Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Marie Laveau: Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

When a devout Catholic becomes history’s most infamous practitioner of Voodoo, where does fact slip away and fiction reign? The life and legacy of Marie Laveau, immortalized as “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans,” is shrouded in mystery.

Portrait of Marie Laveau, Frank Schneider (after George Catlin), Louisiana State Museum

A skeptical Bill Murphy, writer for The Maroon Vol. 42 No. 11 (1966), briefly discusses Marie Laveau as both a historical figure and legendary character of New Orleans. The few known facts about Marie Laveau as provided by Murphy are as follows:

1. Marie Lavoux (as it was then written) was a free mulatto, born to the family of Charles Lavoux, at New Orleans, in 1794.

2. At the age of 15, she married a free mulatto carpenter named Jacques Paris. The marriage was preformed by the famous Pere Antoine on August 4, 1819.

3. The couple resided at a house in the 1900 block of North Rampart Street until the death of Paris in 1822.

4. Widowed, Laveau became a hairdresser to the wealthy women of New Orleans as a means of support.

5. In 1826 Laveau became the common-law wife of Captain Christopher Duminy Glapion, a free person of color and an officer in the Company of Men of San Domingo.

6. At the beginning of her second marriage, Laveau entered the Voodoo cult which already existed in New Orleans. By the time she was 32, she had assumed both the title and power of the city’s Voodoo Queen.

7. Laveau bore 15 children from her second marriage and lived with Glapion at their home on Saint Ann Street until his death in 1855.

For an in-depth look at Voodoo culture in New Orleans, peruse Robert Tallant’s Voodoo in New Orleans. Tallant, an author not swayed by outlandish rumors, dedicates a full 100 pages to Marie Laveau (and Marie Laveau II) in chapters as fantastically titled as “She Brought Them Gumbo and a Coffin” and “They All Danced Naked as Jaybirds.”

Voodoo in New Orleans endpaper

Marie Laveau has simultaneously terrified, inspired awe, and generally fascinated the public for nearly 2 centuries. Now 134 years after her death, the Voodoo practitioner holds a firm place in popular culture as the topic of chart-topping songs and basis of numerous fictional characters appearing in print and film, alike (most recently on American Horror Story: Coven).

Watch “Marie Laveau” by Bobby Bare on Youtube

Watch “Witch Queen of New Orleans” by Redbone on Youtube

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.


Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Ghosts of Loyola

Most students at Loyola have heard vague reports of strange activity around campus, but almost everyone has heard something different. It seems that few can really agree on what spooky visitors may be haunting the campus, and perhaps we may never really know until we see them for ourselves. However, there are a few ghost stories that continue to make recurring appearances in campus lore. Perhaps these are the true tales, courtesy of the Loyola Maroon…


Loyola’s most famous ghost story, which begs the question: could a demonic entity possibly be making its home in a Catholic school? Possibly. Buddig Hall has been at the center of most paranormal claims, though most people don’t know the real story of what happened there. Allegedly, a pair of students’ experimentation with a Ouija board unleashed some sort of spirit that required an exorcism to tame.

Click here and here for the full articles about Buddig 813.

There have also been reports of strange activity on the tenth floor, as well as in Room 1108.


Marquette Hall, the oldest building on Loyola’s campus, has also been the scene for several unexplained occurrences. The building used to house a morgue on the fifth floor that would store cadavers for the anatomy lab.

Click here for article.

Spooky entities have also been reported at Greenville Hall on the Broadway Campus, as well as in Nunemaker inside Monroe Hall.

Click here for article.


–Posted by intern Katie Atkins

Shaun of the Dead on DVD

Shaun of the Dead (2004)Shaun of the dead / Universal Pictures, Studio Canal and Working Title Films present a WT2 production in association with Big Talk Productions produced in association with Inside Track 2, LLP ; produced by Nira Park ; written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright ; directed by Edgar Wright.
Call Number: DVD-001127

Shaun of the Dead is an apropos watch during the Halloween season. This comedy is a homage to the zombie movie subgenre. In the midst of a zombie outbreak in London, Shaun fights zombies while simultaneously fighting for the heart of his ex-girlfriend. A whiney salesman, Shaun is an unlikely hero. Before proceeding with this review, there is one caveat: I hate horror movies. I am quite squeamish and I have never understood the popular fixation with zombies. Several of my friends recommended this movie to me over the years, but I could not compel myself to watch even a mock horror movie. Two factors contributed to me finally viewing this movie. First, I recently watched the superbly silly British television series Spaced. Created by overlapping visionaries, this show also features several of the actors who later starred in Shaun of the Dead. The Spaced characters are so loveable and quirky that I softened to the idea of a comedic zombie movie starring their actors. Second, I spotted Shaun of the Dead the first time that I perused the Monroe Library DVD collection. In addition to the blood, gore, and the undead munching on corpses, Shaun of the Dead has all of the dysfunctional relationships, moral indifference, and general cluelessness that was so entertaining on Spaced. Shaun of the Dead is worth viewing even if you do not like zombies.

- Malia Willey, Information Literacy/Learning Commons Librarian

May & Black Sheep on DVD

May; a Lions Gate Films release ; 2 Loop Films presents a Loopy production ; a film by Lucky McKee ; produced by Marius Balchunas and Scott Sturgeon ; written and directed by Lucky McKee.
Lion’s Gate Home Entertainment [2002]
Call Number: DVD-001158

Just in time for Halloween I give you two unconventional horror flicks for this holiday season.

First selection is May, the story of an awkward, shy girl and her sewing machine. May’s only wish in life is to make new friends. When her social skills fall flat, the time comes when she must rely on her crafty talents to make the perfect friend. Stitch-stitch.

Black Sheep; produced by Phillipa Campbell; written and directed by Jonathan King
Genius Products [2007]
Call Number: DVD-001111

Next up is Black Sheep, a horror/comedy about the dangers of animal husbandry and genetic engineering. Yes, we’re talking killer sheep. Anything with teeth and a killer appetite can be horrific, even baby lambs. It’s off-beat, way off-color and covered in gobs of blood, with the occasional environmental message. You’ve just got to love those New Zealanders and the special effects wizards of the WETA workshop.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

-Michelle Melancon, Bindery Specialist (Baking with Medusa at Blogspot)