10Best places for voodoo spells, stories, souvineirs and tours

By Beth D'Addono, New Orleans Local Expert

Voodoo is not a lost art in the city of New Orleans.  Where else could you find items like House Blessing Spray and Away All Evil Spirits furniture cleaner at the local grocery or drug store?  Voodoo, with its litany of spells, gris-gris, candles and charms, is an exotic gumbo of traditional African spiritual beliefs with Catholicism.   Brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans from West Africa and the Dominican Republic in the 1700s, the practice of voodoo was at its zenith in the 1830s, during the reign of celebrated mulatto priestess Marie Laveau, whose life is the stuff of legend and whose grave in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of the city's most visited.   Voodoo is a religion long misunderstood, according to Priestess Miriam, who presides over the modern day Voodoo Spiritual Temple on the edge of the French Quarter in the city’s Treme section. Voodoo incorporates both white and black magic, with intense spirituality at its center.

10. Mystic Tea Leaves
Photo courtesy of Christian Schnettelker

Mystic Tea Room is the domain of priestess Catherina, a practitioner of the psychic arts for close to five decades. Need a little something something from the other side? She can help, offering sessions in everything from tarot car and tea leaves reading to a dive into the voodoo arts. And that's not all. A veritable laundry list of clairvoyant arts is available: Vedic Astrology, Aura/Chakra, Creole bone Reading, crystal ball gazing and a personal favorite: Pet Readings. Explore one on one or book a party. What's for sure is this is just another real surreal experience in New Orleans.

9. Reverend Zombie's House Of Voodoo
Photo courtesy of Digital Sextant

Rev. Zombie's Voodoo shop shares ownership with Marie Laveaux's and is a little more on the novelty side, walking the fine line between authentic voodoo shop (with dolls, masks, lucky charms, etc.) and selling kitschy souvenirs. People interested in both demographics can find what they are looking for while falling under the spell of the shop's particular brand of spiritual aura. If you're looking for something beyond the typical souvenir, this is the place for dolls,potions, amulets, books and all matter of spiritual supplies. There are also displays of gris-gris (voodoo charms), potions and memorabilia pertaining to Voodoo queen Marie Laveau,

8. F & F Botanica and Candles
Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

F & F Botanica Spiritual Supply is located on 801 North Broad St. in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. The store is on the corner of St. Ann street and Broad, across from the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club headquarters. Intriguing collection of books, herbs and candles, traditional unique New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo items, Vodou, Santeria and much more. You'll also find candles, essential oils, herbs, books on all matters spiritual and even mardi gras beads and other carnival doodads. While you're in the neighborhood, consider paying a visit to the Zulu shop, home to branded t-shirts and other gifts.

7. Erzulies Authentic Voodoo
Photo courtesy of Erzulie's

Walking into Erzulie's on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans will freak some people out, and mystify others. Erzulie's has live working voodoo altars set up throughout the shop. The voodoo practitioners on hand are always ready to offer you their spiritual assistance on any number of problems. Whether you are down on your luck romantically or financially, someone here can jab a few pins in a doll and remove the evil hex that previously existed on your mortal being. They sell dolls, potions, soaps and spells and do readings and consultations as well. All of their products are handcrafted, including their revolutionary voodoo app which is now available for iPhone and Android products.

6. Voodoo Authentica Inc
Photo courtesy of Voodoo Authentica

Voodoo Authentica is ran by practitioners of the art of Voodoo. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Voodoo Authentica sells voodoo dolls, potion oils and gris gris bags (a type of voodoo amulet). Since they are skilled in the practice, they also offer rituals, readings and consultations. Whether or not you believe in this ancient sorcery, the entertainment value of one of these readings is unquestionable. The shop itself is like a temple, offering private Rituals, consultations, special events services, a variety of voodoo dolls, Gris Gris Bags, spells and potions, you get the idea. A fixture in the Quarter since 1996.

5. Island of Salvation Botanica
Photo courtesy of Neiljmh

New Orleans' voodoo is one of the oldest and most distinct centerpieces of its culture, and the Island of Salvation Botanica offers a unique window into the history and ideology behind the practice. The proprietor of this vibrant establishment, Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman, is an initiated priestess of the Haitian Vodou order. A wide variety of voodoo novelties are available here, many of which have been hand crafted by Glassman herself. The shop carries a small but thorough amount of spiritual supplies, plus a good selection of books, including works by Sallie herself. She'll make a believer out of you.

4. Voodoo Spiritual Temple
Photo courtesy of David Berkowitz

If you're searching for truly authentic voodoo shops in New Orleans, pay a visit to the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, which was established by Priestess Miriam Chamani in 1990. In addition to perusing the cultural gifts center for one-of-a-kind items, from hand crafted soaps and incense to literature, visitors regularly have an opportunity to hear a short message from Priestess Miriam herself and take a tour of the temple grounds. Located near Congo Square, featured on PBS, commercial TV and in movies. Teachings touch the soul of all people. Services offered include consultations, rituals, potions, tours, and lectures; under the direction of Priestess Miriam since 1990.

3. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
Photo courtesy of content.nileguide.com

Harry Potter would be right at home in this teeny tiny French Quarter landmark with its oddball displays of gris-gris (voodoo charms), potions and all kinds of memorabilia pertaining to Voodoo queen Marie Laveau, a 19th century priestess and one of New Orleans' most colorful characters. Ask about scheduled rituals and guided tours to spiritually charged haunts. And yes, spells and voodoo dolls are for sale. Marie Laveau's tomb is said to be in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, but you'll need a guide to get in, a relatively new development in place because Laveau's fans had a habit of regularly defacing her grave.

2. Marie Laveau House of Voodoo

There's more to voodoo than pin cushions and dolls. Learn about the historical and spiritual significance of the religion–and the woman who helped revive it in the city–at this store that triples as a museum and shrine. You'll find a mix of kitschy souvenirs up front and a spiritual advisor in the back, who performs readings just by feeling your pressure points. Whether you're a believer or not, Marie Laveau's is a spot that's uniquely New Orleans. Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo and Reverend Zombie's Voodoo Shop are centrally located in the French Quarter. Locals, tourists and the strangely curious have enjoyed the stores since Marie Laveau's first opened in 1988.

1. Voodoo Bone Lady
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boyer

You'll hit most of the city's popular voodoo spots if you take a tour with The Voodoo Bone Lady, a self described psychic, Voodoo Priestess, Holistic Healer, Medium and Success/Life Coach. Born with a veil over her face, and hailing from a long line of people with pronounced supernatural intuitive abilities this animated guide will entertain and inform on voodoo and city history. You can also bundle other tours options (haunted, ghost, cemetery) if you need more info into the New Orleans supernatural. This delving into the history and lore of voodoo routinely earns rave reviews on social media sites.