New Orleans, Louisiana is definitely the place to be. It carries the nickname “Big Easy” because of how easygoing the people are. It was a moniker given to the city to compare to New York City’s “Big Apple.”
A photo of the usual scene in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Link: https://www.bluegreenvacations.com/destinations/louisiana/new-orleans#gref)
It is also a place known for its 24/7 night life, vibrant music scenes, Mardi Gras festivals, and great food. Aside from these, New Orleans is visited by many for the reportedly haunted Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. The owner of the business in the area is said to be haunting this shop to this day.
An old photo of the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Link: http://nolamyths.blogspot.com/2013/08/lafittes-blacksmith-shop-oldest-bar.html)
History Of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is full of history. It is located at the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Philip Street in New Olreans, Louisiana. It is believed to have been intended as a home during the Spanish colonial period so it is also one of the oldest structures still standing in the French Quarter.
A photo of how the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop looks from the outside. (Link: https://www.oldest.org/entertainment/bars-in-new-orleans/attachment/lafittes-blacksmith-shop/)
Accordingly, it was built by Nicolas Touze sometime between 1722 and 1732. The structure and fence are said to be old French Provincial Louis XV and Briquette-Entre-Poteauxe style. There were two great fires in the area in the past and the building escaped both because of its slate roofing.
Some years between 1772 and 1791, the building was reportedly used by the Lafitte Brothers named Jean and Pierre. They reportedly used Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop as the base for their Barataria smuggling operation. This is where they negotiated with the buyers of their goods. The Lafitte brothers didn’t really own it but their associate, named Renato Beluche, reportedly did. He was the one who ran a blacksmith business there. However, because the Lafitte brothers were known to frequent the shop, it was given such a name. The brothers were known for intimidation, extortion, and other criminal activities in New Orleans.
By the 1940s, a businessman named Roger “Tom” Caplinger turned the shop, that was already abandoned, into Café Lafitte. The café became a very popular spot for bohemian clients and the gay community. The property was sold in 1953 and was declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Today, it is a bar and it is frequented by many not just for its drinks and food but also for the alleged appearance of the ghost of one of the Lafitte brothers.
Inside the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. (Link: https://www.trover.com/d/vZ8V-lafittes-blacksmith-shop-bar-new-orleans-louisiana)
The Ghost Of Jean Lafitte
The ghost that is reportedly always seen at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop belong to one of the Lafitte brothers, Jean. Jean was a diploman, entrepreneur, privateer, sailor, and spy. He was very famous because he was the man that people wanted to see for things they wanted but were impossible to get in the market legally.
Jean Lafitte in an undated illustration. (Link: https://amyscrypt.com/lafittes-blacksmith-shop-haunted-ghosts-demon/)
Lafitte died in 1823 after he was wounded in a battle. According to the staff and guests of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, they have seen him around and he usually shows up as a full body apparition while he wore period clothing. He is said to hang out by the fire place and he really makes eye contact with anyone before he disappears into thin air. He doesn’t say anything or do anything to the staff and the guests but he allegedly surveys the area every time he visits.
Sometimes, Jean’s presence is also indicated by the aroma of cigar smoke. Whenever this happens, he is sure to be seen by the staff or the patrons. Another place where Jean can be spotted is at the first floor. He reportedly twitches his mustache with his gloved hands and examines the people there. When he is already spotted by the staff or the guests, he disappears immediately.
A photo showing one of the tables and chairs on the far side of the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/264375440612016127/?nic_v1=1aaIV3NjaNKRaTZHBhV3T6WpQ%2Fyz9CEErWNIzUlb2sxP5ISyHlZpv6ZlaJbP9R2RKX)
There were also times when Jean could be seen sitting at a table at the back of the piano bar. He has a drink in his hand. He also loved women when he was still alive so he is reportedly spotted frequently at the women’s restroom. He could also be the one responsible for this woman’s experience. The woman wrote on Trip Advisor the following, “IT IS HAUNTED! If you are one of the fortunate ones, something will reach out and run its hand down your back, ladies.”
The fireplace where he is seen most of the time is said to be having an unwholesome aura because it has a lot of cold spots. Also, staff and guests claimed that they have seen red eyes watching them from the fireplace. Some said that these red eyes belong to Jean while others claim it belongs to a demon. Some guests, who have sat next to the fireplace, also claimed that they felt like a ghostly hand was touching them. The red eyes were also spotted floating around the heads of the bar staff.
The fireplace at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Link: http://horsingaroundathome.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-original-pirate-of-caribbean.html)
Another entity that is said to live at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop belong to an unidentified woman. There is a mirror on the second floor of the building and the reflection of a woman could be seen from time to time. Many claim she is either Marie Laveau or Madame Delphine Lalaurie. Also, this female entity could be seen approaching visitors and whispering their name to them.
Do You Want To Visit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop?
If you want to visit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, you can either hang out there for hours or just drop by when you are in part of a ghost tour.
Many guests outside Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Link: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/lafittes-blacksmith-shop)
You should also know that the place is very dimly-lit and only candles are placed on tables.
A photo of the tables lit by candles at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Link: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lafittes-blacksmith-shop-bar-new-orleans?start=160)