The Voodoo Museum in New Orleans
New Orleans has a reputation as a city of all things mysterious, unusual and downright eerie. So naturally, the Voodoo Museum is right at home in New Orleans. This post provides essential information for visiting this one of a kind museum as well as an analysis of reviews from guests to the Museum. The museum has a collection of artifacts, a shop and offers guided readings and tours, all of which are explained below. This is just 1 of 25 top things to do in the French Quarter.
DIRECTIONS AND TICKETS
The Historic Voodoo Museum is located at 724 Dumaine Street between Bourbon St. and Royal St. in the historic French Quarter, a must-see neighborhood of NoLA. (MAP)
Hours Open 7 days a week 10 am – 6 pm. Open on most Holidays
Entrance Price (purchase in the gift shop)
- $7.00 General Admission
- $5.50 Seniors, Military, College Students
- $4.50 High School Students
- $3.50 Under Age 12
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR VISIT
Regular museum-goers may do better to think of this as a folk museum rather than as a typical, professionally curated collection. Reviews on both TripAdvisor and Yelp average about 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Positive reviewers praise the visual experience, atmosphere, and conciseness, while those who criticize the museum find it disorganized, confining, and short on information. Dustiness and heat during the summer factor into negative reviews as well.
The space is small, with exhibits packed densely in two rooms and a hallway. Most visitors can explore it completely in 20 minutes, and it only takes a few people to make the space feel crowded and hard to navigate.
Main themes are discernible in each room, but many items seem placed more according to the limits of space than to any organizing principle.
The hallway focuses primarily on Marie Laveau, the 19th-century priestess who is the most famous face of the voodoo religion, with portraits believed to depict her, newspaper articles dating from her lifetime, and a prayer stool from her home. The hallway also includes masks from the West African cultures and religions into which many enslaved people were born.
One of the two rooms consists mainly of altars to various voodoo spirits and deceased members of the religion. As is typical with voodoo altars, these include symbols left by the museum’s caretakers, but attendees also leave offerings, often loose change, cigarettes, Mardi Gras beads, or small items of personal significance.
While the relevance of many of these artifacts to the real practice of voodoo is limited, it is the source of much of Hollywood’s depictions, and thus popular perceptions, of voodoo. Exhibits here include voodoo dolls and a man-sized effigy of a Cajun alligator monster.
TOURS AND READINGS
Guided Tours by the Museum
Note: We offer a pay-what-you-wish guided Voodoo Tour that operates @ 10 am everyday but Tuesday as well as @ 11 am Thursdays through Sundays. We are the #1 tour company on TripAdvisor in New Orleans, so look no further.
The museum offers guided historic walking tours, which include the museum itself as well as portions of the French Quarter, Treme, and St. Louis Cemetery #1 relevant to voodoo history. Tours are held daily for most of the year at a rate of $25 per person; those interested should inquire with the museum for times. Tours only take place if at least two people are booked. Duration is advertised as around 2.5 hours, but reviewers typically describe it as extending three to four hours.
Tarot Card and other methods of readings at the Museum
Readings (including tarot and other methods particular to each reader) are scheduled on a case-by-case basis at a rate of $50 per person at the time of writing. No reviewers provided detailed feedback on the experience of attending a reading.
Overall, reviews suggest the museum is best suited to visitors with little past exposure to voodoo, who are interested in a brief, loosely organized glimpse of its history and present-day practice, or in an experience that is more mood-driven than the typical museum.
While it provides some basics in separating myth from fact, visitors familiar with voodoo, or with African diaspora religions in general, often comment that the place blends the traditions of various regions (say, Haiti vs. Louisiana) and the practices of members of the religion with the superstitions of non-members without clearly marking the distinctions.
The museum is staffed at any given time by a single person. Reviews describe a variety of experiences, from long, enjoyable conversations with the person at the desk to brusque or rude encounters. At busier hours, reviewers comment on periods of unavailability while the staff are taking calls or interacting with other customers.
Reviews by those who attended the tour are more positive, on average, than those who explored the museum on their own, and several comment that the tour makes the experience of the museum much more complete and informative. Punctuality, however, appears to at times be an issue both for guides and scheduled readings.
The front room of the Museum is the shop and ticket office. The shop includes a variety of merchandise fairly typical of the French Quarter’s various voodoo shops and other occult stores – candles, oils, or gris-gris bags meant to accomplish various effects, locally crafted souvenirs like artwork or voodoo dolls (sometimes including explicit imagery or some recognizable political figures), and books ranging from sound historical research to entertainment.
If you want to learn more about voodoo and the supernatural…
You might want to talk a look at our name-your-own-price guided walking tours such as our New Orleans Voodoo Tour or New Orleans Ghost Tour. We also have created a Self-guided St. Louis Cemetery # 1 Tour for you to enjoy exploring on your own.
For a full list of all our New Orleans tour, see our tour calendar.