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Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop –
Haunted Place: Lafitte's Blacksmith
941 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Pub can be found
on Bourbon Street, in the residential section, about two or
three blocks away from the rowdy center of Bourbon Street.
Its address on Bourbon Street is between Dumaine Street and Saint
This two story, brick and stone, plain
rectangular building is solidly built, in the French style
and has stood on this spot since the late 1700s, sometime before
1772. This building has the distinction as being one of the few
remaining original "'French architecture' structures" which still
grace the French Quarter. The building escaped both the fires
in 1788, and 1794, remaining untouched. This explains why
most of the buildings in the French Quarter were rebuilt in the
Spanish style of this time.
This building's claim to fame is that it was the place of business,
for privateer Jean Lafitte's Black Smith Shop, which explains how
this pub got its name. Like many other commercial buildings of the
era, the business was on the first floor, and the owners lived on
the second floor.
Tom and I found this pub, after a huff down Bourbon Street, and went
inside to try their beer, which was on tap. It is like
stepping back in time, as the inside reflects the atmosphere of a
working class 18th century building. The pub's dark, plain,
authentic decor, is made complete with wooden beams and walls, a
long, plain bar area, wooden tables and chairs, with not a light
bulb in sight. Candles are used during the night time hours.
The adjoining room in the back does have a space for live
music, with a piano and other equipment.
In 1803, after being under
the rule of France and Spain, New Orleans was sold to the United
States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Around this time,
the wily, infamous, pair of brothers, Jean and Pierre Lafitte, got
their start in crime, by privateering, and then smuggling goods
into New Orleans to avoid the fees and taxes. They turned a
handsome profit by selling their contraband to merchants and
interested parties at a bargain price, providing unfair
competition to honest businesses, who followed the
The brothers outfitted privateers who stole goods from foreign
ships and brought their loot back to the New Orleans area, through
a clever smuggling operation, using Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith shop
as a front for their headquarters. As their illegal enterprise
made more and more money, they decided to get their own
ships to speed up the time it took to get their ill-gotten
goods to the merchants and other interested parties in New
When The Embargo Act, which forbade American ships from docking at
foreign ports, was enforced, the Lafitte brothers moved their
growing enterprise to the island of Barataria, in Bartaria
Bay, far from the American Navy and customs officers, yet
just a hop skip and jump from New Orleans and their customers. They
set up their own little kingdom, complete with women and other
Being a handsome man, Jean Lafitte had many mistresses, and one
true love, the wife of the Governor of the Louisiana
Territory. This made a bad enemy of the governor, which led
to the authorities becoming nosy about Lafitte's operation.
Eventually, the Lafitte operation was shut down, by annoyed
government entities, and they were arrested, along with their
men. While out on bail, Jean Lafitte was contacted by British
officers, and offered a spot in the British navy if he helped
them attack New Orleans. Facing jail, and hoping to get his
still incarcerated brother freed, Jean Lafitte told the United
States authorities and worked out a deal for himself and his
brother, Pierre and his men. After fighting bravely in the 1812
Battle of New Orleans against the British forces, The Lafitte
brothers and their men were pardoned.
Instead of reforming and giving up their life of rascal-hood and
thievery, Jean and Pierre simply moved their operation to the Gulf
of Mexico and targeted Spanish ships for profit. After it
became too hot to do so, they moved onto Cuba, angering Cuban
officials with their business of robbing the incoming Spanish
ships, depriving Cuba of needed supplies and wanted luxuries.
When Columbia began hiring privateers to man ships in Columbia's
new navy, to attack Spanish ships, Jean Lafitte joined their force
and for the first time was part of a government-run plan to rob
Spanish ships. Some say that he died in a battle with one of these
merchant vessels. Others say that he eventually retired to
his beloved Louisiana.
This building has long been used for commercial purposes,
throughout its 300+ year history. The Lafitte's
Blacksmith Shop Pub is said to be the longest running pub in the
United States that hasn't been moved.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
Entities have been known to haunt
furniture, items and places which means so much to them while they
were alive. (Steak Joynt Building * Pfister Hotel * The Menger Hotel * St. James Hotel)
The fireplace that is located on the first floor was said to be
used as a cache for Lafitte's personal supply of gold.
Entities have been known to haunt a building where they have fond
memories of their life there.
Two known entities, a male and a female are
known to haunt this building.
Entity of Jean Lafitte - Must have
sentimental attachments to his blacksmith shop/smuggling
headquarters, and his gold storage area. Many grand plots
were hatched in this building.
The fireplace found in the first floor bar
area is surrounded by what some describe as "an unwholesome
aura", complete with cold spots.
Staff and patrons alike have seen a pair of watchful red eyes,
studying them through the fireplace grate. Some say that the eyes
belong to Jean Lafitte.
Patrons of the bar who sit at the tables, located near the
fireplace, have reported being touched by a cold, ghostly hand.
Lafitte's presence is said to be near when the
aroma of cigar smoke is detected.
When he is not hiding in the fireplace,
Jean Lafitte has appeared in the dark corners of the first floor,
looking annoyed and glowering at the living, while twitching
his mustache with his gloved hands. When seen by witnesses, he
Table in the
The entity of Jean Lafitte has been seen
sitting at a table with a drink in hand, at the back of the piano
bar, surrounded by the strong aroma of cigar smoke.
The entity of Jean Lafitte has been seen in
the rest room. Seeing as Jean loved women during his lifetime, it
makes sense that he would like to check out women here!
A female entity - Don't know for sure who
she is, but she must have some connection to this building.
A mirror on the second floor often shows the reflection of a female entity from a much earlier time. People speculate
that the spirit could be of Marie Laveau or the infamous
Madame Delphine Lalaurie, but there is no proof. While either two
of these women could be attached to the mirror, it
could be a variety of their women, who had lived on the
second floor of this long-time business building.
It appears to be.
Though I couldn't find any research, many
eye witnesses have reported these activities, for many years.
"Haunted New Orleans Hotels" on hauntedneworleanstours.com * "New Orleans Notes" on igougo.com
Jean Lafitte page on wikipedia.org