Demystifying the Spook of New Orleans

The pure strange brew of the most haunted city in the U.S.

Melissa Rock
In Living Color
Published in
6 min readMay 30, 2024


Photo of author’s temporary residence in New Orleans, by Author.

I’m not one to choose a scary, horror, jumpy, what have you, film.

I gravitate toward the “spooky” — that’s what I call it.

Oxford labels spooky as “sinister or ghostly in a way that causes fear and unease.” This is right up my alley.

Spooky films like Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter, and The Skeleton Key. People laugh but you know I laugh last as I sleep peacefully after watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban rather than The Hills Have Eyes.

Have you watched The Skeleton Key? The film takes place primarily in the swamps outside of New Orleans. John Hurt and Kate Hudson frequent the screen.

The film taught me a lot about something I’m unfamiliar with — Hoodoo. Hoodoo lives within the Voodoo religion, focusing on the folk magic practitioners use to connect with supernatural forces. It’s more of a verb.

It’s creepy. But not as creepy once you break it down and hear the historical perspective.

In the 1700s, there was a migration of Haitian and West African slaves seeping into New Orleans who practiced the religion of Vodun. As beliefs merged with the…