Haunted New Orleans: Gallier Hall


Throughout October, I’m going to take you on a spooky tour of some of the most haunted spots in New Orleans. It’s fitting that we should begin our tour in front of a building that served as New Orleans’ city hall from the 1850s to the 1950s. Gallier Hall is named for its architect, James Gallier. The building’s construction began in 1846, but money ran out just after the basement was completed. A roof was placed over the basement and the police department occupied the unfinished building while additional funds were raised. The building was finally completed and dedicated in 1853. Today Gallier Hall opens its doors to special events like weddings, corporate meetings, and Mardi Gras festivities. It’s also said to host its share of ghosts.


During the Civil War occupation of New Orleans, Gallier Hall was used as a Federal headquarters. General Benjamin “The Beast” Butler, who commanded the force that captured New Orleans, served as the city’s administrator for the Union. He was one of the most disliked generals of the war, on both sides of the conflict. While commanding the city of New Orleans, he issued Order 28. The order, which drew criticism from the North and the South, stated that any New Orleans lady who showed contempt for a Union soldier would be treated as if she were a prostitute. Few women were arrested for violating the law (although one, accused of laughing when a Union soldier’s funeral procession passed her home, was confined to Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi for more than two months). Still, the law earned Butler the nickname “The Beast.” He was soon relieved of his New Orleans command, but some say that he still watches over the city from the front steps of Gallier Hall.

The ghost of “The Beast” isn’t alone at Gallier Hall. There are reports of another ghost who appears only during the annual Bacchus Mardi Gras parade. Parade goers in front of Gallier Hall have been known to run to police screaming that they have just witnessed a stabbing. When police investigate, they find no sign of a crime. Perhaps the frightened revelers have seen the ghost of a young man who was attacked and brutally stabbed in 1972 just steps from Gallier Hall. If you find yourself in front of Gallier Hall one day watching the Bacchus parade, remember . . . you’ve been warned.

Footnote thek9harperlee

And now for a little footnote on my human daddy’s company Pet Supermodel Contest. My sister and I finished fourth and sixth, just out of medal contention. I had a firm grip on third place going into the final hours, but out of nowhere a cute little black lab blew right past me. We didn’t even win for best bling. My little sister, Tallulah Bee, and I cannot begin to thank each and every one of you enough for your support throughout the contest. You voted (and voted and voted again and again and again) and shared the fun through tweets and Facebook posts. Most importantly, you gave us so many words of encouragement. We may not have won the contest, but Tallulah Bee and I have the best friends in the world . . . and that’s way better than being a supermodel.


20 Comments on “Haunted New Orleans: Gallier Hall”

  1. I have absolutely no doubt that there are plenty of ghosts hanging around the French Quarter. Where else would any fun-loving haunt hang out? BOL! Y’all are both my super models. ♥

  2. CarolMaeWY says:

    Sorry you didn’t win your competition. I tried to help by voting.

  3. Nichole says:

    Eek! So excited for this series! I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans so now I can do it vicariously through you 🙂

  4. Emmadog says:

    A contest comes and goes, but you two and your good looks will be here forever! You did all you could do!

    • Awwww, Emma, thank you so much for your kind words. We’re pretty happy that the whole thing is over, although our grandmother is already strategizing for next year’s competition. Heaven help us!

  5. Colleen Bacon says:

    I’m going to enjoy this series! Love to read about spooky places but I’m not real interested in visiting them! Ha! Ha!

  6. It’s going to be so much fun visiting haunted sites with you Miss Harper. You had many fans rooting for you and Tallulah Bee in the Pet Supermodel Contest, but no matter the outcome of that contest, you two are big winners for being YOU.

  7. Jan K says:

    I’m too chicken to visit haunted places in person, so I will enjoy this series the best way -virtually through you! 🙂
    You did very well in that contest. There were a lot of cute animals in there so 4th and 6th is very commendable!

  8. Cupcake says:

    4th and 6th are pretty cool. There were lots of dogs competing. Both of you are blue ribbon, gold medal, first place beauties to me! xoxo

    Love and licks,

  9. Wait…you didn’t win?? I can’t believe it! You were robbed! You’ll always been first place in our books.

  10. dogdaz says:

    Boooooo! You are winners to us

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