Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lafitte Guest House - New Orleans, LA (The Pirated Playa)

1003 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

            Believe it or not, there are actually quiet portions of Bourbon Street. After a brisk stroll through the strip clubs and rowdy bars, pass the three hundred pound bearded guy wearing only a leather thong and a feathered boa and beyond the transgender café, things actually become pretty calm and serene! Approximately around the 1000 block, the area opens up into residences and several small inns. Don’t worry, despite the decrease in action from the living, the amount of hauntings are far from affected, such as with our next location, the Lafitte Guest House.
            Records of the land that the home sits on can date back as far as the late 1700’s, when it was donated to Charity Hospital by the King of Spain. A small hospital was built on the property but did not last long, as it was destroyed by a fire in 1809. Several years later, the property would be home to a residence that would give the current property its historical name. As we have learned, and will continue to read, pirate Jean Lafitte was a prominent figure in and around New Orleans. Jean would often work together with his brother, Pierre, as the two were quite a resourceful pair.

            As with many brotherly bonds, the two were out to court any available beautiful women. The swashbuckling brothers began relationships with a pair of quadroon sisters, Marie and Catherine Villard. While Jean paired with Catherine, Pierre started a relationship with Marie, who was in need of a home. In 1816, with a promissory note from Jean, Marie was able to establish a home on the
Painting of the infamous Jean Lafitte.
property where the hospital once stood. Together, the couple had seven children; further spreading the Lafitte seed, which history tells was a common commodity during the day! Apparently, Lafitte’s fond of “booty” far exceeded the gilded monetary type! The home would be eventually razed to make room for the large residence that sits on the property to this very day.

            It wasn’t until 1849 when a grand three-story home was built here for Paul Joseph Gleises and his wife Marie Odalie Ducayet. The home was quite elaborate for the time, with adjacent slave quarters, a carriage house and a stable. The couple had six children, one of which was a young daughter who is said to have died in the home during a yellow-fever epidemic. There are conflicted stories as to how the young girl died however, as some say she fatally fell down the home’s staircase. The house was then be sold by the Gleises in the 1860’s. It would past through numerous owners over the next hundred years until it was purchased in the 1960’s by Andrew Crocchiolo and Edward Doré, who would ultimately transform the three-story residence into the inn that it is today.
             Our resident ghost who frequents the Lafitte Guest House is none other than the Gleises’ young daughter who had died in the home. Some also feel that the residual energy of a grieving Marie Gleises also is etched in time here. Guests have reported seeing the apparition of a young girl in a white gown with long blonde hair wandering from room to room. She is mischievous in nature, moving items from room to room when all the doors are reportedly locked. If you get the chance to stay here, try and get a room on the second floor, as much of the ghost encounters have been experienced here.

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