New Orleans is highly recognized as the most haunted city in America. The city’s tourism industry has jumped on the bandwagon by organizing tours that recount horrifying tales and myths about mysticism. The oldest and most popular superstitious belief and tradition dates back to the ancient practices of voodoo.
In fact, there are many museums, shops, and tombs around the city that clearly reflects the practice of religion and magic. Here are some reasons why New Orleans is perhaps the most mystical place in the country.
- Voodoo originated from Haitian folklore and tradition. It is the practice of African magic mixed with Catholic beliefs. Voodoo came to America during the time of slavery.
Most of the slaves came from the western regions or known as the slave coast of Africa. Voodoo is said to believe that a mystical force allows the spirit to intervene with human affairs.
According to researchers, the black people have suffered tremendously and were left with nothing but their faith to their gods. In Haiti, the black people worshipped many gods.
- Voodoo came to New Orleans during the Haitian slave revolution. Refugee plantation owners left their properties with their slaves and relocated to Louisiana. During this period, many people who practiced voodoo settled in New Orleans.
According to legend, Marie Laveau started Voodoo in New Orleans. She was believed to led voodoo dances in Congo Square and was known for selling charms and potions. After 60 years, she still held ceremonies and has not aged one bit.
You can find her rites at St. John’s Bayou which bears a similarity to what hell looks like. This includes bonfires, dancing, and animal sacrifices. She is referred to as the Voodoo Queen.
- In today’s modern world, Voodoo practice in New Orleans is quite different compared to its old tradition and roots. Around 15% of the city’s population is perceived to still practice voodoo. However, Catholicism is still the dominant religion in New Orleans.
You can still feel the voodoo culture in many tours and attractions around the city, especially in the Old Square or also known as the French Quarter which is located in the oldest part of the city.
- Most people associate voodoo with voodoo dolls. However, in reality, voodoo dolls are rarely used during voodoo practices. On the other hand, voodoo dolls are a popular souvenir item and you can find it in many historical attractions and museums.
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