Marie Laveau’s tomb

Marie Laveau's tomb photography

Marie Laveau was the queen of Voodoo in New Orleans in the mid to late 1800s. Laveau was a Louisiana Creole born on or about Sept. 10, 1801, and was one of the city’s free people of color.

She was raised a devout Catholic who reportedly was a hairdresser serving the elite of the city, from whom she gathered information that could be used to prop up a reputation as a fortune teller.

Later in life, she learned and took up the rites of Voodoo, and with her daughter (Marie Laveau II) had great influence over a multiracial following. She died June 16, 1888, although she was reportedly seen in various places thereafter. These sightings are generally attributed to her two daughters, who bore uncanny resemblances to their mother.

Marie Laveau is generally believed to have been buried in the Glapion family crypt within St. Louis Cemetery No 1 behind Our Lady of Guadelupe Church (also known as the Morturary Chapel). There are, however, other tombs in other city cemeteries reputed to be the final resting place of the most-famous Voodoo priestess.

Tourists and modern-day believers of Voodoo leave trinkets at the Glapion tomb as offerings to Marie Laveau. They also draw triple Xs on the grave as part of a decades-old tradition that this will gain Laveau’s favor.

The tomb was painted with pink latex pain on Dec. 17, 2013. The Catholic archdiocese that oversees the cemetery removed the paint, which would have invariably trapped moisture that would destroy the tomb, using a pressure washer.