Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

EDITORIAL: Halloween is in New Orleans’ blood

Athena Marks

Celebrating Halloween in New Orleans is something many of the newcomers look forward to in the city. We may run to the Prytania Theater to see the midnight showing of Rocky Horror or walk down the street to visit the infamous Skeleton House on St. Charles. Although these traditions are fun, there is so much more in the history of New Orleans that should be recognized during the spooky season.

Ghost pirates, swamp monsters, and all manner of haunting myths of the things that walk the streets of the city at night are all testament to the wide variety of cultural history that New Orleans is home to.

The tale of Jean Lafitte’s Barataria Bay buccaneering and the scourge of the American and British governments in the early 19th century is just one example of how the history of the city can be celebrated during the Halloween season. Lafitte’s legacy lives on at Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar in the French Quarter, where people still claim they see his specter leaning against the piano enjoying a cocktail and the sultry rhythms playing.

People may already be wary on nights with a full moon due to the classic tale of werewolves making their canine transformations on those nights. But what many may not know is that it’s not a werewolf you should fear walking back from Broadway liquor on a night with the moon at its brightest point, it’s the Rougarou.

The Rougarou has its origins in Cajun folklore, a half-man, half-beast that transforms on a full moon’s night that prowls the swamps and sugarcane fields of south Louisiana. However, the non-Catholics of Loyola’s campus have nothing to worry as the beast only goes after Catholics who don’t follow the rules of Lent during the season.

But let’s not forget the scariest monster of them all, currently walking barefoot from Lafayette to Baton Rouge with a hat on that says “Fish want me, women fear me,” incoherently rambling about being the next governor: a certain janky Loyola law graduate who we legally shouldn’t name.

But it’s not just the particular monsters that roam the streets that fulfill New Orleans’ historical legacy surrounding the mysterious and the haunting. It’s also the unique relationship that exists between death and New Orleans culture. After all, what other city celebrates funerals with parades?

No other place has as much history between the walls of its cemeteries. This is why cemetery tours are such an amazing glimpse into the relationship between the past and the present, the dead and the living in the city. Just ask Nicholas Cage who has a pyramidal tomb in St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, which many fans in the past have adorned with lipstick marks. Who likes Nicholas Cage that much? I don’t know either, but that’s besides the point.

The city of New Orleans’ history and cultural legacy is one that’s famously unique.
Traditions adorn every holiday that deserve to be celebrated and appreciated for how they form the cultural legacy of New Orleans, and Halloween is no exception. During the holiday, while you’re pregaming Rocky Horror, take time to remember that appreciation for all things Halloween and appreciation for what makes New Orleans unique are often one in the same.

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About the Contributors
Mark Michel, Op/Ed Editor
​Mark Michel currently serves as The Maroons Opinion and Editorial Editor. He is a History Pre-Law sophomore. Mark can be found sitting in Audubon Park reading a copy of The Maroon. Mark can be reached at [email protected].
Athena Marks, Chief Visual Artist
Athena Marks is the Chief Visual Artist at The Maroon. She is from New Orleans and majoring in Visual Communications. In her free time she enjoys sewing clothes, drawing, going on sunset walks, traveling and listening to music.

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