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Brennan’s Restaurant Ghosts

These are not your ordinary Chicago " Haunted Ghost Tours".....


Brennan's Restaurant is located at 417 Royal Street between Conti and St. Louis Streets. An historic marker out front states:

 

"Banque de la Louisiane, built in 1795 by Vincent Rillieux (great Grandfather of the artist Edgar Degas) who purchased the site a month after the great fire of Dec. 8, 1794 had destroyed earlier buildings here and more than 200 houses and stores. It was bought in 1805 to house the Banque de la Louisiane, the first bank established after the Louisiana Purchase. Residence of the Alonzo Morphy family from 1841 to 1891. A son, Paul Morphy, (born 1837) who became the world's chess champion died here on July 10, 1884. Building given to Tulane University in 1920 by William Ratcliff Irby. Brennan's restaurant since 1955."
 
Brennan’s Restaurant Ghosts

Located at 417 Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter, Brennan's Restaurant has been a culinary phenomenon in New Orleans since it opened its doors in 1946. The Brennan's menu is known and highly regarded throughout the world and most visitors do not want to miss an opportunity to have a meal at this famous location while visiting the Crescent City.

The Royal Street location that Brennan's now occupies was maintained as a private residence throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century, until Edward Brennan founded his famous restaurant. Most of the paranormal activity that has been identified at Brennan's is attributed to the families who owned and occupied this former New Orleans town house in the early years of the 19th century. The location passed through several owners and so the identity of the ghostly spectres cannot be verifiably traced, however, their presence is undeniable.

Members of the Brennan family who currently own and operate the restaurant readily admit that there are ghosts at the location. Once famous haunting there involves the infamous spectre of the second-storey Red Room. Said to be the spirit of a former owner who lost everything in financial ruin and who committed suicide after murdering his family, the ghostly atmosphere of the Red Room is usually all anyone needs to convince them that the place is haunted. Staff and employees, however, often have to go to the room for linens or tables and additional chairs, and there have been reports of a mysterious misty figure who literally haunts their steps the entire time they are working upstairs. Patrons who have rented the room for special events have reported the ghostly image of a man dressed in 18th century clothing seen peering in disapprovingly at the festivities. Some have encountered simply a feeling of his presence, an anger and foreboding, just outside the main door to the Red Room.

Another active spectre is said to the be ghost of the late Chef Paul Blange who created many of Brennan's signature dishes and helped build the reputation of the esteemed eatery.

European Chef Paul Blange, who worked for decades at the famous eatery and was so devoted to the restaurant that when he died the restaurant’s menu, a knife and fork were placed across his chest of his dead body as he lay in the coffin. "No one ever thought Chef Blange would leave Brennan’s, and apparently, he never did," says Jimmy Brennan, an owner of the establishment.


The Chef is said to lurk in the kitchen, his natural location in life, and many of the chef staff have reported the feeling of being watched, and even of something touching them while they are preparing meals. Late at night, when the guests have gone and staff are locking up, Chef Paul will bang doors and pots in the empty kitchen. And this is where the ghost is most often sighted.

Another former employee is said to haunt and be sighted in the wine cellar that he made famous. Herman Funk, a wine master whom Brennan's employed to build their fabulous cache of famous and renowned wines and spirits, is said to be still attached to his job even in the afterlife. Most employees don't like going to the wine racks alone, although they brave their way through it. For every clink of a bottle the employee makes, it is said, there is a mimicking "clink" of another bottle just out of reach. This, they say, is Herman Funk making his suggestion for a wine selection. Employees who have been there awhile admit that they will usually go with Funk's selection, in addition to what the guest might request, bringing patrons a choice "just to keep Herman happy."

For a haunting in the most sumptuous surroundings, Brennan's, the famous French Quarter restaurant, offers it's red dining room. Tucked away upstairs and lit by gas chandeliers, the room was the scene of a murder-suicide during the Civil War when the owner of the house killed his wife and son then hanged himself from the elaborate brass chandelier.

"I've seen the ghost there myself," says a waiter at Brennan's for 10 years. "The cleaning crew won't go in there at night, but a lot of people request that room for dinner. They hope to see the ghost.

 

this information was taken from the Brennan Restaurant site
The two story structure as we know it today was built by Don Vincente Rillieux in 1795. After Rillieux died, his widow, Dame Maria Fonquet Rillieux, gave the property to her son-in-law, Santiago Freret. On June 2, 1801, Freret relinquished the title to Don Jose Faurie for 8,650 Mexican pesos.

The first transaction of the Royal Street property on record occurred on December 3, 1794, when Gaspar Debuys and Huberto Remy purchased the land from Angela Monget. On December 8, just five days later, the great fire of 1794 destroyed more than two hundred buildings in the city, including whatever buildings existed at 417 Royal Street. While the Spanish still ruled Louisiana, Don Vincente Rillieux, the great-grandfather of the French artist Edgar Degas, bought the land from Debuys and Remy. The purchase occurred on January 8, 1795, exactly one month after the fire. Records show that Debuys and Remy sold their lot, including the ruins of their building. The lot still had the original dimensions assigned by Pauger of 60 feet x 120 feet.

Don Jose Faurie not only lived in the mansion Rillieux had built, but conducted his business there also. On January 26, 1805, Faurie sold his house to Julien Poydras. Julien Poydras was the president of the newly organized Banque de la Louisiane (founded on March 11, 1804, by Governor Claiborne) and he converted his new purchase into a banking facility.

The bank was the first financial institution to be operated in New Orleans as well as in all of the territory secured by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Extensive renovations of the building by the bank included the addition of an intricately designed wrought-iron balcony railing with the bank's LB monogram, a compelling example of ferronnier’s art that still exists within the structure today.

In 1819, after the original Louisiana Bank had outlived its charter, the ground floor of the building was occupied temporarily by the Louisiana State Bank. On October 5,1820, the liquidators of La Banque de la Louisiane sold the property to Martin Gordon, a socially prominent Virginia gentleman and clerk of the United States District Court.

The Gordon family was noted for its lavish hospitality. The family home soon became the center of fashionable Creole social activities. Gordon was active in the politics of the day and a friend of General Andrew Jackson. General Jackson was the guest of honor at many lavish banquets staged at the Gordon home. After Andrew Jackson became President, he appointed Martin Gordon to the office of Collector of the Port of New Orleans in appreciation of Gordon's generosity and hospitality.

Unfortunately, in 1841 the Gordon Family met with financial reverses. The building was seized by the Citizen's Bank and sold at auction by the sheriff. Judge Alonzo Morphy, a former state attorney general and a member of Louisiana's high court, purchased the building.

Judge Morphy was the father of Paul Morphy. This is the house where Paul learned to play chess from his uncle Ernest; where he grew up; where he always returned and where he lived until his death in 1884. Alonzo Morphy moved to New Orleans in 1809 from Charleston, South Carolina where his family had lived first on King Street and then Meeting Street. In New Orleans, he met and married Louise Therese Thelcide Le Carpentier, the daughter of Joseph Essau Le Carpentier and Modest Blanche Le Carpentier and lived in the newly constructed mansion at 1113 Chartres Street. In 1841, Alonzo and Thelcide packed up their four children, Edward, Malvina, Paul and Helena and moved to their new home on 89 Royal Street, which would later be re-numbered to 417. The house would remain in the Morphy family until after the deaths of Malvina and John Sybrandt in 1894 (who moved in after the death of of Helena, the last survivor of the household, in 1886). Paul Morphy himself died on July 10 1884, followed closely by his mother on January 11, 1885

One unusual feature of the house was that Judge Morphy had designed a huge chess board on the floor of one of the upstairs rooms for his son's delight.

After purchasing the house on Royal Street, extensive refurbishing was necessary and for several months the Morphy family took up residence in one of the Pontalba buildings (four story brick buildings) on St. Peter Street.


After the sale of the property by the executors of the Morphy estate, it passed through several owners. It was finally purchased by William Ratcliffe Irby, who acquired his fortune in tobacco, dairy products and banking, and, as a member of the Board of Administrators of Tulane University, donated the property at 417 Royal Street to Tulane University in 1920. Owen Edward Brennan rented the property from Tulane University in 1954, renovating and restoring it's original charm while converting it into the restaurant that exists today. In 1984, Owen's three sons, Pip, Jimmy and Ted, purchased the building from Tulane University.

Every year since 1983, Wine Spectator magazine has given Brennan’s its Grand Award, dubbing it one of the 100 best wine cellars in the world


Official web site /www.brennansneworleans.com

Voted 2.Top Ten Haunted Restaurants in New Orleans 2006

Brennan’s Restaurant

417 Royal Street
N of Conti Street
In the French Quarter
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 525-9711

Home of Bananas Foster
Cuisine: Creole, seafood, veal, fine dining
Year Built: 1795

www.hauntedneworleanstours.com/toptenhaunted/toptenhauntedresturantsnola

TOP TEN HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS RESTAURANTS Restaurants included are rumored to be haunted as said by locals, as well as some properties where paranormal activity has been validated or confirmed by leading parapsychologists and paranormal investigators. Many New Orleans restaurants are reported that have had ghostly disturbances. Some Restaurants have played up the haunted tales while others keep the building's ghost sighting and haunting a inside secret. (Visit Here To Learn More.)

New Orleans

New Orleans is known as the City That Care Forgot, but it is also often referred to as "The Most Haunted City in America".

New Orleans with its long and rich colorful history, it is easy to see why this is the case. And any visitor to Haunted New Orleans will tell you that, when it comes to haunted locations its hard to go very far without finding one!

A simple dinner for two can quickly turn into a Haunted party of more - if you know where to dine, that is! Many of the most haunted dining experiences can be had in the classic restaurants found in and around the famous Old French Quarter.

 

 

 

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