NO. 240 Old Absinthe House
New Orleans, renowned for its rich cultural tapestry and vibrant history, is no stranger to tales of the paranormal. Among the city's many storied buildings, none carry a spectral reputation quite like the Old Absinthe House. Known as much for its ghostly patrons as its historical significance, this classic French Quarter establishment offers a chilling blend of history, legend, and the inexplicable.
The Old Absinthe House, originally built in 1806 by Pedro Front and Francisco Juncadelia of Barcelona, has served many roles over its two centuries of existence. It has been a grocery, an exchange house, an importing business, and eventually, a saloon. In 1874, the absinthe frappe was introduced here, earning the venue its name and status as a beloved local drinking spot.
Famous figures, including Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Franklin Roosevelt, and Frank Sinatra, have enjoyed the unique libations of the Old Absinthe House. But these renowned patrons aren't the only visitors to have lingered in this historic locale...
One of the most famous ghostly residents of the Old Absinthe House is a spectral bartender known as "Captain" Tony Malara. A beloved figure during his lifetime, Malara continued the tradition of serving absinthe at the bar despite its banning in the early 1900s.
After his passing, many staff members and patrons have reported seeing Malara's spirit. He appears behind the bar, cleaning glasses, and sometimes even serving drinks to unsuspecting customers. The Captain's apparition is so lifelike that some patrons don't even realize they've been served by a ghost until they learn of his story.
Another recurring spectral phenomenon at the Old Absinthe House is the sound of a mysterious, unseen whistler. This haunting melody is often heard late at night when the bar is quiet. Some believe this to be the spirit of a former patron, still enjoying the atmosphere of the bar long after his physical departure.
In addition to individual apparitions, the Old Absinthe House has also been known for its phantom parties. Patrons have reported hearing the clinking of glasses, laughter, and music, only to find the bar empty upon investigation. It seems that the spectral patrons of the Old Absinthe House are unwilling to let death dampen their revelry.
Today, the Old Absinthe House continues to operate as a bar, serving both the living and the dead. It remains a popular haunt for tourists and locals alike, offering a unique blend of historical charm and chilling encounters.
The bartenders and staff are well-versed in the bar's haunted history and are more than willing to share a tale or two with curious customers. Ghost tours frequently stop by the Old Absinthe House, adding an extra layer of intrigue to this iconic establishment.
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