When the history dates back few hundred years, ghost stories were bound to happen. My day two in New Orleans was spent mostly working out of a conference room. The day was long but interesting and we ended the conference on time at 6:00 PM. We were all reconvening at the Muriel’s Restaurant for a team dinner. The place was few blocks down the street near Jackson square.
The restaurant was rumored for citing ghost. I was intrigued and ask one of the servers to provide his version of the truth. He was an eloquent speaker. We were a team of 40 spread across few tables. He drew the attention of the audience by clinking the fork to an empty wine glass and told us the tale(maybe tall tale😜)
The restaurant had an interesting history. The foundation of the restaurant was built 300 years back as a small cottage, which was sadly used to house transient slaves brought from Africa through the Mississippi River route before sending them to the Sugarcane fields. 27 years later the modest cottage was acquired by a man of great wealth and Power, Jean Baptiste. He tore it down and built a royal place for his family. The house was later purchased by a Frenchman, Pierre Phillips in the year 1776. He used it as a city home ( compare this to vacation houses we are used to now, away from the city 🏡🏖😀) for recreational activities when returning from the plantations located on the outskirts of the city.
In 1788, New Orleans burnt down on a Good Friday. 856 houses burned, including the house owned by Pierre. The place was this time was acquired by Pierre Antoine. Pierre rebuilt the house to original grandeur. He used the place for himself and for his family recreation. He was known for hosting lavish extravagant parties. Everything was going well except for one thing, Pierre was addicted to gambling. In 1814 he wagered his home to a game of poker and lost his most precious possession. Tragically, that evening he took his life, unable to reckon with the loss.
Many things had changed since then, expect the fact that Pierre Antoine never left. He stayed in the form of a spirit. He was known to trouble people who visited the restaurant by doing supernatural things like throwing off glasses, overturning table and blowing uncalled breeze. A seance was called to accost the spirit of Pierre. An agreement was eventually made with Pierre. He was given the room, where he took his life and in return, he was asked not to bother any occupants. Although at times he was seen breaching the decree.
After the second course of our meal, we took turns to visit the room where he took his life. The room was a small ten feet by ten feet closed room. The dark red dip shadows of light were giving a very different aura to the room. We took some pictures. One of my friends asked me to wait for the crowd to go so that we can take some pictures without anyone in the room. I sat royally on one of the sofas and took some smiling captures. We also took a couple of pictures of the empty room. Right after the photo session, we checked the pictures to see how they appeared. And then we noticed something starkly bizarre. Few captures were dark and black. The first visible picture of the empty room came out fine, but the immediate next one had the curtain rising. It was a closed room with no gust of air. It didn’t make any sense why the curtain raised. Scared? Sure we were and we left the room as swiftly as any human could do, treasuring the memories for a lifetime.
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