My wife and I were interested in taking a buggy tour of the French Quarter. The majority of the buggies can be found lined up on Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square. The buggy rides are run by different companies and offer a variety of tour options. We met a driver who offered a ghost tour of the French Quarter, which appealed to us. It was just after dark, the perfect time for a haunted buggy ride. The cost was around eight or ten dollars per person. We shared the buggy with a family of six.
The buggy operator informed us that his mule was in training, but I wouldn’t have guessed it if he hadn’t said something. While the mule was hesitant to walk over some of the gratings, the ride was fairly smooth. The tour operator was very knowledgeable, but provided us with the caveat that his tour included a combination of historical facts and legend. He often distinguished between the two when providing information during the tour.
Our tour lasted about forty-five minutes as we weaved in and around the less-traveled streets of the French Quarter. Our driver provided information on a variety of haunted locations that included the horrific story of Dauphine LaLaurie who, with her physician husband, conducted horrible medical experiments on their slaves. LaFitte’s Blacksmith shop is a good pirate’s tale that includes an opportunity for riders to order an ice cold voodoo drink. The trip included several other stops, to include a visit to the “House of the Rising Sun” made famous by The Animals.
In addition to the traditional ghost stories, along with a few personal anecdotes of mysterious photographs taken on this tour, our guide also pointed out houses that belong to a variety of Hollywood stars. The tour took us by a house that was owned by Delta Burke, Brad and Angeline and others. Because it was after dark, our ability to fully appreciate the architecture of the French Quarter was slightly diminished. However, our guide was quick to point out notable examples of architecture (features like barbs on the poles to prevent young men from climbing to the rooms of young women after dark).
We returned to Jackson Square after almost an hour of our combination history and lesson in folklore. The trip was relaxing and informal, at a price point that made it a great value. A standard walking ghost tour runs around twenty dollars per person, so we were able to combine the walking tour and buggy ride into a single, inexpensive option. I am sure the walking tours provide a much more thorough examination of the topic, but I felt the buggy version adequately addressed my morbid curiosity. In the end, it was campy fun and did not break the bank. I would highly recommend this venture. No need to plan ahead. There are generally plenty of buggies lined up along Decatur Street as early as 8:30 AM. They run until about 10 PM. Five stars.
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Best Suited For: Couples
Tour length: One Hour
Tour type: Group