time I never thought about any ghostly occurances but was concerned about being there at 6 am the next morning. From the time we entered the hotel until the time we left strange things happened. Although we were approx. 10 mins. from the Amtrak Station at 2:30 am, my grandson and I were dressed and checking out of the hotel. We spent the rest of the night in the car at the Amtrak Station but at least I knew we were still alive and the strange sickening feeling I had was gone. As the guy at the hotel loaded my luggage in the early morning hours, he whispered, I'm glad to know you are leaving now. I thanked him, forgot to tip him and drove away with my grandson. It has been approx. 6 yrs. and I haven't been to New Orleans for overnight and I really know it would be hard for me to be there overnight again.