New Orleans: Haunted Legends and Mysteries Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar

The Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop & Bar near La Galerie Hotel

For over 20 years, New Orleans Haunted History Tours has been regaling locals and tourists alike with stories of NOLA’s dark history. Mixing history and theatricality to bring you an entertaining and enlightening vision of the Big Easy’s chilling past. If you opt to take a tour, you’ll hear many intriguing stories and visit some of the most haunted places around town.

In the meantime, while you’re curled up in your comfy hotel bed, or waiting for the streetcar, or nibbling on some beignets as you people-watch down on Decatur, why not treat yourself to a spooky tale right now? Once you start reading about one of NOLA’s haunts, you won’t be able to stop...and maybe you’ll even get to catch a glimpse of one of these famous ghostly residents.

Here’s the first chilling tale in our Haunted Legends and Mysteries Series...don’t get too scared now! 

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar

This quaint tavern almost looks out of place when you wander down the NOLA streets. You can almost picture pirates of long ago meeting for a pint of mead while discussing their next plunder, and for good reason. This is the place believed to be the meeting grounds of Jean and Pierre Lafitte, French-American pirates and swashbuckling buccaneers that sailed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip, is one of the oldest, still-operating buildings in New Orleans, and it is also believed to be the oldest building used as a bar in the entire United States. It was constructed sometime between 1722 and 1732, and from 1772 to 1791, the tavern is reputed to have been the home base for the Lafitte’s Barataria smuggling escapades. 

Today, locals and visitors come to Lafitte’s for the drinks as well as the atmosphere. To add to the rich sense of a bygone era, the bar is lit by candlelight, lanterns, and a fireplace, instead of harsh overhead electricity, adding to the feeling that you’ve stepped back in history when you cross the threshold. 

As you enjoy your cocktail, keep a sharp eye out for restless spirits. Stories claim that Lafitte’s treasure is still buried within the bricks of the tavern, and a ghostly pirate stands on guard. Downstairs, some of the pirate’s booty is believed to be in the fireplace grate, and if you try to take a peek, you might find a pair of glowing red eyes staring back at you as a warning. You might even see Jean Lafitte himself roaming the bar. 

Whether you’re visiting New Orleans, or a local enjoying a staycation, make sure to pay a visit to Lafitte’s, and keep your ears and eyes open -- who knows what you might see!