Notable New Orleans Tombs

The Angel of Grief is one of the most striking sculptures in Metairie Cemetery. The exquisite stain glass washes the whole space in a melancholy blue. The mausoleum for the Chapman Hyams family was designed by Favrot & Livaudais using granite from Stone Mountain. The sculpture is a copy of The Angel of Grief Weeping Over the Dismantled Altar of Life (1894).

Marie Laveau (1801-1881) was an herbalist, midwife, and savvy businesswoman. In death, she was crowned the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans with many myths and legends surrounding her. She is supposedly buried at Saint Louis No. 1-one of the most toured cemeteries in the world. Myths persist that to get a wish granted, you must mark three X’s and shout the wish to Marie. If the wish is granted, you are supposed to circle the X’s and leave an offering. If you are here on my site I am preaching to the choir, but please do not deface tombs.

E. J. Bellocq was a photographer in New Orleans in the first half of the 20th century. He became notable in the art world in the 1970s when Lee Friedlander found a box of his glass plate negatives from the Storyville District. Storyville was the area of New Orleans in 1897-1917 where prostitution was legal. The intimate portraits show the woman where they live and work. Little is known about Bellocq’s life and why he made the portraits. He is buried in a family tomb in Saint Louis No. 3. Photographers often leave flowers, trinkets, and film for him.

Nicolas Cage fell in love with New Orleans and purchased the LaLaurie Mansion. The house is haunted after all of the horror that happened in the house. Shortly after the home purchase, bad luck followed the actor, and he eventually had to declare bankruptcy. Assigning the troubles to the purchase of the mansion, he decided that Marie Laveau might help him. Though Saint Louis No. I is closed to new burials, Cage made some deals to be able to get a tomb there. He made a giant pyramid with the saying Omnia Ab Un —Everything from One. As of today, he is alive and well and women leave lip stick kisses for Cage on his tomb.

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