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2019-10-8 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

Finding Eerie in the Big Easy

The Chevrolet Blazer is our stylish tour companion for a trip around one of America’s best-loved and most haunted cities.

New Orleans is a magical place, a city that has stood for 301 years on a patch of land that should, by all rights, be underwater. Yet NOLA was home to unique cultures, legendary personalities, and extraordinary traditions long before most places in the country were even mapped.

 

Like many venerable cities, New Orleans’ centuries of lore, combined with unique funerary traditions and unmissable above-ground cemeteries, have given rise to more than a few stories of ghosts, hauntings, and general seductive scariness. In fact, you can spend a whole day—or weekend—stringing together all the best haunted locales.

 

“People are terrified of the dead,” says Carolyn DePalma, an effervescent guide from Ghost City Tours. “But cemeteries are some of the most peaceful places in the city to me.”

 

We teamed up with DePalma for a drive around the city with the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, and to raise a few goosebumps in the process. DePalma is a Chicago transplant who has discovered a fascination with the history of New Orleans. She guides, writes new tours, and generally adores showing folks around her adopted city.

The Details Matter

BLAZER

3.6L

V6 ENGINE

9-SPEED

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

64.2 CU.-FT

CARGO CAPACITY

Ornate wrought-iron gates guard the entrances to cemeteries throughout New Orleans. Our Cajun Red Blazer RS was perfect for exploring them, along with other hauntingly beautiful parts of the city.

Ghost Dog

Location: St. Roch Neighborhood, 7th Ward

When to Visit: Early morning or late evening

Spookiest Event: Ghost dog that vanishes as you approach

 

The lovely St. Roch neighborhood (pronounced like “rock,” if you’re aiming to sound like a local), is tucked between the 7th Ward and Bywater neighborhoods, which don’t see many tourists. Characterized by stunning wrought iron and scattered stone carvings, along with a fascinating, spooky back story, the locale is well worth the short drive from the French Quarter. 

 

The namesake Saint Roch was said to have been saved from the bubonic plague when a nobleman’s dog found him in the wilderness, brought him bread, and licked his wounds. Reverend P.L. Thevis invoked Roch during a yellow fever outbreak in New Orleans in the late 19th century, and legend has it that no one in Thevis’ community was taken by the fever. “In Fulfillment of a Vow” is still inscribed on the chapel the good reverend built to honor the saintly protection.

 

While strolling the quiet streets of St. Roch, DePalma cautions against trying to rescue the stray dog you may be lucky enough to see. “People tell stories of a ‘ghost dog,’” says our guide. “Sometimes seen with an old man in a cloak, the dog vanishes as people get near.”


BLAZE A CRYPT-IC TRAIL

The French Quarter may be perfectly walkable, but the Blazer helps unlock the tour potential of the entire city. Put a few friends in the spacious back seat and ride past cemeteries on the edge of the Quarter that date to the 1800s for a truly haunting historical experience.

 

Better yet, head uptown on St. Charles Street to the former American Quarter of the city, now better known as the Garden District. The tree-lined lanes are perfect for casual cruising, but you’ll also find cemeteries that offer a trove of ghost stories all their own. Step through the wrought-iron gates and into the corridors of crypts to discover their secrets.

 

“New Orleans is a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ city,” laughs DePalma. With a few friends, and a few days to kill, there’s virtually no end to the thrills—and chills.


Hospital Hotel

Location: Hotel Provincial, 1024 Chartres Street

Constructed: Around 1820

When to Visit: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

Spookiest Event: War-era hospital scene taking place on the second floor

 

The early morning streets of the French Quarter look eerie through the windows of our Blazer’s comfortable cabin. Fog hovers thick, clinging low to the street without a breath of air to move it; as it wreathes around the heads of passersby, it renders them ghostly for an instant. At this time of day, the short drive to the infamous (in ghost-hunting circles) Hotel Provincial is spooky.

 

In many ways the hotel couldn’t be any more charming. Provincial is located on a lovely block of Chartres Street with the kinds of Spanish-style balconies and brick construction that give the French Quarter its well-deserved appeal. A wide driveway accesses an interior courtyard and parking area, so parking the Blazer here was a breeze.

 

Not everyone books at Provincial for its quaint guest rooms and quiet beauty, however; some are here for the ripe history of hauntings. During the Civil War, the hotel buildings were used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Some of those lost souls and their caregivers seem to have never left the spot of their demise, as both guests and employees have reported apparitions of a figure in a long white dress, reminiscent of a nurse of the era.

 

In one legendary experience, a hotel guard was said to have gotten off the elevator at the second floor only to see a desperate war-era hospital scene unfold. (He got right back on the elevator.)

Whether visiting the Hotel Provincial or peeking into Muriel's Jackson Square restaurant, the Blazer RS is right at home here in New Orleans, where it creates a striking apparition on its own.

Dinner Guest

Location: Muriel’s Jackson Square, 801 Chartres Street

Constructed: 1718

When to Visit: 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

Spookiest Event: Drinking glass on a shelf being thrown across the kitchen

 

Butting up against Jackson Square, the picturesque Muriel’s restaurant puts its supernatural legacy out in the open for patrons, or even passersby, to ponder. Look closely through the barred dining room windows on Chartres Street and you’ll notice a table, set for dinner, with no diners evident—an offering of bread and wine for the dead, amidst the daily feasts of Cajun and Creole cuisine for the living.

 

The solo table is there to appease a former owner of the grand house that eventually became Muriel’s restaurant. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan is rumored to have lost his beloved estate in a poker game at one of his well-known parties. Distraught at losing his home, he retired to the second floor and did himself harm.

 

Since then, the building has always been the source of apparitions. But when Muriel’s moved into the space two decades ago, something in the party-like atmosphere of the dining room caused the paranormal activity to ramp up—with drinking glasses flying off shelves and across rooms.

 

A haunting by the party-obsessed Pierre was to blame, says DePalma. “He was … well, throwing a hissy fit, basically.”

 

The empty dinner table, then, was a way to invite the former patron to the party, and thus reduce his ire with the tourists. After all, a happy ghost is the best kind for business. “It seems like it made him feel welcomed again,” says DePalma.

 

Some souls are just destined to stick around the Crescent City, it seems. As DePalma puts it, “If New Orleans wants you to stay, you’ll stay, and if she doesn’t, you won’t.”

 

STORY: SEYTH MIERSMA / PHOTOGRAPHY: DANA NEIBERT

Explore Blazer
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*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Extra-cost color.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated with available 3.6L engine (FWD).

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan, and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD DRW with fifth-wheel hitch and available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/ 20 MPG highway.

  • Requires short box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • EPA-estimated 15 city/20 highway for 4x4 with 4.3L V6.

  • Requires Long Box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • 910 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all trims:  Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • On LS models with available front-row split-bench seat.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity to some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

  •  

    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information. 

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.  

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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