Let the Good Times Roll!
With my natural bent towards creepy things that go bump in the night, maybe it was only a matter of time till I moved back to New Orleans as a young adult. Growing up there as a child doubtlessly left its mark on me, happily warping my outlook permanently. My first Mardi Gras memory is one of having a string of beads thrown to me from a float, catching them, then dropping them in the push of the crowd. A tall, hairy man in a lime green Jackie O dress, complete with matching heels, a pillbox hat, handed them back to me and smiled. I have never had any problem with gay rights since then.
New Orleans was also where I broke the barrier at the public library and vaulted from the children's section to the adult bookstacks, at age 8. Nevertheless,my mother had to take the librarian aside and personally speak to her, before I was allowed to check out an adult book on Louisiana hauntings and folklore.
That book is where I met the haunted side of the city, the side that is so commonplace that most residents don't even blink when told a place is haunted. With a city dating from 1718, there tends to be a great many spirits about, and most don't bother waiting for Halloween to make an appearance.
In addition to ghosts, Nouvelle Orleans also has Marie Laveau, the Voodun Queen. Her influence and reputation still run rampant through the city, even though she may have died in 1881. I say may have, because there are those who believe she still lives.