I want to say that the Big Easy is the “type” of town where a costume is always appropriate, but New Orleans doesn’t belong to a type. French Caribbean? Southern Gothic? Don’t even try to classify it. But one thing is for sure: Halloween has already begun in the French Quarter, and the freaky festivities rival those of Mardi Gras. If you’re anywhere near Bourbon Street with family or friends this week, you’d better be holding hands; I know from experience that it’s easy to get separated in the throng.
“The Most Haunted City in America” is home to all sorts of ghostly events, from Bloody Mary’s Tours and French Quarter Phantoms to Ghost Expeditions and Haunted History Tours. You can mill around the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and check out the vampire lure that inspired Anne Rice. You can grab a bag of beignets from famous Café du Monde on your way to the Lafayette and St. Louis aboveground cemeteries. Theater folk in search of the ghost of Blanche DuBois will want to make a pilgrimage to Galatoire’s in honor of the restaurant’s prominent mention in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
My favorite hotel, hands down, is The Ritz-Carlton, housed in the stately Maison Blanche building on the edge of the Quarter. The spa menu includes the Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Massage and Bath.