New Orleans is filled with ghost stories and hauntings–especially in the French Quarter.
New Orleans Ghost City Tours has done an incredible job of getting underneath the typical tales to reveal the deep historic roots of the most haunted places in New Orleans. And one of the stories they have recently uncovered will really knock your socks off!
The Dauphine Orleans hotel, 415 Dauphine St., is one of the most beautiful and iconic hotels in the city of New Orleans.
It is also rumored to be haunted. In fact, there have been recent investigations into the stories of residents of the hotel that have uncovered some fascinating historic figures!
The hotel occupies almost an entire city block, including two sides of Dauphine St.
In the mid to late 19th century, a few of these buildings were notorious brothels in what was then nearby the Storyville area of New Orleans. May Baily's place, now the name of the Dauphine Orleans bar, was a well known bordello, or "den", actually legal at the time, under the "Ordinance Concerning Lewd and Abandoned Women", was located in the hotel.
But recently, an even more notorious den "mother" has been rediscovered through looking at old Newspaper entries.
Her name was Eliza Riddle, and she spend a lot of time across the street from May Baily's place, in an establishment called the "White Elephant."
The only remaining hints we have to her life are the numerous and salacious newspaper clippings that appeared in the Times-Picayune at the time.
In the clippings, Eliza is always referred to as a thief--but there are so many, it makes one wonder how she continued to commit crimes unless there were some details left out of these reports.
Time and again she is called out for thievery...but of course the short clippings leave much to the imagination.
Without having all of the information, she was obviously a tough, and independent woman with a lot of tenacity--to say the least!
There was even a report of a physical confrontation.
These reports are incredible artifacts revealing the ways crime, media, and race interacted in the late 1890s. And also make me really curious about what Eliza Riddle must have been like!
It's clear that Eliza Riddle was notorious in the area and at the very least had made some enemies along the way.
How she died remains a mystery, but many have reported sensing strong ghost-like experiences, particularly associated with an assertive female energy, in the building where she was known to live.
The Ezili is a family of loa, or spirits in the Haitian Voodoo tradition.
There are many members of the Ezili clan, such as Ezili Dantor, Ezili Ge-Rouge, and Ezili Toho who are known for their fiery personalities and fierce protection of those that love. So while you could interpret Eliza Riddle as a violent criminal looking at these reports, I like to think of her spirit more like the women who are part of this clan.
At least that's what I would tell myself if I booked a stay at Eliza Riddle's old stomping grounds.
Would you dare a stay at the Dauphine Orleans, known by some as the most haunted hotel in New Orleans?