New Orleans, Louisiana
The land on which Hotel Provincial stands was a grant from the king of France, Louis XV, who gave it to Bienville Lieutenant Louis Boucher de Granpre in 1725. The land was bought by Chevalier Jean Lavillebeuvre, then purchased and developed by the Roque and Laurans families during the 1800s, before being sold to the French Market Ice Company in 1903. The Dupepe family subsequently purchased the property in 1958 and opened the hotel in 1961.
Several of the buildings were used as a Civil War hospital, which gives credence to the many claims of paranormal activity at this property. With 94 rooms spanning several buildings, Building #5 is said to be the most haunted. Guests who have stayed in this building have reported walking into their rooms to find bloody soldiers writhing in agonizing pain. There are reports of ghostly surgeons and amputees leaning against the walls, all who vanish when the lights are turned on. Many people have also claimed to see blood stains appearing and disappearing mysteriously on the bedding of particular rooms. Multiple descriptions of Confederate soldiers aimlessly wandering the hallways, unwilling or unaware that they should pass into the next world, have been documented. Reported pools of blood on the floor have evaporated when the lights are switched on. One of the most graphic reports was from a guest who swears that the elevator doors opened onto a vivid scene of a bloody 1860’s military hospital floor, before closing again.
No ghost investigator’s career would be complete without at least one visit to New Orleans. With so many haunted venues to choose from, New Orleans’ reputation as the most haunted city in America is well earned.
Checking in, we tried to engage the lady at the front desk into some pre-exploration ghost talk, but she would have none of it. She was very uncomfortable with the mere suggestion that the hotel was haunted and politely dodged any questions pertaining to the matter. The valet guy, however, was more than willing to accommodate.
When we approached him on the subject, he shared with us the most frightening experience he had. He told us a wild story about how shortly after he started working there, he felt like he was being watched. As he looked up to one of the balconies, he was shocked to see a full body apparition of a young man, wearing 1800s clothing. The apparition smiled at him before turning to slowly disappear into one of the rooms. The guy actually looked shaken up retelling his experience, which made his story all the more believable. This really got our juices flowing.
We went to bed early, setting our alarm in our room for 3:00 am so we could get up and start our investigation. The clock radio had other ideas, however, had its own ideas. The alarm went off three separate times before it was supposed to. Loudly. Each time, we would reset it to 3:00 am, turning the volume down, but with no success. While I can’t claim that it was a supernatural occurrence, no one can deny that it was definitely odd. Not being able to go back to sleep after the 3rd false alarm, we started our investigation a little earlier than planned.
Hotel Provincial is not a large hotel and with most of the common areas of the hotel outdoors, it was a little different than other ghost hunts. Disappointingly, our investigation turned up little to no evidence and no unexplained experiences aside from the rogue alarm clock.
I would, however, go back and try again in a heartbeat. This former civil war field hospital has a bloody past and several stories left to tell.
All images in the gallery are original images taken durring an investigation.