Turtle Bay on Decatur Street is known for its nightly visits in the haunted history tour. Here is one of the stories in New Orleans Ghost Voodoo and Vampires Journey into Darkness Book. . So come on down to Turtle Bay and grab a Beer and Pizza and see if you can have your own Ghost Story.
By Kalila Katherina
Turtle Bay is a newly renovated bar and restaurant that had a number of ghostly inhabitants. Once a favorite hang out with the vampire culture of the 1990s is now a mainstream hotspot for food, libations and lively New Orleans music.
The building is situated directly behind but Ursuline Convent, The oldest building in New Orleans. In the 1700s the lamb a part of the convent ground, and today only a small brick wall in the courtyard separate the two properties.
The Ursuline nuns originally came to New Orleans as nurses to care for the victims of yellow fever and Indian attacks. The nuns also use this land including that were Turtlebay is now situated to bury the dead. The courtyard is charged with energy typically found in burial ground. In a recent investigation of a residential outing we felt the situation I’m being pulled down words in this area.
There is an active hunting here as well. During our investigation, we discovered the presence
of a female entity. Emily once oa servant here are the petite young woman with a little education. She died of yellow fever on the property and continues to reside in the upper apartment of the building and in the kitchen.
We were the first calleded in to do this investigation when the owner of the building noticed that his clothes were soaked with water after placing them on a chair when he undressed. There was neither a leak in the ceiling nor any other explanation for the sudden water. One employees reported that kitchen appliances often turned on spontaneously. A knife flew across the room on its own and Broke. The tip of the knife was never found. Recently a family on the tour captured a thick Fogg of ectoplasm in the seating area at the bar. The ghost seems to enjoy the music and visit from tourist, but is a bit picky as to whom is in her kitchen.
I’m tying my shoe in the kitchen of the Turtle Bay bar and restaurant on Decatur Street when I’m suddenly aware that I may be about to die in a horrible and grisly manner. It’s a sunny late-summer afternoon, and I’ve stopped by to try and snap some digital pictures of the three knives that allegedly were thrown at Turtle Bay’s cook, Chisesi Simpson, by a cranky ghost or a sneaky, malevolent, unseen force. Simpson leads me back into the kitchen where the first two knives are lying on the stainless steel countop.
“I don’t know where that other one’s at,” says Simpson. “Oh, there it is.” He strides down the length of the small, airy courtyard kitchen, toward the capped sewer drain where the ghost, which the bar has named “Boudreaux,” lives. It’s then that I notice that the lace of my left Converse All-Star has come undone. As I bend down to tie it, Simpson says, “Man, Boudreaux was pissed after you were here yesterday. He was really acting up, throwing stuff around. He threw this pan here all the way out there.”
I look up briefly to see the cook holding up a steel pan and gesturing with it to a spot at least 10 feet away. I flash on how this would all play out in a predictable horror movie. Nosy reporter girl angers ghost … returns to bar on innocent errand … knife mysteriously missing. While everyone in the theater is silently yelling Get out of there! Don’t tie your shoe! Run, girl! the cook is possessed and murders me while the audience grumbles how they saw it coming a mile away.
I straighten up quickly and realize Simpson is standing over me, brandishing a large knife. “Found it,” he says.
The Turtle Bay ghost is only the most recent bar haunting investigated by Kalila Katherina Smith, a tour guide for the Haunted History Tours who both founded the New Orleans Paranormal and Occult Research Society and is the Louisiana state head of the National Ghost Research Society. Her book New Orleans Ghosts and Vampires notes several haunted bars in the French Quarter including Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, Cosimo’s, Yo Mama’s and O’Flaherty’s. She believes that the violent atmosphere of the locales, many of which have been saloons of one kind or another over hundreds of years, predisposes them to the kind of tragic or gruesome on-premises deaths that cause spirits to linger. The 1100 block of Decatur Street where Turtle Bay is located is a particularly fertile area for haunting. Most of that land once belonged to the Ursulines Convent on Chartres Street and served as a potter’s field for yellow fever victims in the 18th century.
“There are probably more haunted bars in the French Quarter than we could ever put on a tour,” she says. “We pick the ones with the most activity and that are the best documented historically. But you’ve got death on top of death on top of death, from yellow fever, fires, hurricanes, violence — a high concentration of death in such a small area. Plus voodoo activity calling up spirits. And people who are drinking are more open to spirits, more open to those experiences.”
Smith recently participated in an investigation of the Turtle Bay ghost in conjunction with the Sci-Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters. She still isn’t ready to explain the ghost’s behavior, although she’s clearly intrigued. “It’s been turning equipment on and off in the middle of the night, throwing hot water,” she says. “And it’s usually pretty rare for a ghost to attack.”