Creepy, I know.
When I would ask anyone for their suggestions of things to see when I visited New Orleans, I received a lot of the usual suspects - Bourbon, Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, the French Market, etc. No one gave me any kind of recommendation to visit a cemetery, although I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to visit one while I was in town.
Touring through the Garden District was something I'll never forget. The homes there are the homes I see in my dreams, tall columns, wrap around patios, dark shutters, sun rooms, detailed wrought iron & brick pathways. With old growth trees that have seen too much history, which grow wild and crooked, and really give me the heebie jeebies.
After seeing house upon house of beautiful, albeit incredibly spooky mansions, the idea of living in an estate has been burned into my brain. The size isn't as important, it's the detail of the balconies, the hand carved crown molding (that I'm visualizing is inside), the history of the families who have occupied the space before. I'll never be able to live in a new build.
As we toured, we stumbled on the Lafayette Cemetery. If I was having trouble with the creepy trees, this place took it to an entirely different level.
Eerie doesn't quite describe the feeling of walking through this "city of the dead". I had no idea there's a rule out there that says you're not allowed to bury anyone in nola, since it would be below sea level. So all people who have passed on sit in tombs, or mausoleums, some filled with members of an entire family.
One of the oldest cemeteries in the city, it was first established in 1833. Some of the tombs reflect its old age, with decades of vandalism, grave robbers (people actually do that?!), troublesome weather and more. And yet there they are, still standing. Some of the deeper cracks found on the sides of the tombs make me wonder if people were trying to get in? Or something was trying to get out...
The hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end for the majority of our visit. After we had seen enough, we took off before anyone (or anything) noticed we were there. Back to the grassier, more alive shotgun style residences, we drooled over the to opulence we hope to one day afford.
Even the "small" ones were amazing! I took enough photos to last me a lifetime, the perfect amount to fill several home inspiration notebooks.