Marie Laveau's Tomb

The Glapion Tomb, reputed burial place of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau

It's the most recognizable tomb in the cemetery, not for its distinct architecture, but for the markings left there over the years by believers and skeptics alike. This tomb is the reputed burial place of Marie Laveau, the most powerful voodooienne to live in New Orleans. Marie Laveau was born in 1792. It's not clear if she was born in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) or in New Orleans. The woman in the Glapion tomb died in 1897. It's not out of the question that the same woman born in the late 18th century died in the late 19th century, but it is possible that the woman in the tomb is the original Marie's daughter. It is known that the original Marie took up with a man named Glapion after her first husband died in 1826. Whether M. Glapion had his daughter or his wife buried with him is still a mystery. For those of you trying to unravel the mystery, here is a close-up of the tombstone.

In either case, the belief that a powerful voodoo priestess is buried here is strong. People regularly leave offerings to Marie here, or they'll knock three times on the front of the tomb, or they'll mark the tomb with three X's in chalk or with a small piece of red brick. The faithful believe that they can contact Marie's spirit, who will favorably look upon their petitions and answer them.

The original Marie had fifteen children, at least one of whom also went by the name Marie and was a voodoo priestess. It is believed that this daughter is buried in St. Louis Number One. There is another tomb with lots of X's on it in the cemetery, but the stone is damaged and unreadable.

One side note: The tomb next to the Glapion tomb is the final resting place of Mayor Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial, the first black mayor of New Orleans, and the father of the current mayor (Marc). It's interesting to also note that persons of color were buried in the same cemetery as white people in New Orleans.


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