Legends After Dark: Marie Laveau

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Voodoo Priestess and legend Marie Laveau’s name pops up frequently in paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Maybe she is marielaveauthe villain of the piece with her dark magics and control of the dead, or maybe she isn’t someone so eaisly defined, either way she is always powerful, a creaure with whom one does not fuck. But who was she in real life?

Marie Catherine Laveau was born on 10 September 1801 in New Orleans. She married in 1819 to Jacques Paris, who died a year later. In the mid 1820s she then entered a placage, a kind of betrothal/marriage, with Louis Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion who she then had children with. There seems to be many tales about what Marie Laveau did, some say she was a liquor importer, a hairdresser, a blackmailer and maybe even a Madame in a brothel.

Whatever she did, she was an astute business woman and had reputation for being powerful and influential, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. However, she was also a devout Catholic and often blended Voodoo and Catholicism together, the gris-gris she made were supposed to call upon the saints as well as the spirits for their help and blessings. Although Marie Laveaus reputation is dark, she was also a faith healer who was said to help many people, when the Yellow Fever epidemic struck New Orleans she acted as a nurse for many.

Marie Laveau died on 16 June 1881, although there were reports of seeing her after her supposed death, adding to her legend. However, in all likelihood this was probably her daughter Marie Laveau II, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and practiced voodoo as well.

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When I visited New Orleans this year for the RT convention, we visited Marie Laveaus tomb, it is said that if you mark an X on the grave, turn around three times, knock on the tomb and then yell out your wish, your wish may be granted, if it is you must come back and circle the X and leave an offering. There were lots of Xs on that tomb, I just hope people came back to circle it and leave Marie her offering, if not it will make her very very angry…

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Here is a quote from newspaper reporting on Marie Laveaus death, demonstrating the power and magnetism she had in New Orleans:

“Much evil dies with her, but should we not add, a little poetry?” ~ New Orleans Democrat – June 17, 1881.

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Want to see more of Marie Laveau in fiction?  Then read this series

Halfway_to_the_Grave

 

Or watch this series

americanhorrorstory

 

Want more books that have the topic of voodoo in them?  Check these out!

houseoftherisingsun autumn-bones redheaded comealive

What are some of your favorite books about
Marie Laveau or voodoo?

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Elizabeth

I enjoyed her in jeanirne frost

Timitra

Great post! I’m so loving these!

Sophia Rose

I’m trying to remember what books beside the Cat and Bones ones that she was in as a fictional character. It wasn’t a good Marie either. Anyway, that was an engaging post. I’ll have to try those other books because I do like a bit of voodoo. There’s a little voodoo in the Kresley Cole series at that shop too, but no Marie Laveau.

Fun series of posts so far. Thanks!