Hunting the Ghost

St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum in New Orleans is rumored to be one of the cities most haunted buildings. Now parts of the building are used as a hostel and hotel, but they do allow ghost hunters in at night to the unoccupied part of the building. We used EMF readers, rem pods, and other equipment to try to find the spirits within the building. We also used a cell phone app called Echovox to try to hear if any spirits wanted to be heard but not seen.

Built in 1861, the building housed orphaned children during the yellow fever outbreaks that killed thousands, including many of the children housed with its walls. People didn’t realize that yellow fever was caused by mosquitos until 1905. Before then, one of the doctors at St. Vincent’s tried to find a cure by experimenting on the children. When the people in the surrounding neighborhood (now the Lower Garden District) found out, they tied a noose around his neck and hung him from a tree behind the asylum. His spirit is one of many said to be in the house to this day.

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The Orphanage was operated by nuns. The Mother Superior who operated the asylum when the doctor was experimenting on the children is also said to still be in the building. She made an appearance, vocally not physically, while I was in the building. Through Echovox, we realized that she became angry when we mentioned the doctor. She didn’t stick around long after we brought him up.

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We spent most of our time in the kitchen, which has been updated with modern sinks and an oven (the building is still partially in use). There, we met a ten-year-old boy named Charles who had died in the orphanage. He repeatedly told us his name through the Echovox app and kept telling us that there were eight total people in the room. Five of us living humans and three spirits. Charles is the only one who made his presence known. We tried to get him to move the ping pong ball, but he wasn’t willing. He did, however, set off the REM pods a couple of times.

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I was skeptical that any of it was real, even though I wished it to be true. One of the people in the building with us said he kept feeling spirits touching him and hearing the shuffling spirits of children running around us. None of the rest of us heard or felt any such thing. This guy even handed me an infrared camera and tried to turn me into his personal camerawoman. I politely refused, which left him recording with his own camera, and he would jump anytime he felt a tiny wind push past him.

It wasn’t until I was back in my hotel room that I felt creeped out. My room had a small kitchen with dishwasher, refrigerator, and sink. I kept hearing sounds coming from that direction in the dark hours of the early morning. When I investigated, I found out it was the ice maker in the freezer which left me feeling silly at being creeped out. The next morning, however, there were no ice cubes in the freezer. Did Charles follow me back to the hotel and play a trick on me? I like to think so.

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