Nawlins – (that’s how you pronounce it)
The Big Easy.
My old Bohemian refuge. I lived there for nearly a decade and spend many a drunk night wandering those dark dank streets and alleys. If you have ever been there, you know the smell I am referring to, the smell of old.
Myself while cutting through Pirates Alley next to St. Louis Cathedral felt an ice cold breeze come through the alley in August. It’s about 98F at night in summer. I was by myself at about 4am and hurried out to Chartres St.
That’s about all of the weirdness I encountered there myself.
The city has a rich history, as many of you already know. Founded in 1718, it has been home to many famous people from pirates and Voodoo queens, to Zulu kings and jazz musicians.
Napoleon himself had a house built but died before he got the chance to move in. It’s a restaurant now called The Napoleon House. They say that place has it’s fair share of ghost as well.
This is a thread that covers some ‘people’ and ‘things’ that the city would probably like to forget.
Massacre at the Sultan’s Palace
The Gardette-LaPrete House located at 716 Dauphine street in the French Quarter was bought by Jean Baptiste LaPrete in 1830.
He needed to occupy the space when he was not in town as it was a vacation home away from his plantation.
The Sultan answered the advertisement and rented the entire property in the 1870’s and moved in with a complete entourage of harem’s and loyal eunuch.
Legend has it that he was actually the brother of a Turkish Sultan who had made off with some of the real Sultan’s fortune, including the harem’s, but very rich none the less.
It was said that there was lavish all night absinthe and opium parties with the elite of New Orleans and the streets smelt of incense and wild music was heard till dawn.
The neighborhood got used to it and life carried on.
Until one morning a neighbor was strolling down the sidewalk and noticed a large amount of blood running out of the house onto the street.
(I took this picture myself when I lived there)
When the police went in they discovered the entire population of the house had been slain and dismembered. The Sultan was found having been buried alive in the courtyard.
The quarter is a very densely populated area, to me the killers had to be some serious assassins. They murdered everyone and cut them into pieces, and made off with everything of value virtually emptying the place.
Theories revolve that the real Sultan had a band of henchmen come to reclaim what he had stolen or pirates took advantage of an opportunity.
It was never solved.
It is said to be one of the most haunted place in NOLA with witnesses stating they have seen the ghost of the slain impostor and can hear screams, music and incense coming from the house at times.
I will include two more photos that I took while living there.
It is one imposing place.
The Devil Man
In 1938, in Algiers, the Devil Man was first spotted. It was said that he “rode on the air, wrecked bars, and insulted women”.
He was described as having ” black horns, bright pink ears shaped like sunflowers, eyes like a chicken, and could shape shift to a baboon before your eyes”. He announced himself as the Devil.
The story starts with a couple driving home one night. On the way home a strange person stopped them at an intersection on the way and asked for a ride.
They drove for several miles only to see him again walking, they got rid of the booze at this point. They drove 10 more miles only to be stopped by the stranger again, this time he did not ask, he simply changed into the devil before their eyes.
I am sure they floored it at this point.
The Devil Man made a last appearance to them a few miles further down the road, this time on a brown horse.
The couple reported to the police and there were stories that the police met him, fired shots only to have the bullets handed back to them by “hairy hands”.
He started appearing in bars around New Orleans and harassing women. Apparently he liked to party. The city was in a frenzy by this time as tales of the Devil and his drinking at a certain bar.
The Bar was packed from then on.
There was an arrest of a man from Arkansas that told the police that King Zulu advisor to Neptune had sent him there.
On the night of September 13, 1938 the police received over 200 calls reporting the Devil incarnate was getting free drinks at different bars all over town at the same time by showing the bartenders his horns.
Problem was, ‘he’ was in jail.
He released a statement to the public.
‘ My name is Clark Carleton, and I am the Devil Man but greater than the Devil. I came from the hills of Arkansas on September 6, 1938. I walked under the stars and Neptune guided me through the darkness of the night. I reached Port Allen, Louisiana, and from there I rode the ferry into Baton Rouge; then I came to New Orleans, still under the guidance of Neptune and possibly one of his assistant stars. I stopped at the Page Hotel. I came to New Orleans as the sun came down in the skies.
‘ Yes, they got me in jail, but it’s my spirit that is haunting the people, because I have not been treated right by the police.
That’s why I’m going to keep on troubling them. If I wanted to, I could get out of sight right now I could disappear away from all of you/ At this point a policeman offered the information that Clark had ‘disappeared’ one day, breaking jail, and had been recaptured.
‘You want to know how I got my powers? Well, Neptune came to me in the form of a fishhook in June and May of 1937. I was reading my Bible at the time. Oh, yes, I’m a Baptist man, but I believe in the Divine, too. Neptune told me to walk straight ahead, that I would find a two-headed man stranded on a rock. I found him but he disappeared. Then I knew I had the power.
‘I went to fourth grade in school. I ain’t no amnesia victim, but I don’t remember anything about my people or anything else about myself. Tonight I’m going to divide myself with Neptune and maybe when you come back I will be able to tell you more. But, please tell everybody that I’m not going to hurt anyone, my spirit is just passing around New Orleans and Algiers like a bird because I have been mistreated by the police.’
As Brother Peter Williams, ebon pillar of Mother Keller’s church, said with immortal wisdom and magnificent tolerance: ‘It is our policy to give every man a hearing, be he devil or baboon.’
excerpts taken from archive.org – Gumbo Ya Ya
The Axeman Of New Orleans
The Axeman of New Orleans was a serial killer that terrorized the city from May 1918 to October 1919.
He killed twelve people during this time including pregnant women and infants.
His modus operandi was always the same, a chisel, a missing door panel and a bloody ax.
The killings started in the Little Italy section of town and originally was thought to be a mob hit, the killings continued.
There were rumors that he was spotted dressed in drag, what is it with that? The News paper ran an article:
Who is the Axeman; and what are his motives?
Is the fiend who butchered the Cortimiglias in Gretna Sunday the same man who committed the Maggio, Bessumer and Romano crimes? Is he the same who has made all the attempts on other families?
If so, is he madman, robber, vendetta agent, sadist or some supernatural spirit of evil?
If a madman, why so cunning and careful in the execution of his crimes? If a robber, why the wanton shedding of blood and the fact that money and valuables have often been left in full view? If a vendetta agent of the Mafia, why include among victims persons of nationalities other than Italian?
The possibilities in searching for the motives in this extraordinary series of ax butcheries are unlimited. The records show no details of importance which vary. There is always the door panel as a means of entrance, always the axe, always the frightful effusion of blood. In these three essentials the work of the Axeman is practically identical.
Then, on Friday, March 14, 1919, another newspaper received a letter from a person who declared he was the Axeman. The letter read as follows :
Hell, March 13, 1919
Editor of the Times-Picayune New Orleans, La.
They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that sur- rounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a fell demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.
When I see fit, I shall come again and claim other victims. I alone know whom they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with the blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company.
If you wish you may tell the police to be careful not to rile me. Of course, I am a reasonable spirit. I take no offense at the way they have conducted their investigations in the past. In fact, they have been so utterly stupid as to amuse not only me, but His Satanic Majesty, Francis Josef, etc. But tell them to beware. Let them not try to discover what I am, for it were better that they were never born than to incur the wrath of the Axeman. I don’t think there is any need of such a warning, for I feel sure the police will always dodge me, as they have in the past. They are wise and know how to keep away from all harm.
Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will I could slay thousands of your best citizens, for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.
Now, to be exact, at 11:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people. Here it is :
I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of those people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.
Well, as I am cold and crave the warmth of my native Tartarus, and as it is about time that I leave your earthly home, I will cease my discourse. Hoping that thou wilt publish this, that it may go well with thee, I have been, am and will be the worst spirit that ever existed either in fact or realm of fancy.
He would spare them if there was a jazz band playing in their home or bar.
The dance halls were packed to capacity, hundreds of bands played private parties at homes and there were no murders that night.
There was even a theme song printed on sheet music in his honor, for the life of me I can’t find a copy but here is a photo.
There were three more murders in the coming months.
I hope you guy’s like the stories. These are all stories I heard while living there and wanted to share.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule!
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