Spend a Spooktacular Halloween in New Orleans Before You Cruise

What’s the scariest city in America? Some might say Salem, Massachusetts or Sleepy Hollow, New York thanks to their place in history and pop culture, but we’re here to say the best place to work up a fright this Halloween is without a doubt New Orleans. This city by the sea has a long history of frights and mystery which is perfect for your pre-cruise Halloween fun! From spooky parades to the best costume shops and plenty of haunted houses and cemeteries, New Orleans is the only place to cruise from in October! Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the city and who knows, maybe you’ll see a ghost! 

New Orleans

New Orleans is known for fantastic Halloween spirit

Haunted French Quarter Tours

While most think of Mardi Gras when New Orleans comes to mind, Halloween is just as fun when it comes to city-wide celebrations of ghosts, ghouls, goblins and everything else that makes you scream. The best place to start your New Orleans Halloween adventure is in the historic French Quarter where the streets turn into a parade of costumes and candy. Make sure you stop into one of the many costume shops to pick out some fun and scary outfits for the whole family!

Those who feel brave should take one of the city’s haunted tours where guests immerse themselves in a haunted history of voodoo, hoodoo and the city’s most active places for paranormal activity. With hundreds of years of history to explore, you might come across a spirit or two yourself. Once the sun goes down, these tours bring people through haunted homes, cemeteries and places where some of the most brutal crimes throughout the city’s history took place. 

New Orleans

Voodoo Dolls make great Halloween gifts | By Zack Smith Photography

Krewe of Boo Parade

The Saturday before Halloween is when things really get spooky thanks to the Krewe of Boo parade, an annual tradition and the official Halloween parade for the city. The parade is highlighted by floats made of papier-mâché of all your favorite monsters; vampires, Frankenstein, werewolves, mummies and a whole lot more. 

The parade starts on Elysian Fields in the Marigny and makes its way through the French Quarter, past famous Jackson Square, and is free to all who want to watch. Follow along the parade route and catch candy, CheeWees, pralinettes, light-up medallion beads, voodoo doll pins and magnets, doubloons, and children’s toys thrown from the floats. 

America’s Most Haunted City

Few places in America boast the history and culture of New Orleans. With that history comes macabre tales of the past and vengeful spirits taking their revenge from beyond the grave. 

New Orleans

Are you brave enough to tour New Orleans’ most haunted cemeteries?

New Orleans has a number of haunted places to explore, some of the most popular include: 

  • LaLaurie Mansion
  • Sultan’s Palace
  • St. Louis Cemetery #1
  • Old Absinthe House
  • Muriel’s Séance Lounge
  • Hotel Monteleone 

When you’re booking a cruise vacation this fall, remember that Port NOLA is like two vacations in one. Come a day or two before your cruise, especially during October, to experience the best this iconic American city has to offer. Halloween is second only to Mardi Gras when it comes to the biggest citywide parties and events. From haunted tours to Halloween parades, there’s something fun for all in New Orleans. If you haven’t booked your cruise from Port NOLA yet, what are you waiting for?