So you may be wondering how we settled on New Orleans for our Girls Trip 2018, and the answer is that it all started with the idea of a ghost tour.
I get emails every week from TravelZoo, and one week several months ago, Savannah, Georgia, was the highlighted destination, with ghost tours being one of the things to do there. Amanda wasn’t so interested in Savannah, but New Orleans, on the other hand…
So, on our second night in New Orleans, we did this four-hour ghost-hunting tour in a house on Royal.
Once our guide had us seated in a cramped circle around the living room, she began telling us stories of the spirits who inhabit the house, which at one time was a makeshift hospital: It’s where Johnny died in the 1850s from several stab wounds. A young girl named Chloe died there in the 1700s when she fell down a well. A man named Kurt also resides there; he likes to wait in the teeny tiny bathroom and pinch people’s butts. And in the upstairs apartment, Philip, who died in the ’90s and likes old-school rap, and Samuel, a young artist who died in a warehouse fire in 2010.
Before the real hunting began, we had a few, erm, weird things happen: When we were in Philip and Samuel’s quarters, one of the women (who wore a “This is my Ghost-Hunting Shirt” tee shirt, which is awesome, BTW), claimed something grabbed her foot from under the bed. When we were testing the audio equipment, there was a high-pitched hissing sound that no one could explain. And one of the other women in our group was convinced that the little girl Chloe touched her side.
Meanwhile, I was grateful that no spirits touched me because I probably would have flipped my shit; I spent the entire four hours vacillating between being excited and terrified that I would experience some otherworldly being.
Once we split off into groups, the creepy factor increased even though nothing crazy really happened. Each group had a Mel-meter, which is supposed to pick up electromagnetic and temperature changes generated by spiritual beings. We would ask the spirits questions, ask them to turn the lights off and on, and that sort of thing. We also had a voice recorder and a video recorder with infrared. The camcorder battery died twice, to which the guide told us that spirits like to “eat up” batteries…if you can believe that. (Can you hear my skepticism?)
None of us got any recordings on the video or voice recorders, so we reconvened at the end in our living-room circle. Our guide busted out a spirit box and asked the spirits in the area to respond to her questions—to which we got a couple of dubious responses amid a lot of static (there are some freaky videos on YouTube of people using spirit boxes, but we didn’t experience anything like this).
And then, the last-ditch, hail-Mary pass—the diving rods. I held the short end of the rod, and our guide asked Chloe to move the rods if she was with us. And—swear to God, the rods moved when our guide asked Chloe to move them. At one point, I was holding one rod and another gentleman kittycorner to me was holding another, and Chloe MADE THE RODS CROSS WHEN PROMPTED. I have no other way to explain what happened. It was spoooooky as hell.
Our tour ended shortly thereafter, at 2 a.m. In all honesty, I think it was at least one hour too long. It could have been the group we were with—Amanda and I got stuck with an older couple—which would have been fine, except that the husband wanted nothing to do with the tour, and the equipment kept dying or malfunctioning. Though it started off promising, the night ended up being a little lackluster, definitely not what I expected. Part of me was glad that I didn’t have any paranormal experiences because that shit really freaks me out, but the other part of me was disappointed that nothing crazy happened.
When the hubs and I go to New Orleans, I would be open to trying a different ghost tour. Maybe it was the group we were with, maybe it was the guide, I don’t know, but it wasn’t quite the experience I had hoped it would be. This one actually sounds pretty cool: It’s the same tour company, but it’s a haunted mansion. If we ever do it, I promise I’ll tell you all about it. 😉
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