With a moniker like “The Most Haunted City in America,” it should come as no surprise that New Orleans is a spooktacular destination to get your costume on, scare up a good time and celebrate Halloween. Whether you like tricks or treats, The Big Easy has a host of spine-tingling adventures sure to satisfy ghouls, ghosts and other ghastly party monsters.
Here’s a guide to Halloween fun in New Orleans:
Lovers of the macabre can stroll through parts of town known for frightening thrills, chills and things that go bump in the night. There are many haunts to discover throughout the French Quarter, Garden District and surrounding neighborhoods. Among the most popular are cemetery tours. Those seeking paranormal encounters will definitely find plenty of hair-raising activity floating around the final resting places of the dearly departed. You can also visit real haunted houses, not just homes decorated for show. A word of caution to parents—some of these dwellings are too scary for little boos and ghouls.
Venture into Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo for a spell and learn about the mysterious and mystical incarnations used by this 19th century priestess. Voodoo practice in New Orleans promotes healing by connecting with nature, spirits and ancestors. Spiritual encounters during rituals and ceremonies can be kind or mischievous, and are summoned by dance, music and song. You can even find voodoo dolls available for purchase. Pick one up and enjoy good luck—or “stick it” to someone, if you prefer.
Voodoo Music & Arts Experience
The Voodoo Music & Arts Experience, taking place at the Festival Grounds in City Park, is a scary good event featuring live music, tasty food and works by local artists. This year’s Voodoo Fest begins on Friday, October 30 and runs through Sunday, November 1, 2015. The motto of the event is “Worship the Music,” and attendees will get to see performances from bands across a wide variety of musical genres and cultures. This year’s lineup includes headliners Ozzy Osbourne, Florence + The Machine, Slightly Stoopid, Deadmau5 and more. Side stage acts include Jane’s Addiction, Modest Mouse, Third Eye Blind and other music stars. Be sure to check out the official lineup to see if your favorite band is playing.
If you plan to take a Halloween vacation to New Orleans but don’t have room to pack an outlandish costume, don’t worry—you can still dress for the occasion. The city is home to many costume shops with a wide selection of outfits, makeup and accessories to disguise you. Become a vampire, hairy werewolf, swashbuckling pirate, fairytale princess, witch with warts, all-star football player, lump of coal, comic book hero, or just about any other identity you can imagine.
Krewe of Boo
Well known for being one of the scariest—and fun—nights of the year, this event promises to send chills through the bones of even the bravest attendees. As the official New Orleans Halloween parade, Krewe of Boo takes place the weekend before Halloween on Saturday, October 24, 2015. The parade begins at Elysian Fields and meanders through the French Quarter and the warehouse district to the Convention Center. The parade route features 3-D paper mâché and fiberglass props that represent Halloween’s creatures of the night.
Family Friendly Halloween Activities
For something the littlest boos and ghouls can enjoy, treat them to a night at Audubon Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo event. The night is filled with not-so-scary story telling and spooky fun activities, candy gathering, haunted houses, rides and up-close-and-personal animal interactions.