The Best Ghost Tours To Take On Your Next Visit To New Orleans

New Orleans boasts a culture and vibe that can not be found anywhere else in the world, as the darkness and mystique that seems to coat New Orleans draws in visitors from everywhere. As one of the most haunted cities in America, there are plenty of ways to experience some of the more spooky aspects of the city, whether it be staying in a haunted hotel or visiting one of the many businesses with harrowing pasts. For tourists wanting to get a larger, all-encompassing understanding of the darker side of New Orleans' famous French Quarter, though, a haunted tour is a go-to solution.

Though there are countless guided tours that take curious travelers throughout the haunted past of New Orleans, each tour has its own personal spin on stories that have been handed down through the decades, including tales of the histories behind some of the most iconic landmarks that dot the city's most popular neighborhoods. Taking a ghost tour is one of the best things to do in New Orleans, and we've compiled a list of the very best haunted ghost tours available to book for your vacation in the one-of-a-kind city. Every New Orleans tour comes with stories that will put goosebumps on the arms of even the most fearless of participants.

New Orleans True Crime Tour by Haunted History Tours

True crime has skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, with podcasts, documentaries, and TV series dedicated to the genre. Though unfortunate and devastating, the horror of real-life crime keeps people at rapt attention, and there may not be a better place than New Orleans to weave through the history of some of the most cold-blooded and intriguing crimes. Haunted History Tours claims they have one of the most graphic true crime tours in New Orleans, and all of the stories told are backed up by real police reports and court records for accuracy.

New Orleans' past is steeped with crime, the city home to some of the most violent and brutal murders in the 300 years since it has been established. NOLA had the highest murder rate in the first half of 2022, with MetroCrime referring to the city as the "murder capital of the U.S." Considering the graphic, true nature of Haunted History Tours' journey into the history of some of the most upsetting crimes to happen in the city, the tour does not accept any participants under the age of 13. For those who love to hear tales of the worst that humanity is capable of, a true crime tour may be the perfect way to take in the sights.

New Orleans Brothel History Tour by Two Chicks Walking Tours

While not a ghost tour in the literal sense, the New Orleans Brothel History Tour – also called the Brothels Bordellos and Ladies of the Night tour – is too good to exclude from this list. The tour showcases the history of a ghostly New Orleans underbelly from past times. Prostitution and sex work have a long history in New Orleans, especially in what was called Storyville, the city's red-light district that regulated and commercialized sex work in the early 1900s. 

Located in the French Quarter, this tour from Two Chicks Walking Tours dives deep into the history of brothels in New Orleans. Understandably, this tour is for adults only and is not appropriate for families with underage members. For travelers going it alone or in groups of adults, though, it is an interesting way to see the city, especially under the guidance of Two Chicks. According to the company's many stellar reviews, the history of New Orleans' ladies of the night fights to be the tour's highlight against the guides themselves. It doesn't seem to matter which guide leads the tour, considering most reviewers say their guide was "knowledgable" and "humorous," among other positive descriptors. The two-hour walking tour is a perfect way to spend an adults-only night, and you may even learn of some ghostly happenings from the city's own red light district, like the wandering statue of one New Orleans lady.

Ghost and Vampire Tour by French Quarter Phantoms

New Orleans' French Quarter is one of the most popular spots to visit in the unique city, but also one of the most haunted. Hot spots for ghost activity are dotted all along the area, each with its own rich history and attached urban legends. For visitors wanting to double up on their paranormal figures, French Quarter Phantoms guides groups through the famous district's very best haunts while telling tales of both ghosts and vampires — for New Orleans, the two ghoulish creatures seem to go hand in hand.

One of New Orleans' claims to fame is vampires, which in modern days is largely thanks to Anne Rice and her long list of well-known vampire novels. Though "Interview With the Vampire" certainly casts a ghostly and mysterious cloak on New Orleans through the eyes of a vampire, the city's history with the blood-sucking undead goes vastly deeper than the 1976 novel.

Legends of real vampires in New Orleans have existed for almost as long as the city itself, perhaps starting with New Orleans' casket girls. However the stories started, though, it's become common knowledge that New Orleans is home to vampires, some new and old. This tour is seemingly perfect for travelers looking forward to getting the inside scoop on some of New Orleans' most famous vampires and ghosts, and adding a vampiric twist to a ghost tour is absolutely fitting for a city like New Orleans.

Haunted French Quarter Tour by NOLA Historic Tours

If you like to look at your ghosts through the lens of history, the Haunted French Quarter Tour by Tour New Orleans is one tour you won't want to miss. Google reviews of the tour company seem to be in agreement that their tour guides are incredibly educated in the history of ghost stories and are much less theatrical than other tours taking place in New Orleans, which sounds like it would be the preferred way of seeing historic New Orleans for the curious and straight-forward visitor.

The tour takes guests through some of the most iconic sites and landmarks in the French Quarter, which in a city as haunted as New Orleans naturally means the spots come with some pretty spooky backstories. The most infamous of these locations is probably LaLaurie Mansion, which is central to most New Orleans ghost tours and the site of some seriously wicked and brutal acts. Though the mansion's namesake and story was used in a season of "American Horror Story" for entertainment value, it is arguably best and easier to look upon such senseless brutality through the lens of history, making a tour like Tour New Orleans' strictly historical one a solid choice.

Haunted Pub Crawl Tour by New Orleans Ghost Adventures

For tourists interested in visiting the main ghost attractions in the French Quarter like Lalaurie Mansion with a drink in their hand, New Orleans Ghost Adventures' Haunted Pub Crawl Tour might be just the attraction to take part in. The bars in New Orleans are just as haunted as some of the other buildings in the city, and the pub crawl tour not only introduces patrons to the ghosts who live within the walls of some of the most popular drinking haunts of the French Quarter, but visitors can also toast to their spookiness.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is one such ghost-ridden watering hole, thought to have been a blacksmith shop the Lafitte brothers used as a front in the 1700s for their smuggling endeavors. Now the shop is an active bar, and maybe even the most haunted in the world. Patrons who tell tales of a paranormal encounter while at the bar seem to be on the same page, all with visions of a dark figure by the fireplace who shares a likeness to Jean Lafitte himself. While guests may be having too much fun on a bar-hopping ghost tour to notice any privateer apparitions, a ghost sighting isn't out of the question on this adventure.

Nightly Spirits' Happy Hour Tour

Ghost stories may be more fun with a drink in hand, and that goes double during Happy Hour. Nightly Spirits' Happy Hour Tour takes patrons on a two-hour walking tour to some of the best happy hours in the French Quarter, which also happen to be ripe with hauntings.

New Orleans is one of the best cities to have a night out in the United States, and their many unique bars' Happy Hours is a reflection of that. There's arguably no better way to combine two highly sought-after New Orleans experiences than to take a ghost tour that traverses multiple cheap drinking opportunities. While guests will visit multiple bars, drinks on the tour are taken to-go and sipped on while following the mile-long walking tour. There are plenty of haunted bars in the city, like Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar and other iconic landmarks that display paranormal elements and dark histories.

Ghosts & Haunts Nighttime Bus Tour by Haunted History Tours

If a couple hours of walking in the thick Louisiana heat – or frigid cold if you're taking advantage of off season traveling – doesn't sound like a blast, there are certainly other options for a NOLA ghost tour outing. Haunted History Tours' Ghost and Haunts Nighttime Bus Tour takes passengers on a temperature controlled deep dive into the paranormal history of New Orleans. Not only are the guides able to artfully relay the city's spookiest urban legends, but the majority of passengers leave the tour with some kind of paranormal encounter to remember their visit by.

The advantage of taking a bus tour is not only comfort, but the ability to focus on the sights and not where you are stepping. For travelers with children, the bus tour has the advantage of not having to carry any children through a two-hour tour after they reach the walking limit of their little legs. According to various reviews of the tour on TripAdvisor, sightings of ghosts and even demonic forces are not exactly uncommon – guests should come prepared to become believers of the more spiritual side of New Orleans.

New Orleans History & Haunts Carriage Tour by Royal Carriages

A bus isn't the only way to see the more haunting sights New Orleans has to offer by way of wheels – a mule drawn carriage gives a different kind of authenticity to the experience. A happy medium between a walking tour and a bus tour, taking part in a carriage tour is both relaxing and immersive. The carriages with Royal Carriages allow for a more intimate tour with a maximum number of eight riders allowed per carriage.

The New Orleans History & Haunts Carriage Tour not only tells a number of engaging ghost stories, but it also covers other pieces of the paranormal history of New Orleans, including tales of the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Laveau is a central figure of New Orleans lore who combined traditional Voodoo practices with Catholic beliefs, like the use of holy water and prayers to saints. Even though she is believed to have died in 1881, a famous Voodoo shop is still named for her and plenty of people still visit her to place an X on her tomb in order for her to grant their wishes.

A carriage tour is a great way to traverse the city. While travelers who choose to go by carriage will have a unique view of New Orleans, the outdated mode of travel will also help transport them back to the time most of the ghost and Voodoo stories take place, giving the tales a more chilling and authentic feel.

Adults Only Haunted Tour by Witches Brew Tours

If you're looking for all the juicy deets New Orleans' paranormal underbelly has to offer, Witches Brew Tours guarantees their Adults Only Haunted Tour is the most uncensored ghost tour available in the city. Due to the gory and sexual nature of the tour, no one under 18 is permitted, and guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages as well as purchase a drink during the tour's halfway point bar stop. New Orleans is an open container city, so walking and drinking is not only possible, but common practice, so there's nothing wrong with taking the adult-centric tour with a buzz and some booze in hand.

Guests may indeed need some kind of drink because the stories told on this tour are from some of the most brutal true stories the city has to offer in its 300 years of history. The Axeman of New Orleans is one central topic of conversation on this tour, and it's certainly a grisly one. One of the city's most famous serial killers, the Axeman attacked Italian immigrants and terrified the community for some time.

Walking the Devil's Empire Tour by Hottest Hell Tours

Another tour only for adults, Hottest Hell Tours' Walking The Devil's Empire tour is the ultimate true crime experience when it comes to the history – both recent and of centuries gone by – of New Orleans. The knowledgeable guides spin tales so disturbing and twisted that it is really no wonder why the city is referred to as one of the most haunted in America.

One more recent true crime case that shook New Orleans and is likely to be a point of focus on the tour is the murder of Addie Hall, which happened not too long after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. A brutal and shocking case, Addie Hall's death is one that is still mourned, and the nature of which should be taken into consideration when choosing whether or not to go on a true crime tour in New Orleans. Her story is not for the faint of heart, and one local tour and museum company in New Orleans has already faced backlash for exploiting the story by displaying a more gruesome part of the tragedy.

The Devil's Empire Tour is for devout true crime fans who have a strong resolve when faced with the very worst of what mankind is capable of, and certainly for adults only. The tour changes depending on who is guiding it, so be prepared to hear stories likely not told by other similar tours in the area.

New Orleans Ghost Tour by Free Tours by Foot

New Orleans can be quite an affordable city to visit, and travelers don't have to go without a ghost tour for it to remain so. Free Tours by Foot offers a number of popular tours that operate on a pay-what-you-can model for a number of different cities in the United States as well as the rest of the world. Their New Orleans tours, like many other more pricey options, are guided by knowledgeable professionals and locals, making stops at some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions the city has to show off.

Free Tours by Foot's Ghost Tour, while it may not be quite the unique and dramatic experience some of the other tour companies in New Orleans are, guests will still receive pretty much the same information and history of the important sights in the most haunted area of the city. All that, and at a price that pretty much can't be beaten, unless travelers want to wander aimlessly and alone around the intricate – and, well, creepy – city of New Orleans. Even with the almost non-existent price, the thousands of positive reviews directed toward the tour speak for themselves — it is not only well worth your time but also highly enjoyable and informative.

Jonathan Weiss Tours' Dead Frenchmen Tour

A well-known historian and self-proclaimed "purveyor of the macabre," Jonathan Weiss' tours are unique and almost as rich in dramatics as they are in history. While he doesn't lead tours himself, the Dead Frenchmen Tour is led by one of five interesting and competent personalities, taking travelers to stops not found on many other tour companies' radars.

This specific tour focuses on Frenchmen Street, which gets its name from the six Frenchmen who were publicly executed there. Now, though, the street is buzzing with life as it is a hub for jazz music and late-night restaurants. Music is a huge part of the street's own culture, as thousands of musicians take one of the many stages available on the stretch of road. While tour-goers will certainly see plenty of the street's light in the neon, they will also get a glimpse into its dark past as their guide spins tales of ghosts and all the unsavory activity the street has seen in its gritty past.

Those who have taken the tour seem to have rave reviews, saying that the guides bring the past back to life in their passionate and knowledgeable tellings. If travelers – or even locals – are looking for a fun night out filled with intense and intriguing history, Jonathan Weiss Tours will fit the bill.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Official Tour

Bob Dylan once said that the first thing you notice about New Orleans is its burial sites, and with good reason. The massive mausoleums and crypts make for a unique-to-New Orleans cemetery, and the most famous of such is the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. No one is permitted inside the cemetery outside of family members and visitors on the official tour, though other tours do stop by the gates of the iconic cemetery.

St. Louis Cemetery is a unique sight to behold with its many statues and specially designed final resting places. While a lot of residents are long departed and important historical figures of New Orleans like Marie Laveau are buried there, more recent famous people have ties to the cemetery as well. Nicolas Cage famously purchased the cemetery's last two plots and commissioned a nine-foot pyramid to mark his future burial site. The reasoning behind this odd and extravagant purchase is unknown, but visitors are said to leave red lipstick imprints on the white pyramid.

The residents of St. Louis Cemetery spend their days in the afterlife in the company of one another, a menagerie of personalities and figures with varying backgrounds. Whether visitors witness one or more residents lingering around the cemetery or simply experience the centuries of grand final resting places, a tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one attraction that shouldn't be forgone while in NOLA.