New Orleans has a reputation for being mysterious and unusual. In a city of wide and eclectic tastes, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum fits right in.
Founded in 1972 by Charles Massicot Gandolfo, a local artist with a passion for all things voodoo, the small museum has been inviting its visitors to experience mysticism and the occult for almost half a century. His museum focuses on what’s commonly known as New Orleans Voodoo, or Louisiana Voodoo.
New Orleans voodoo is an amalgamation of African and European influences that blended within the cultural melting pot of New Orleans. Originally brought to the city in the early 1700s through the African slave trade, Louisiana voodoo can trace its roots through influences of multiple cultures, notably African, Caribbean, Creole, and American.
A plethora of interesting objects and artifacts fill the museum, including antique voodoo dolls, taxidermy, talismans, and even the kneeling bench that once belonged to the famed Voodoo priestess Maria Laveau. (Visitors can also depart here for a tour of the St. Louis Cemetery, where Ms. Laveau is entombed.) As a voodoo priestess, her magical powers were legendary. However, there may be another explanation of her fame: She was rumored to run one of the most popular brothels in New Orleans.
Beyond its collection, the museum also offers items for sale, such as chicken feet, snake skins, potions, books, and candles. Guests who want the full voodoo experience can even have their fortune told by on-staff practitioners.