Annie’s Story


My name is Annabelle, but call me Annie.

I was here when the Quarter was dark.  The nights were dark and scary unless you had a lamp or a candle.  I usually had a candle so I was not afraid.  Life wasn’t so bad.  I didn’t expect much and I liked it when they said I was pretty.  I had bright red hair and white skin- a ghost on fire men called me and they laughed.  They could see my body in the dark.  The men joked I was easy to find.


One night you could see without a candle. The entire Quarter was lit up with flames.  The men ran and left me behind. I had been sick a long time and I was too weak to run. I had some laudanum and I took it all so it wouldn’t hurt to burn and I went to sleep.  Death wasn’t so bad. When I woke up I was still here but they could no longer see me in the dark unless I wanted them to. Occasionally, I walk the streets at night and men out looking for trouble find me instead. They reach out to grab me when I pass but their hands touch nothing. It’s then they notice my bright red hair and skin so white you can see right through it. I watch their eyes grow wide with terror before they scream, “A ghost on fire!”  Being a ghost isn’t so bad. Who’s laughing now?


Welcome to the Quarter

I am a specter

I am a shadow

A ghost

I sit on the edge of time

Weaving back and forth

Back and forth

I am whispering in your ear

Can you hear?

And will you listen?

It’s crowded in the French Quarter.  Not just with people, but with memories and with spirits wanting to tell their stories. Sitting quietly, I feel them near. I don’t actually see them but I sense a blonde girl walking down the street with a dark-skinned girl arm in arm.  There’s a boy in blue and a sea captain.  A shadow out of the corner of my eye – what was that? Your name is Thomas?

They recognize and follow the ones who will listen.  Why me?  I am afraid of ghosts and not at all sure I haven’t just gone crazy. Either way, I feel compelled to write it down.  The idea I might be crazy is confirmed because I am freaking my husband out and no one else around me seems to know they are there.  They are too busy site seeing, eating beignets, and taking selfies to notice they are being photo bombed by a long dead gentleman in a derby.

The spirits glide around and through us.  We breathe them in and hold them for moment in our souls.  Then we exhale, and regain our wits.  It happens too quickly for most to notice. “Why am I dizzy?” we ask.  Must be the heat.  It’s so hot in the Quarter.