On this the final day of my October Photo Challenge, Tallulah Bee and I wish you a very Happy HALLOWEEN! We hope it’s been absolutely BEE–utiful. And I thank you so very much for joining me through this month of photo challenges. I buzzed with excitement from Day 1 to Day 31, and I hope you did too. It was so much fun sharing a few of my tricks and hopefully a treat or two with you. Cheers!
The end! 😉
Why oh why did some human include HALLOWEEN THROWBACK in the October Photo Challenge? This one goes way back to 2013 when I met our little trick-or-treaters dressed as a hula girl. Despite my complete humiliation–and my inability to fill out that top–I somehow managed to strike a dignified pose. Tomorrow I’ll be attending a Halloween party at Children’s Hospital New Orleans . . . and Mommy says that I’ll be reprising my role as a hula girl. Only those sweet children at the hospital could get me back into this costume!
Tomorrow is the final day in my October Photo Challenge. Any guesses what Tallulah and I are going to be for Halloween 2017? You’ll find out tomorrow. 🙂
Last night, Tallulah and I accompanied our humans on a little stroll to see Ghost Manor. Let me take just a moment to state the obvious: My family really, really needs to step up its SELFIE game. Can you believe that we took literally dozens of selfies and this is the best we have to offer? This selfie is, as the kids would say, definitely not on fleek. But it got just a little embarrassing to continue the attempts as the crowds milled about, so this is what you get. Selfie failure aside, Ghost Manor at night was even better than I’d imagined when we visited a couple of weeks ago in the daytime. (Click here to refresh your memory.) The skeleton quartet serenaded us from the porch. A beautiful lady danced in an upstairs room . . . before she was consumed by flames. And all the while giant eyeballs peered down on us from above. Creepy!
OK, friends, we really need your help. What are your best secrets to capturing the perfect selfie?
Tallulah and I have joined our human mommy in the courtyard for a DRINK and some treats. Tallulah, who lacks taste and sophistication due to her youth, is going for the treat. I, on the other hand, am older and wiser so I go for the wine . . . even though I never actually get to have it. 😦 Mommy says wine can fix a Monday, so I hope it’s happy hour wherever you may be. Cheers!
How was your Monday? Did it require a happy hour? 😉
Check out my Halloween DRAWING. Wait . . . you thought just because I don’t have opposable thumbs I wouldn’t be able to complete today’s October Photo Challenge? Oh ye of little faith. 😉
On Day 12 of the October Photo Challenge, it’s time for some Halloween DECORATIONS! Welcome to Ghost Manor, by far the most spooktacular house in my neighborhood. I did my photo shoot in the daytime because, quite frankly friends, Ghost Manor at night is just way too scary for this Golden girl. Ghosts fly from window to window. I can only imagine that they’re trying to escape . . . and I don’t want to be standing on the sidewalk if they get out. When the ghosts disappear to wherever they go, the skeletons start waltzing to and fro. And then dripping blood blocks the view. Time to turn your attention to the fog that fills the graveyard below . . . and hope no one pops out of the ground. If you’re feeling really brave, click here for a tiny nighttime glimpse.
Not scared yet? Really? Check out Ghost Manor on social media . . . and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
How many humans out there decorate for Halloween? And to all my fellow dog friends, do you get just a little spooked by creepy decorations on your daily walks? It’s ok to admit it. We’re all friends here. 😉
What’s better than going to see a HORROR FILM? Going to see a horror film at a vintage single-screen movie theatre with an actual organ. Later this month my neighborhood movie house the Prytania Theatre, which is 103 years old, is showing two cult classics . . . at midnight, no less: the original 1978 Halloween, the story of Michael Myers who murders his sister on Halloween night in 1963 and then 15 years later escapes from a mental hospital and returns to his hometown to kill again (eeks!) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will include a live shadow cast and the option to buy a prop kit with your ticket, just incase you’ve misplaced all your props from when you used to see Brad and Janet and Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Rocky every weekend 40-or-so years ago. From what I understand, dogs aren’t allowed at the Prytania. That’s fine with me. Midnight is waaaaay past my bedtime.
Do you have a favorite horror film or a favorite place to go the movies?
On the previous stop of our New Orleans haunted places tour, we met a couple of friendly ghosts just keeping an eye on things at Arnaud’s Restaurant. Well today, friends, the tour gets spookier . . . a lot spookier. That building behind me is the Gardette-LaPrete House, also known as the Sultan’s Palace. Originally built in 1836 in the Greek Revival style, the structure was purchased in 1839 by John Baptiste LaPrete, a wealthy plantation owner who planned to use the French Quarter residence as a town home. LaPrete made the lacy wrought-iron additions to the building and sought a renter to occupy the home when he wasn’t using it. And that’s where our story takes a decidedly macabre turn.
A young man from Turkey, said to be a sultan’s brother, soon became LaPrete’s tenant. He was joined by an entourage of beautiful women and eunuch servants. Before long, the lavish parties started. Neighbors heard exotic music from within and smelled incense escaping from the doors and windows. Rumors began to circulate: Was the young Turk conducting opiate orgies inside of the home? Was he grabbing beautiful women from the French Quarter’s streets and torturing them into submission before adding them to his harem? One night the music stopped, and a neighbor passing by the next morning made a gruesome discovery. Blood was trickling out from beneath a door, down the steps, and onto the sidewalk. When the police entered the building, they were met with a horrible scene. Body parts littered the home. Blood was splattered everywhere. There were no survivors. But where was the Turk? Eventually the police discovered his badly injured body buried in the courtyard. They suspected that he had been buried alive.
The crime, certainly one of the most horrendous in the city’s history, remains unsolved. Some people at the time suspected that pirates had attacked the partiers. Others speculated that the Turk and his entourage had been murdered by emissaries of his Sultan brother, who was either angered that his brother had stolen his harem as he left for America or was intent on executing all of his male relatives in an attempt to secure the sultanate. We may never know . . . unless one of the ghosts that still haunts the Sultan’s Mansion decides to speak. To this day, passersby hear mysterious music drifting from the home. They smell the faint essence of incense. They hear blood curdling screams. And they see the figure of a man sitting in a window, perhaps trying to tell the people below what happened on that horrible night.
MISS HARPER LEE’S HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS TOUR
Stop 3: The Sultan’s Palace
more to some
It’s been a while since we started our tour of haunted New Orleans. I hope you weren’t afraid that the ghost of General Benjamin “The Beast” Butler grabbed me when we were outside of Gallier Hall. No worries. I’m perfectly safe and ready to show you more of my hometown’s spookiest spots. Today’s ghostly haunt is Arnaud’s Restaurant, one of the grande dames of New Orleans fine Creole dining. The French Quarter restaurant opened in 1918 under the leadership of Arnaud Cazenave, a French wine merchant. Cazenave earned the entirely ceremonial title of “Count Arnaud” thanks in part to his flamboyant reign over his restaurant’s dining room. After Count Arnaud died, his daughter Germaine Cazenave Wells headed the restaurant until 1978 when it was sold to its current owners, the Casbarian family.
While Count Arnaud and his daughter are long gone from this Earth, they seem a little reluctant to leave their beautiful restaurant. Staff throughout the years have reported seeing a dapper tuxedo-clad gentleman in the corner of the dining room. The apparition resembles Count Arnaud, supervising the comings and going of the restaurant he started almost 100 years ago. Fortunately, the ghostly man is always smiling . . . a clear indication that he approves of the kitchen’s precise preparation and the wait staff’s splendid service.
And it seems that Germaine likes to join her father at Arnaud’s. Patrons have seen a woman in a hat exiting the ladies’ room. She crosses the hall and disappears into a wall where a staircase once stood. Perhaps it’s Germaine Cazenave Wells ascending the stairs she remembers to visit the restaurant’s Mardi Gras museum, which was established in her honor in the 1980s. The misty figure of a woman appears from time to time among the museum’s gorgeous ball gowns, many of which were worn by Germaine during the carnival season. Could it be Count Arnaud’s daughter checking on her gowns and recalling her days of revelry? I’ll let you decide.
MISS HARPER LEE’S HAUNTED NEW ORLEANS TOUR
Stop 2: Arnaud’s Restaurant
more to come
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.
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.