Voodoo has a bad reputation after years of misinformation. So, on our season finale, after exploring some of the most famous supernatural locations, we decided to learn about voodoo and use it in one of the most haunted places in New Orleans:
We wanted to learn about the origins of voodoo before we got started. We learned that most believe it originates from Benin, Africa.
The tradition derives from ancestor worship and animism, the belief that nature and inanimate objects contain consciousness. Voodoo practitioners believe in one God and that spirits have control over humans and nature.
Due to the slave trade, voodoo made its way to America.
New Orleans would play home to the biggest figure in American voodoo history, Marie Laveau.
Laveau would hold Voodoo gatherings at Lake Pontchartrain, where journalists would spread stories of infamous orgies and sacrificial rituals during the gatherings. The negative connotations about voodoo by the media would continue to perpetuate causing the tradition and its practitioners to go underground by the 19th century.
The first stop on our journey was meeting one of New Orleans' most famous voodoo practitioners, Bloody Mary, who would teach us about the practice of voodoo.
After speaking to us about the practice of voodoo and why people do it, she took us to one of the most spiritual beacons of the city, the former site of the voodoo spiritual temple.
Built in 1829, the two-story cottage has gone through many renovations. Unfortunately, the temple has been vacant since 2016 due to an electrical fire.
Before exploring the house, Bloody Mary did a ritual to invite spirits to communicate with us. We offered food, coins, and called upon the spirits to communicate with us.
A few minutes after the offering, Ryan mentioned they were in the gift shop and our audio operator picked up not only a voice saying, "yeah" but another noise that sounded like a whimper.
It should be noted that the second floor of the building was rented out as an apartment and is also haunted. There are accounts of footsteps, shadows, and rocks being thrown.
Bloody Mary then told us that there was a little boy who haunted the second floor named Abe, who requested 10 rocks in a little cupboard.
While we were changing batteries, our audio recorder continued rolling and picked up some paranormal noises.
Two other people actually lived there, and in 2006, it would play home to one of the most gruesome murders in New Orleans history, earning the name:
On October 5, 2006, Zachary Bowen brutally murdered and dismembered his girlfriend and jumped to his death off of the Omni Royal Hotel 11 days later.
Police found a suicide note on him that read, "this is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took. If you send a patrol car to 826 N. Rampart, you will find the dismembered corpse of my girlfriend Addie, in the oven, on the stove, and in the fridge and a full signed confession from myself."
So... naturally, we decided to lock ourselves in the kitchen one by one. Shane, of course, didn't feel any paranormal activity but Ryan felt like someone tugged on his shirt and freaked out a little.
Luckily, Bloody Mary was back in time. She thanked the spirits for allowing us to be present with them and closed the gates.
In the end, we learned that voodoo remains a respected practice in New Orleans, and is not a negative force but can be used negatively when in the wrong hands. Whether it contacts spirits or not will remain unsolved.