12 Dark Literary Haunts of New Orleans

12 Dark Literary Haunts of New Orleans

Editor’s Note: Beaird Glover’s novel Unconscious Knowledge is now available. Click here to grab your copy.

1. Old Absinthe House, 240 Bourbon St.

Aliester Crowley stayed at the Old Absinthe House in 1916-17. He describes it in Absinthe: The Green Goddess and he may have written parts of his novel Moonchild on the copper-topped wooden bar.  He said, “Art is the soul of life and the Old Absinthe House is heart and soul of the old quarter of New Orleans.” 

2. William S. Burroughs House, 509 Wagner St, Algiers LA

The house Jack Kerouac visited and wrote about in On the Road. It’s across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans and is perfectly out-of-the-way, giving the writer proximity to the city and detachment from the fray.

3. Ignatius J. Reilly statue, 819 Canal St. 

Based on the lovable and hilarious character in John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, the author committed suicide with the book still unknown and unpublished. It was eleven years later before it was discovered, and A Confederacy of Dunces went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

4. Faulkner House Books, 624 Pirates Alley

One of the coziest bookstores in America, William Faulkner lived here in the bohemian 1920s.

5. Anne Rice house, 1239 First St.

The house itself may have inspired Anne Rice to write Interview with a Vampire.

6. The Homes of Tennessee Williams, 722 Toulouse St.; 429 Royal St.; 632 St. Peter St.; and 1014 Dumaine St.

Tennessee Williams loved New Orleans and gave the world a lot to love about it too.

7. LaLaurie House, 1140 Royal St.

Home of Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Grisly accounts can be found in Victoria Cosner Love and Lorelei Shannon’s Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans’ Most Famous Murderess, a true crime book that helped set the stage for Kathy Bates’ role in the third season of the hit show American Horror Story: Coven.

8. Cafe Lafite in Exile, 901 Bourbon St.

Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams drank here, at the oldest gay bar in the country. Williams’ ghost still makes appearances, from time to time.

9. Antoine’s Restaurant, 713 St. Louis St. 

Antoine’s is the home of the first (and still the best) oysters Rockefeller. It’s also the backdrop to Frances Parkinson Keyes’ murder mystery, Dinner at Antoine’s.

10. Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St.

A favorite of literati throughout the twentieth century, the hotel is even more famous for being haunted.

11. Galatoire’s Restaurant, 209 Bourbon St.

Enjoyed by Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck and Truman Capote. Williams liked a seat by the front window and mentions the restaurant in A Streetcar Named Desire.

12. Napoleon House, 500 Chartres St.

A favorite drinking place for writers and everyone else for the last two hundred years. New Orleans’ mayor Nicholas Girod offered it to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821, and even though Napoleon never visited, his name stuck. Beaird Glover, author of Unconscious Knowledge, married Kim Martin here in 2008.

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  • Philip Leibfried
    January 25, 2016, 5:20 pm

    Why no mention of Lafcadio Hearn? He lived in New Orleans from 1879-90.

    REPLY
    • Beaird Glover@Philip Leibfried
      February 2, 2016, 7:21 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Leibfried. I admit that I was not aware of Lafcadio Hearn or his writing. Thank you for bringing him to my attention. After looking into him a little, I see that he would have made an excellent addition to the list.

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