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LGBT: Top Five Things to Do for Halloween in New Orleans

The Berger Residence on St. Charles Avenue is a must-see during the month of October (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Halloween is the perfect time to visit New Orleans and get a taste of both the rich LGBT culture and the haunted history of the city. Not only is the weather during October absolutely perfect, but since Halloween is one of the biggest LGBT events in the city, tons of folks will be flocking here. See for yourself how the city with world-famous costume culture takes on the Halloween season.

Mardi Gras costumes
Festive costume go-ers make Halloween a special holiday in New Orleans (Photo: Zack Smith)

Halloween New Orleans (HNO)

Halloween New Orleans is the premier gay Halloween event in the city. The three-day event includes a black tie gala, an epic costume party, and a tea dance overlooking the Mississippi River. The Friday night gala takes place at the Hyatt Regency and offers food from local restaurants and an open bar. Plus, you’ll have the chance to partake in a silent auction with all money raised going to benefit Project Lazarus. On Saturday, the costume party and contest takes place at the Contemporary Arts Center from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. The weekend closes with an unforgettable tea dance party at Crescent Park with DJ Dan Slater. The dance party is then followed by a second line to the gay bars in the French Quarter.

La Laurie Mansion, a stop on many famous ghost tours (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Ghost Tours

New Orleans Haunted Tours are a must-do for the haunted NOLA experience. There are many different tour groups that host tours and they all offer different experiences. While every tour might be slightly different, here are some of the things you can expect to encounter: haunted restaurants and hotels, mansions where ghosts still walk the corridors, and stories about crimes where the victim’s ghosts live on. Tours are offered both day and night, but a nighttime tour is perfect for that extra scare factor. A few great tour options are French Quarter Phantoms and Bloody Mary Tours.

Frenchman Bar Crawl

A popular tradition among New Orleans locals is to convene on Frenchmen Street on Halloween night and hop around from bar to bar listening to live music and admiring the creative costumes along the way. Because you can take drinks “to-go” in New Orleans,  a huge party pops up on the streets in the Marigny. Some of the best bars to check out are The Spotted Cat, The Blue Nile, and The Maison. As an added bonus, all the action on Frenchman Street is just a short walk from the Froot Loop (area of gay bars) in the French Quarter.

St. Roch Cemetery (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Cemetery Tour

If you’re looking for somewhere to go with an abundance of spirits past, there’s obviously no place better than a cemetery. One of the most special things about New Orleans cemeteries is that they are not just burial sites, but actual works of art. Some of the best cemeteries to visit in NOLA are Lafayette Cemetery, St. Louis Cemetery and St. Roch Cemetery. Just remember to visit these burial grounds during the day as they usually close their gates around 4 p.m.

The Mortuary Haunted House

If you’re looking for an authentic haunted house experience to spook up your Halloween celebrations, look no further than the Mortuary. While it’s now a famous haunted house, the Mortuary served as a morgue since the mid-1800s. As people passed on, they would be taken to the Mortuary and then often buried in one of the cemeteries in the surrounding area. To this day, some of the ghosts from over 100 years ago continue to haunt this house and the surrounding area. The Mortuary has been featured on Syfy channel, Discovery channel, and in many other national publications – it should definitely be added to your list.

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