HAUNTED BALCONY GHOST STORIES
New Orleans French Quarters
Ghostly Tales of Haunted Balconies.
Wrought iron balconies lining the narrow streets
of Haunted New Orleans historic Vieux Carré
are just one of the French Quarter's most
prominent and memorable features.
Ghostly Tales of Haunted New
Readers’ submissions reveal the presence
of ghostly inhabitants with a bird’s
eye view of the Haunted French Quarter!
submissions by our readers Photos Goldi Beals
weeks Haunted America Tours featured a report
on the numerous haunted balconies overlooking
the New Orleans French Quarter. Since that
time, readers have made submissions detailing
their personal experiences – sightings
and ghostly encounters among the lacey wrought
iron glades that overlook the streets of the
On a balcony overlooking the quaint cobblestones
of Royal Street the ghost of a beautiful young
Creole girl has been sighted. Dressed all
in white, the young woman is seen pacing the
balcony in the early evening hours, when the
sky is sapphire overhead. One report tells
of the young woman flinging herself over the
railing of a third story balcony. The event
was witnessed by several people some of whom
ran to the spot where the woman appears to
land. When they arrive, they find nothing
– no one in the street or anywhere around.
Another report tells of the same young woman
spotted crying and wringing her hands over
the side of the balcony in the evening light.
Shop owners in the stores below the balcony
have nicknamed the ghost “Juliet”
and say this is because she seems to be waiting
on a Romeo who never arrives.
A condominium balcony overlooking Jackson
Square is apparently the scene of a reenactment
of a fist fight from another century. The
current resident tells of being awakened in
the dead of night by the raised voices of
men arguing; the scuffle of feet is heard
as the voices seem to move back and forth
on the balcony. The resident tells of seeing
the forms of two men in 18th century clothing
pushing each other on the balcony. At one
point, one of the ghosts appears to break
away and runs out of sight. When the owner
investigates, there was no one to be found
anywhere on the antique balcony.
Another secluded balcony overlooking the residential
end of Bourbon Street is the scene of a tryst
from another time. A resident who lives across
from the haunted balcony reports seeing the
near transparent forms of a man and a woman
in “old time” clothing sharing
a kiss on the balcony. The couple is reported
to disappear into thin air at the slightest
movement from the street below. One report
of this sighting indicates that there is no
set time for the apparitions to appear, and
one report tells of the amorous couple appearing
in the bright sunlight. Perhaps a testimony
to a love that has truly transcended time?
A hotel balcony popular with the Mardi Gras
crowds is the apparent scene of a perpetual
high school prom party. There have been several
reports of sightings of debutantes in white
prom dresses and young men in suits and ties
laughing and socializing on the modern balcony
to the sound of music that was popular in
the 1930’s. The hairstyles of the men
and the women’s dresses confirm that
this is a happy scene from a simpler time.
The balcony at one popular night spot is the
apparent location of a haunting by two famous
ghosts of rock and roll. The bar, popular
with 1970’s rock bands, is located on
the Rampart side of the quarter. No longer
the destination it once was, employees nonetheless
have reported that they have encountered the
spirits of two legendary drummers in the vacant
upstairs area. The ghost of Led Zeppelin’s
late drummer John Bonham is reported to still
be playing pool in the upstairs room; he appears
complete with the “crack” of the
balls on the pool table. And Bonham is said
to have the company of deceased Who drummer
Keith Moon who has apparently taken up residence
in a wrought iron chair on the balcony outside
– the chair is part of the sighting,
because the balcony is presently in disrepair
and no furniture is allowed outside.
And the ghost of Elvis Presley is said to
appear on a Royal Street balcony near Esplanade
Avenue. Elvis, who lived in the French Quarter
during the filming of his famous movie “King
Creole,” is said to appear as the handsome
young man who ignited the teenybopper rebellion
of the 50’s – slick black hair
and a white T-shirt. Elvis is seen “just
looking” down Royal Street before disappearing,
sometimes right before the eyes of onlookers.
A balcony overlooking Bourbon Street near
the intersection of St. Ann is apparently
the scene of the reenactment of a tragedy
from another time. Reports tell of a young
black workman seen standing on the railing
of the third story balcony, apparently making
repairs to the ironwork. Many locals taking
the air on nearby balconies have reported
seeing the man: his appearance is apparently
not sensational, except perhaps for his precarious
position. But suddenly the sighting becomes
all too real with a horrible cry of “OH
GOD! NO!” followed by what sounds every
bit like a “thud” on the cement
below. When nearby residents rush down to
the street level they are puzzled to find
that there is no sign of the fallen worker
and that nothing is unusual. When attempts
are made to report the incident to the shop
owners at street level, the response is usually
a roll of the eyes and another opportunity
to tell the story of the “workman’s
ghost” once again. A variation of this
troubling tale is that sometimes no sighting
accompanies the sound, and those who hear
he horrible scream at first have no idea where
it has come from. Assuming the worst, several
concerned people have walked several blocks
attempting to locate the source of the sound,
certain that someone has just injured himself.
An interesting sighting on a St. Philip Street
balcony is that of a man in 18th century garb
who appears to be spreading some sort of grease
or oil on the wrought iron poles of the second
story balcony. He seems oblivious to gawking
onlookers, one of whom even called out to
him asking what he was doing. The sight of
men in 18th century garb is not unusual in
New Orleans, where history tours and carriage
drivers often don antique clothing. But the
sight of a man in 18th century clothes busy
at an 18th century task, who disappears before
one’s eyes, is highly uncommon and to
some downright disturbing. The man is apparently
busy spreading lard on the balcony poles with
only one possible purpose: to keep aggressive
suitors from climbing up the poles in an effort
to reach eligible young ladies within. The
only problem with this scenario is that such
practices disappeared with the Civil War (except
during Mardi Gras … ) and usually the
man thus occupied is neither transparent nor
is he able to disappear into thin air, as
the gentleman on the St. Philip balcony is
reported to have done …
Several reports of ghosts still jumping
from the burning balconies of the great
New Orleans Fire of 1797 have been forthcoming.
Some residents and tourists have reported
seeing Royal Street in flames, and a local
firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous,
tells of the frustration of dealing with
“almost daily” calls of fires
on Royal and on Decatur, or more alarming
of people jumping from balconies in flames.
“We have to come out on every call,”
he says. “I mean, you never know if
it’s real or not. Usually it’s
so dramatic that you think it just can’t
be real, but we have an obligation to respond
to every call.” Although some reports
are legitimate, the large majority of reports
of massive loss of life and flaming balconies
are considered dubious at best, and generally
are not supported upon investigation by
the men of the New Orleans Fire Department.
Police have responded several times to a
balcony on Burgundy where residents and
tourists have been alarmed to see the lifeless
figure of a white-haired man dangling from
the ironwork. Concerned that someone has
committed suicide, locals and tourists alike
have called the New Orleans Police Department
in distress. Like the fire department, the
NOPD is required to investigate every call.
Inevitably, they arrive and find no dangling
corpse and nothing amiss, except a puzzled
Burgundy street resident who perhaps didn’t
realize his lacy retreat is the site of
Civil War soldiers and even “The Beast”
General Benjamin Butler have been reported
whooping it up on the “most photographed
balconies in New Orleans” located on
Royal near St. Ann. The building is immediately
recognizable behind the lush ferns and tropical
plants, but the site of amorphous, ghostly
soldiers from another time is something out
of the ordinary. Again, some tourists assume
the sight to be a recreation of Civil War
history, but locals know better, especially
those who have been locked by the ghostly
gaze of Beast Butler as they make their way
home on the deserted cobblestones of the Old
The balconies of New Orleans, haunted or
not, are a unique architectural wonder that
adds to the unique flavor and character
of this most European of American cities.
These iron masterpieces have witnessed centuries
of history and are lovingly preserved by
their owners and caretakers to this day.
This alone is reason enough to stop and
look up when you are visiting the quaint
old streets of Haunted New Orleans. But
the possibility that you may sight a ghost
on one of these beautiful elevated oases
is very, very real. These beautiful old
“nests” are as much a part of
New Orleans as jazz and jambalaya, and so
are the uneasy dead who inhabit them, gazing
out over Haunted New Orleans.
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