Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ursuline Convent New Orleans

A ghost hunter in New Orleans is not limited to just a search for ghosts and haunted structures at the twilight hour in the Big Easy. Voodoo, witchcraft, and members of the undead mingle among the living—seeking energy from that one unsuspecting person on the street. Vampires awakened on an evening of the new moon could walk past you near an alleyway. You wouldn’t be aware that they’re hunting for their feast. But, they would be aware of you! Tales of vampires have been circulating around New Orleans for hundreds of years. One of the most repeated stories is that of the Casket Girls at the Old Ursuline Convent. The Sisters of Ursuline established a Catholic School for girls and set up the first orphanage in Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley. Today the Ursuline Convent stores the Catholic Archives records dating back to 1718. In the 1700’s, the Catholic Diocese sent young girls from the French convents to New Orleans to spread Christian values and find respectable men to marry. They each carried a coffin shaped chest packed with their belongings. The chest was called a “casket” and the young women were mockingly called the Casket Girls. However, the plan backfired. A good number of the girls were raped and forced into prostitution. Ships sailed back to New Orleans to rescue the fair maidens and returned them to France. Some of the girls still carried the small caskets with them and the contents were never revealed. Legend says with the contents still unknown, the Sisters of the Ursuline placed them on the third floor of the convent. The doors and windows were sealed shut for all eternity. When the chests were finally opened many years later, they were found empty. Superstitious citizens claimed the girls had smuggled vampires into New Orleans in the chests instead of clothing and such. The sealed attic of the convent has shuttered windows. The heavy shutters are of an unique style not seen anywhere else within the French Quarter. The shutters are always closed, but they say late at night the shutters open and the vampires come out into New Orleans seeking their prey. The Ursuline Convent claims there is nothing stored in the third floor attic, but then these mysterious questions arise.

If there is nothing in the attic, why not allow the public inside to document that fact?

If there is nothing in the attic, then why was it sealed by nails and screws blessed by the pope?
While on the tour our guide (haunted New Orleans Tours) told us that about 2 weeks before Katrina hit he was out there doing his tour, as he tuned towards the convent he noticed that on the window all the way to the left the shutter wasn't just open it was completely gone. This freaked him out so he quickly moved his tour along and the next night he saw that the window was bricked up from the inside. He counted the days, it took them 9 days to fix the shutter because they actually had to wait for a priest to fly in from Rome to bless the nails. So if there is nothing hidden in the attic why the over kill to make sure no one sees whats actually in it, Also as they tell you on the tour in the 17 & 1800's you didn't put shutter on your attic windows because you could actually DIE from the heat because there was no electricity .

A story reported from the 1970's states two ghost hunters hid in the courtyard of the convent one evening after spotting a set of the shutters half open. They had planned to photograph the vampires and kept a vigil through the night. Their bodies were found the next morning with a few scratches and all the blood drained from their bodies. So what is on the third floor of the convent. no one will know until investigators are allowed there to see for themselves.

3 comments:

Laura said...

While some mysteries should not be solved, this case of seeing into the attic would take planting a spy and at least answer that part of the mystery. I can't do it cause I'm afraid of vampires.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt Vampires excist! And if anything everyones stories sound the same. And maybe this is just for publicity!

Anonymous said...

There was a little bug going around called the plaque in the very places these girls originated from. Nail the shutters closed ?!? By rights itshould have been burned to ash.