The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum guides visitors through the history and meaning of Voodoo in America.
The Voodoo Museum opened in 1972 on the Rue Dumaine near Bourbon Street and Royal Street. Its purpose is to teach interested people what voodoo really is verses what people have come to think it is. It is not about magic potions and incantations with voodoo dolls like most people imagine. In fact, the word Voodoo comes from the dialect of the Fon people on Africa. Their word for spirit is Vodoun, which over time became Voodoo. So, voodoo is really about the connection between the god and the spirit world and people who are still alive.
Before the 1808 Law against bringing slaves from outside the US was enacted, many of the slaves who came to Louisiana came from the part of Africa where the Fon People lived. They brought with them their language and culture. From 1719 to 1830 voodoo was a part of African culture that eventually morphed into Creole culture from 1830 to 1930 when it entered its American phase from 1930 to the present. In American incarnation, voodoo is more of a business than a matter of spirituality. As a business it Voodoo is known as Hoodoo.
A visit to the Voodoo Museum includes a walking tour of the Cemetery that includes a visit to Marie Lavaeu’s tomb where a person can knock on her tomb and ask her anything they need to ask. Whether she answers is up to her.
The Cemetery Walking tour includes admission to the Museum. Tickets for the tour cost $19 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. Daily tours start at 10 am or 1 pm. There are no 1 pm tours on Sunday, though. There is a two person minimum to start a tour and tickets should be purchased 24 hours before you plan to go. If you are traveling alone or plan to attend alone, ask if there is room for you to join another tour group. Please plan for a long outing because this tour lasts 2.5 to 3 hours.
There is a gift shop onsite that readings, voodoo dolls, gris-gris bags, candles, and books. Come with an open mind and a lot of curiosity. The tour guides are knowledgeable and open to reasonable and polite questions, too.