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Located in one of New Orleans’ most famous cemeteries (St. Louis Cemetery No. 1), Marie Laveau’s grave is one of the most visited in the United States.
A plaque on the tomb reads:
This Greek revival tomb is reputed burial place of this notorious "Voodoo Queen". A mystic cult, Voodooism, of African origin, was brought to this city from Santo Domingo and flourished in 19th century. Marie Laveau was the most widely known of many practitioners of the cult.
The gifts left and the Xs chalked on the tomb’s walls illustrate why some call it “the wishing tomb” – believers leave these offerings in the hopes that Marie will grant their wishes from beyond the grave.
A typical New Orleans family tomb, it contains three sections for interment.
Although there's some controversy as to whether Marie Laveau is actually buried here, both the original burial record and obituary from 1881 affirm that she is.
According to the burial record, she was placed in the middle section with her second husband, Dumeny de Glapion. (The grave is also known as the Laveau-Glapion tomb.)
Other family members share the tomb as well, including daughter Marie Philomene Glapion (a.k.a. Marie Laveau II), who followed in her mother’s footsteps as a voodoo priestess.
So why are people still fascinated by Marie Laveau all these years later?
In her introduction to The Magic of Marie Laveau, Denise Alvarado writes:
Marie Laveau is no myth; she is no mere legend. While her reputation precedes her as the notorious Voudou Queen of New Orleans, in reality, she was a free woman of color who ruled the city during antebellum New Orleans. This was no small feat. She was a devout Catholic, an independent businesswoman, a mother, and healer who lived her life in accordance with the corporal works of mercy. Stories abound about her magickal prowess, freeing men from the gallows and healing the sick from the brink of death. Her belief in Catholicism guided her life as well as her magick in such a distinct way that people from all over the world are inspired by her spirit and her story.