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Gina Lanier Paranormal Investigator

 

From Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long Leggity Beasties and Things that go BUMP in the Night, May the Good Lord Deliver Us!

" From An old Cornish Proverb"

 
A New Paranormal Investigation of a Local Haunted Mardi Gras Parade Warehouse Shows Just a Sampling of the True Haunted Mardi Gras Spirits of New Orleans!

 

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Story by Lisa Hart Ghost Photos by Gina Lanier

 

"Ghosts are people, too." " Perhaps very unhappy really dead people, or just dead people with unfinished business, but people nonetheless,"

"That is the attitude that I have always stood by, and will always, until I become a ghost myself."--- Gina Lanier

 

 

Gina Lanier is a well-known ghost hunter and investigator of the paranormal. "I have investigated numerous very haunted houses, cemeteries, churches, hotels, Federal Prisons, Amusment Parks and other haunted cases across this Nation, including furniture and personal possessions," she says. Gina also maintains that even though she has spent years pursuing her unusual avocation, not to mention an invested small fortune in ghost detection equipment, she is still skeptical? on the subject of ghosts.

Recently, we caught up with Gina as she was about to tackle the investigation of the "Carnival Krewe den" of a Haunted Mardi Gras Parade. For those who don't know New Orleans or much about Mardi Gras, the "den" is the warehouse or Large building where the parade floats are kept over the months between parading at New Orleans Mardi Gras. The buildings are usually Large warehouse, as most of a Mardi Gras Krewe's budget goes into planning and paying for the following year's Mardi Gras extravaganza, and there's generally a lot of "haunted history" in the old den walls.

 

The parade Krewe housed in this purportedly haunted building is an old line Mardi Gras Krewe with more than 60 years of parading history behind it. The den is located just blocks from the Mississippi River and not far from famous St. Charles Avenue, the great thoroughfare where most of the big name Mardi Gras Krewe parades march each year.

An investigation into the history of this building's recent history has turned up nothing spectacular, in other words, no apparent recent cause or explanation for the manifestations and activity that have been reported from this location. So ruling out that the actual Mardi Gras Parade is haunted. Un- like The Krewe Of Mid City which is said to be the most haunted parade at Mardi Gras. It is said to attract Mardi Gras Parade goers and Ghost to it's magnificent multi-colored Foil covered floats. Ghost Photos of this spectacular Best New Orleans Day Parade have been documented for 70 years.

But there is a tragic history associated with the location of this particular Haunted Mardi Gras Den as well, and Lanier speculates that the occurrences in the den may be a residual effect of these events that happened several generations ago that might still linger and have imprinted themselves on the building.

This building, a familiar sight to native New Orleanians, once served as a police headquarters building and jail serving the area of Uptown New Orleans known as the Irish Channel. It is reported that on March 17-18, 1891, near this very location, over 100 Italian American immigrant workers were arrested during a riot over pay and work conditions on nearby urban projects. For their protection, the Italian immigrants were held in what is now the Mardi Gras den, the police at the time thinking that they would be more manageable and less troublesome if kept in the Irish district as opposed to the Italian district nearer the French Quarter.

If you have any information or would like to contribute, your haunted Mardi Gras Story or Mardi Gras Ghost Photos please contact her through our web site.

 

But because the workers' gripes had suspended a major work project, it affected other immigrant workers, the Irish in particular, who, when they heard the culprits were being held in their own backyard, began to assemble angrily outside the police station. It little helped that most of the Irishmen had been imbibing heavily in celebration of St. Patrick's Day just hours before. The assemblage turned into a full-scale riot with the Irish immigrants storming the police station with guns and clubs.

The mob brutally murdered most of the police in the building as they ferreted out the cells holding the Italian miscreants. A wild and brutal melee then broke out between the Irish and the Italians with several dead on both sides.

Police from other districts were summoned into the Irish Channel to quell the rioting and the survivors, both Italian and Irish, were hauled away to be held in the more-secure Jackson Barracks under the watchful eyes of the US Army. But the story is told that there weren't many left alive to move and the police station in the Irish Channel soon became an impromptu hospital and morgue as physicians converged on the building, responding to pleas to help the dying officers and the hapless others who had fallen in the fray. It was one of the worst racial riots the city of New Orleans had ever witnessed.

One strange note on a survivor, Carlo Matranga who was held there is one of the sole people who manages to survive the incident and becomes "The recognized head of New Orleans underworld" at the time.

The police station and its attached jail cells were summarily closed and remained abandoned for several generations until a fledgling Mardi Gras Krewe needed a place to meet and build its floats. The interior of the building was gutted to provide building space, but in the anterior and rear there are still walls of metal bars, the only remnant of the jail cells.

Ghost hunter Gina Lanier proceeds in her investigation with this tragic event as a likely scenario to cause the hauntings. There have been reports of cold spots, unexplainable noises, lights that turn on and off by themselves, a haunted bathroom, and a shadowy form that materializes near the old cell area.

Most of the activity is noticed during the building season ? from October through February or March depending on the date of Mardi Gras (a moveable celebration based upon the Catholic calendar?s dates for Lent and Easter). These are the months when people are working in the den most frequently. Sometimes crews or individual designers can be found working 24-hour shifts when the push to get the parade rolling is really on.

Lanier initiates her investigation with interviews of those employees and others who have had personal haunting experiences in the old den. Several were at first reluctant to come forward.

"There's a strong wariness about dealing with ghost hunters in many people," Lanier says offhandedly. "It's kind of the fear of being taken in by the "PT Barnum" syndrome, you know, "a sucker born every minute." Well, nobody wants to be that sucker."

Lanier always gives the most reluctant eyewitnesses a lot of time to get comfortable and to respond at their own pace. She likes to meet individually and usually at the location of the haunting, which can serve as a sort of huge "visual aid" to the shy and a stage to the not so mum.

"I always try to put people at ease," Lanier went on. "It's not easy for everyone. Many people have been downright terrified by their encounters; for others, the problem has persisted so long that all they want is for someone to listen to them who won't write them off as crazy."

Lanier's biggest monitor of the possible presence of ghostly anomalies in any location is her own intuition. Because of this, she often prefers to investigate haunted sights completely alone, or with a single assistant to help out. This method, she says, gives her the best perception from which to proceed.

"Honestly, I don't care how many reports I get about a place, person or object," she says, "if I don't feel it, it just isn't there."

In the case of this haunted location, Gina definitely "feels it." Others have felt it, too.

Several Artisit and workers report the presence of cold spots that move around the great Mardi Gras Parade warehouse floor. Most are encountered in the narrow walkways formed by the floats when they are placed side by side in the building. There are also cold spots reported on the floats as well.

An angry "presence" is reported to manifest itself near the side door of the den, (actually the only other exit) adjacent to the old cell area. At one time, employees were forced to use this door to enter the building, rather than accessing the work area through the building's front door. Several workers report that on separate occasions they have each experienced an encounter with a "suffocating feeling," a feeling of "being watched" when trying to exit the door. Most exit in a hurry.

A shadowy form is seen moving about the building and and appear to be very solid bodies. Seen by more than one employee and at least one Police officer, ( he was called to investigate what one of the artist thought was an intruder) the "solid" aparition's presence is seen to walk back and forth between the narrow passages between the Mardi Gras floats before fading into the deeper shadows of the rear areas. The Artist who worked on the parade for the 2004 parade season who wishes to remain un named states. " I was in the building Alone working, I saw a man walk past me I was afraid somone had broken in and was worried that I would be killed." Many who have come forward all state the same felling that they fear they are going to be killed."

No one likes to use either of the two bathrooms, or so Gina Lanier has been told. Located in the front right of the building, in the area opposite the old cell blocks, there is an oppressive feeling here as well, as if someone is watching intently. No one lingers any longer than necessary.

Lights go on and off seemingly at will. The panel controlling the fixtures is in the front of the building. Workers report standing right beside the lighting panel and watching the lights flicker on and off without anyone touching the controls. Radios being unbluged as well as compressors and extension cords.

There are also reports of muffled voices and whispers just out of earshot; doors that swing open and closed on their own. And objects like paint buckets or brushes disappearing as quick as one turns away. The most frightening event that has been retold and wittnessed is Mardi Gras beads and doubloons actually flung at you from ghostly hands. The Mardi Gras Artist fear that somone else is in the buliding, and fear that they are under attack or worse. But when you inspect the area you find that you are quite alone.

"These are very typical hauntings for a building of this age and size," says Lanier. "So much activity has taken place here over the years, including the renovations to the building, that there is bound to be some effect, some weakening of the border between the seen and unseen."

Lanier plans to document the reports and will use some of the most sophisticated equipment available to ghost hunters in her investigation of the den.

 

 

GINA LANIER is a New Orleans native who has studied paranormal activities, the occult and hauntings for nearly thirty years. She has participated in and conducted large-scale location hauntings and recently has shifted her focus to include the investigation and study of haunted toys such as dolls, toy furniture, games and other hallmarks of childhood.

Gina’s paranormal studies stem from several childhood experiences with the unknown including witnessing full body apparitions and clairaudient encounters with deceased relatives. These experiences continued beyond childhood and this is when Gina resolved to learn as much as possible about psychic and paranormal phenomenon to determine what, exactly, was making contact with her and with others who claimed to have been contacted from the Other Side.

Gina owns and operates a construction and refurbishment company in the Greater New Orleans area and this has afforded her exposure to many allegedly haunted locations and people over the years; several of these clients welcomed Gina’s expertise and insight when it came to documenting and investigating their haunted homes and businesses.

Gina Lanier has been selected by Haunted America Tours as one of the lead investigators for its soon-to-be-launched Haunted Investigations Team (HIT). If you would like to contact Gina, please submit your request and as much information as possible about your situation to her care of the Haunted America Tours website.

Be sure to check back to visit Gina and all the HIT members in the HIT Forum section, COMING SOON!


 

 


The story above does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Haunted New Orleans Tours, its owners or staff. www.hauntedamericatours.com

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