Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans– Marie Catherine Laveau (September 10, 1801 – June 15, 1881) was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo, who was renowned in New Orleans. Her daughter, Marie Laveau II, (1827 — c. 1862) also practiced rootwork, conjure, Native American and African spiritualism and Catholicism as well as Louisiana or what is known today as New Orleans Voodoo.Historical records surmise that Marie Laveau was born free in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Thursday September 10, 1801. She was the biological daughter of Marguerite Henry (also known as Marguerite D’Arcantel), a free woman of colour who was of Native American, African and French descent, and Charles Laveau Trudeau, surveyor & politician. On August 4, 1819, she married Jacques Paris (also known as Jacques Santiago, in other records), a French immigrant who had fled as a white refugee from the black Haitian Revolution in the former French territory Saint-Domingue.Their marriage certificate is preserved in the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The wedding mass was performed by Father Antonio de Sedella, the Capuchin priest known as Pere Antoine.
The death of Jacques Paris was recorded in 1820.He was part of a large French immigration of refugees to New Orleans in 1809, after the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.They had two daughters, Felicite in 1817 and Angele in 1820. Both disappear from the records in the 1820s.Little is known with certainty about the life of Marie Catherine Laveau. Marie Catherine (1801-1881) was approximately 1/3 each African, Native American and white.Laveau’s only two children to survive into adulthood were daughters. The elder named Marie Euchariste Eloise Laveau (1827-1860-2), the second daughter was named Marie Philomene Glapion (1836-1897). It is not known which of these daughters went on to become Marie II.
Following the reported death of her husband, she entered a domestic partnership with Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion, (a white man of French descent) with whom she lived until his death in 1855. They were reported to have had 15 children (or, perhaps fifteen children and grandchildren).They had 7 children according to birth and baptismal records.While it is difficult to determine the histories of the two Maries in tradition, it is believed that the elder Marie was a dedicated practitioner of Voodoo. The younger displayed more theatrical rubrics by holding public events (including inviting attendees to St. John’s Eve rituals on Bayou St. John). “Laveau was said to have traveled the streets like she owned them” said one New Orleans boy who attended an event at St. John’s.It is not known which (if either) had done more to establish the voodoo queen reputation.
Marie Laveau started a beauty parlor where she was a hair-dresser for the wealthier families of New Orleans.Of Laveau’s magical career, there is little that can be substantiated, including whether or not she had a snake she named Zombi after an African god, whether the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic saints with African spirits, or whether her divinations were supported by a network of informants she developed while working as a hairdresser in prominent white households. She appeared to excel at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by instilling fear in their servants whom she either paid or cured of mysterious ailments.On June 17, 1881, it was announced in the Daily Picayune that Marie Laveau had died peacefully in her home. However, oral tradition states that she was seen by some people in town after her supposed demise.One of her daughters, also named Marie (a French Catholic tradition to have the first names of daughters be Marie, and boys Joseph, then each use middle name as common name) possibly assumed her position, with her name, and carried on her magical practice, taking over as the queen soon before or after the first Marie’s death.
Marie Catherine Laveau Paris Glapion died on June 15, 1881, aged 79.The different spellings of her surname result from many different women with the same name in New Orleans at the time, and her age at death from conflicting accounts of her birth date.Laveau’s name and her history have been surrounded by legend and lore. In 1982, New Jersey-based punk rock group The Misfits were arrested and accused of attempting to exhume Laveau from her grave after a local concert. The arrest took place in nearby Cemetery No. 2 and there are conflicting accounts of the incident.
Marie Laveau is generally believed to have been buried in plot 347, the Glapion family crypt in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans,but this has been disputed by Robert Tallant, a journalist who used her as a character in historical novels.Tourists continue to visit and some draw X marks in accordance with a decades-old tradition that if people wanted Laveau to grant them a wish, they had to draw an X on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish, and if it was granted, come back, circle their X, and leave Laveau an offering.
The tomb in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 was vandalized by an unknown person on December 17, 2013, by being painted over with pink latex paint. The paint was removed because the structure is made of old plaster and the latex paint would seal in moisture that would destroy the plaster. Some historical preservation experts criticized the decision by officials of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, who maintain the cemetery, for their decision to use pressure washing rather than paint stripper to remove it.
As of March 1, 2015, there is no longer public access to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Entry with a tour guide is required because of continued vandalism and destruction of tombs. This change was made by the Archdiocese of New Orleans to protect the tombs of the Laveau family as well as those of the many other dead interred there.
Although some references to Marie Laveau in popular culture refer to her as a “witch,” she is properly described as a ‘Voodoo queen’.Because of her prominence within the history of Voodoo in New Orleans, Laveau has inspired a number of artistic renditions.
In visual art, the African American artist Renee Stout often uses Laveau as a visual motif.
Numerous songs about Marie Laveau have been recorded, including “Marie La Veau” by Papa Celestin, “Marie Laveau” written by Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor and recorded by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show (1972), and Bobby Bare (1974), “The Witch Queen of New Orleans” (1971) by Redbone, “Dixie Drug Store” by Grant Lee Buffalo, “X Marks the Spot (Marie Laveau)” by Joe Sample, “Marie Laveau” by Dr. John, “Marie Laveau” (2013) by Tao Of Sound, “Voodoo Queen Marie” to the minstrel tune “Colored Aristocracy” by The Holy Modal Rounders, “The Witch Queen of New Orleans” by Total Toly, and “The Widow Paris” by The Get Up Kids. Most recently the Danish metal band Volbeat released an album with a song entitled “Marie Laveau” (Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie, 2016). Marie Laveau is mentioned in the song “I Will Play for Gumbo” (1999) by Jimmy Buffett and “Clare” by The Fairground Attraction. Two of Laveau’s nephews, banjoist Raymond Glapion and bassist Alcide “Slow Drag” Pavageau, became prominent New Orleans jazz musicians.
Laveau has offered inspiration for a number of fictional characters as well.
She is the protagonist of such novels as Robert Tallant’s The Voodoo Queen (1956), Francine Prose’s eponymous Marie Laveau (1977), and Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau (1993). Laveau appears as a supporting character in the Night Huntress novels by Jeaniene Frost, as a powerful ghoul still living in New Orleans in the 21st century. She also appears as a background character in Barbara Hambly’s Benjamin January mystery series, set in New Orleans. Marie Laveau appears in Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, under her married name, Marie Paris. Marie Laveau’s tomb is the site of a secret, fictional underground Voodoo workshop in the Caster Chronicles novel Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Laveau’s grave site is the setting of a pivotal scene in Robert J. Randisi’s short story, “Cold As The Gun,”,\ from Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero. The mother of Hazel Levesque, one of the characters from Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus book series, was known as “Queen Marie,” a famous fortune teller who lived in New Orleans. In Charlaine Harris’ True Blood (Sookie Stackhouse novels) book series, the character Hadley is lured to her death at the site of Marie Laveau’s tomb.
A character named Marie Laveau, based loosely on the real Marie Laveau, appears in Marvel Comics. She first appeared in Dracula Lives #2 in 1973.She is depicted as a powerful sorceress and Voodoo priestess with great magical powers and knowledge of arcane lore, including the creation of a potion made from vampire’s blood that keeps her eternally youthful and beautiful.A character named Marie Laveau also appears in the Italian comic book Zagor.
In television, a heavily fictionalized Marie Laveau (portrayed by Angela Bassett) appears as a character in American Horror Story: Coven and American Horror Story: Apocalypse.She also appears in the Canadian television series Lost Girl (portrayed by Marci T. House) in episode 11 of season 4, Young Sheldon (portrayed by Sharon Ferguson) in episode 7 of season 1, and Legends of Tomorrow (portrayed by Joyce Guy) in episode 7 of season 4.LOUISIANA VOODOO( Louisiana Voodoo, also known as New Orleans Voodoo, describes a set of spiritual folkways developed from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions developed by West and Central Africans populations of the U.S. state of Louisiana, though its practitioners are not exclusively of African-American descent. Voodoo is one of many incarnations of African-based spiritual folkways rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun. Its liturgical language is Louisiana Creole French, the language of the Louisiana Creole people.
Voodoo became syncretized with the Catholic and Francophone culture of New Orleans as a result of the African cultural oppression in the region resulting from the Atlantic slave trade. Louisiana Voodoo is often confused with—but is not completely separable from—Haitian Vodou and Deep Southern Hoodoo. It differs from Haitian Vodou in its emphasis upon gris-gris, Voodoo queens, use of Hoodoo paraphernalia, and Li Grand Zombi. It was through Louisiana Voodoo that such terms as gris-gris (a Wolof term) and “Voodoo dolls”‘ were introduced into the American lexicon.)( THE GHOST OF MARIE LAVEAU ,QUEEN OF VOODOO,NEW ORLEANS USA .,The St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is considered the most haunted cemetery in all of the United States.
This graveyard is said to be haunted by the ghost of the infamous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. Her ghost has been reported inside the cemetery, walking between the tombs wearing a turban and mumbling a Santería Voodoo curse to trespassers. Some people swear they have seen her disappear into thin air when approached.
Her grave is visited by the faithful, curious and desperate year round. Many come to her tomb and place small offerings there, like candles, flowers, Mardi Gras beads, Voodoo dolls, trinkets and food in hopes of being blessed by her supernatural powers from beyond the grave. Many have been known to make a wish at her tomb. If that wish is fulfilled, they return and mark her tomb with three X’s to show their appreciation. Others say that her ghost appears as a sleek Voodoo cat with red, glowing eyes. They say the cat walks right through Laveau’s sealed tomb door and disappears inside, as if the door wasn’t even there.
Marie Laveau, one thing is absolutely certain–no one in New Orleans was ever more renowned, influential, respected, powerful and feared than the Queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau. And, as evidenced by the many X’s scribbled on her tomb, to this day, she is still casting spells and granting wishes from beyond the grave!
ADDRESS Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1
GPS (lat/lon): 29.95371, -90.06502