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The Haunted Hotel at 623 Ursulines in New Orleans is New Orleans’ oldest and best-known Haunted Hotel.

Built in 1829, the Hotel has been home to nearly a dozen murders in the last 200 years.

Reports of being haunted initially dated back to 1918, when New Orleans’ infamous serial killer, The Axeman, left a bloody trail through the city, becoming one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th Century. To this day, his identity remains unknown. Largely targeting the Italian population in New Orleans, confirmed reports have verified that The Axeman lived in the Hotel during the murders. Renting one of the back rooms in the slave quarters, The Axeman was the handyman of the property and led a very unassuming life. He was never apprehended by the authorities. However, in March, 1919, the New Orleans Newspaper received a letter from The Axeman, which read, in part,

“Hell, March 13, 1919

Esteemed Mortal:

They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.

When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know who they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company…

Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will I could slay thousands of your best citizens, for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.

Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people.

Here it is; I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz bang going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe).

— The Axeman”

New Orleans largely followed his instructions, filling houses, dining halls, and the entire French Quarter with music. One songwriter, Joesph Davilla, wrote a song entitled, “The Mysterious Axeman’s Jazz,” which because a standard jazz tune. Nobody was murdered that Tuesday, but The Axeman’s legend lives on in the dark corners of the French Quarter and at the infamous Haunted Hotel on Ursulines.

While remodeling a few years ago, we found a bloodied axe hidden in the corner of the old attic. It is now on display in our lobby for hotel guests to view and ponder.

Are you brave enough to stare in awe at The Axeman’s instrument of death, or better yet, stay a night in the Haunted Hotel?

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