Beauregard Keyes House

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The entity of Confederate General Beauregard and his soldiers offer
nearly the full paranormal sports package.

Other entities enjoy their good times in the ballroom, complete with music.

DESCRIPTION

“Beauregard-Keyes Home on Chartres showcases the raised center-hall creole cottage style, built in 1826. The walled garden is beautiful. Inside is marvelous with intricate hand carved woodwork, beautiful plasterwork and furniture original to the home, Great self guided tour.”

Creole cottage with Greek Revival features, including a Palladian façade, making this structure the most beautiful structure on this street, enjoyed and loved by many generations of the people of New Orleans.

After going up on of the iron stairways to the front door, The doors open to a hallway with beautiful wood floors that go all the way to the back door; very 1826 Colonial! Off this long hallway, on the left side is the ballroom and music room. The right side of the hallway the parlor, and dining room ae located. A lot of the Beauregard’s Victorian furniture and items were donated to the house museum because a relative of General Beauregard was good friends with author Frances Parkinson Keyes, who had a blast restoring this historic house while she wrote a boatload of books!

The bedrooms are all located on the second floor, all on one side of the second floor hallway. On the other side of the hallway across from the bedrooms is the master bedroom that takes up the entire side of the house. Frances Keyes had her writing desks and typewriter in part of the room while the other half was a sitting area by the fireplace.

The French Parierre restored garden that was originally put in by the Merle family and replanted by Frances Keyes with a help of a historical garden expert, is a wonderful part of this house museum. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle surrounded with brick patio and brick walkways around the greenery, shrubs and of course the roses!

A quiet sitting area has a statue of the Franciscan Monk covered by a lattice. Somewhere in this lovely garden is the gravestone of young wife and mother Anais Merle that hangs in the garden area. It was saved from the derelict Girod Street Cemetery in 1957.

The Beauregard-Keyes House is rented out for weddings, bridal showers, corporate events or lectures. It is described as being “a classic, gorgeous, affordable venue in the French Quarter!” One bride and groom reported that they were married in the Rose Garden, ate a catered dinner inside the museum, and danced in the courtyard! This added income must help in the maintenance of this lovely house museum, as well as please all the spirits who reside here; cheering up the sad, traumatized ones and grumpy, negative ones, as well as bringing enjoyment to the spirits who loved social events here!

 

HISTORY

This property was at first planned to be developed as a weapons arsenal until the King of France put a kibosh on that and gave the whole block to the Ursuline  Nuns religious order when they arrived from France in 1726. In 1825, this order of nuns sold this piece of property to Joseph LeCarpentier who was a wealthy auctioneer. 

Le Carpentier’s house was designed by architect Francois Correjolles and built by black free man James Lambert. It was a transitional blend of French and American design.

He lived there only ten years, moving in 1835 to Royal Street to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Alonzo Morphy and grandson Paul Morphy. It sounds like all four of them lived here until after the baby was born. Then all of them moved out together.

Le Carpentier sold his beautiful home to the Swiss Consul in New Orleans, John Merle and his family. His wife, Madame Anais Philloppon Merle loved gardens so she first had two tall brick walls to enclose this garden, with  two iron-laced windows so  the neighbors could enjoy, appreciate or realize that first class folks were living there. This ruffled some Creole neighbor’s feathers.  John Merle was hit with two losses in 1841; his young wife died, leaving him with children to raise. and he suffered an economic downturn. So he packed up his children and immigrated to France; probably where family were located.

From 1841 to 1865, The widow Josephine Andry, the wife of well-known planter Manuel Andry, bought this property and her daughter Adonai and her son-in-law Louis Armand Garidel moved in with her, as well as the wife and children of Louis’ brother who was fighting in the Civil War.

In 1865, the property was sold again to Dominique Lanata, a grocer in the French Quarter, and also the Consul-General of Sardinia in New Orleans. He saw this fine house and property as a great investment and decided to rent it out to tenants. His first tenant was General Pierre Beauregard who rented this lovely landmark for 18 months, moving in with his two sons in 1866, as his late departed wife’s family sold the house, leaving the General and his two sons no where to live; so renting was the way to go.

It was a temporary move until General Beauregard could save some money from his new job as President of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad. Dominique was thrilled to have such a brave, well-known can-do General as a tenant. General Beauregard was well liked and appreciated before the Civil War began. In 1860, he was commissioned to be the Superintendent of West Point Academy for a very short time, until Louisiana left the Union. 

He chose to join the Confederacy and became “the first and most respected generals of the Confederate Army.” He was a distinguished leader who cared for his men in the Battle of of Bull Run, the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. His crowning achievement was stopping the Yankees from invading the city of Petersburg in Virginia.

After the brave General bought another house at 229 Grand Royal Street, the house was for rent once more. The Lanata family rented out this fine house until 1904, when they sold it to the  Giacona Family. Uh oh! The Giacona family opened up a under-the- table liquor business which the Black Hand; the southern version of the Mafia, thought was cutting into their profits.  They were planning to offer Giacona an offer that he couldn’t refuse when four members of the Black Hand were invited by Pietro Giacona over for dinner.  They probably were prepared to kill them both Pietro and his son if their offer was refused.

However, in the middle of dinner, Pietro and his son stood up and shot all four with their guns, killing three outright and one who died momentarily. Expecting a revenge attack, the Beauregard Keyes House became a fortress; boarded up and secure.  The father and son were charged with murder, but the charges were dropped against them.  

Pietro and his son took off to be in-hiding, leaving his daughters behind to fend for themselves until other family stepped into help them. Because they stopped paying taxes on the property, the Beauregard Keyes House was auctioned off in 1925. A family member of the Giaconas by marriage, Antonio Mannino bought this property that was a fixer-upper opportunity at this point and needed a boatload of work. 

Knowing what a beloved landmark the Beauregard Keyes House was to the community, Antonio threatened to tear it down and build a macaroni factory. His devious plan worked as preservationists by the name of Owens bought the property from Antonio. The property stood vacant for awhile until a writer by the name of Frances Parkinson Keyes from New Hampshire bought the property and with great enthusiasm started to restore and renovate this historical old gem, while she found inspiration here to write thirty novels here.

Not only was the Beauregard Keyes House restored, but she also cleaned up and replanted the Merle’s Parterre Garden with plants, bushes and shrubs that were originally chosen by the Merle family. Throughout the years, she stayed here during the winters to avoid the cold New Hampshire weather. When she died, this beautiful property was given to her Keyes Foundation who have made it into a house museum ever since 1970.

Of course, the spirits who reside and visit here are very pleased that this place is in safe hands!

 

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS

This grand, beautiful structure, is a strong candidate for being the most haunted house in New Orleans, due to items that are on display, the people who owned or lived in it, and events that happened here.

Spirits have been known to continue to enjoy their favorite activities they had while they were alive!

Flaunders Hotel, NJ (A spectral lady has been known to crash social events that have music!)

Natatorium, TX (Spirits who enjoyed the gaming, music and dancing that took place her long ago, still do so!)

Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, TX (The spirits who once owned this house still have large parties with music; even inviting a museum curator to join them).

Beauregard Keyes House Museum, LA (The ballroom here is still hosting spectral music and dancing!).

It is true that spirits can attach to their favorite person or possession that they had in this world, and go wherever it goes. Spirits can attach themselves to other spirits; especially if they had a strong attachment to this spirit when they were all alive! If the spirit that they are all attached to is attached to an an item or structure, they all move in together.

Bowman House, VT (The entire Bowman family have attached themselves to the spirit of Mr. Bowman and stay with this spirit to this day).

Saint Louis Cathedral, LA (The new Spanish Governor executed the six men who led a rebellion against the Spanish. He forbade anyone from burying the bodies. A brave Father Pere Dagober took them from public display, sang loudly all the way to the graveyard and buried them in unmarked graves; apparently with the approval of everyone except the governor).

These spirits have bonded with the spirit of Pere Dagober as he still serves this congregation in prayer, and prays as well for the restless souls that are attached to him. The spirit of Dagobar repeats their burial from the altar of the church to where the graveyard once existed, trying to give them peace. These six spirits are considered to be the guardians of Saint Louis Cathedral).

Carnton Mansion, KY (During the season of Fall, two Confederate Generals and their men relive the disastrous battle that took place there in Franklin that killed everyone. They knew it was a mistake, but they followed orders and got themselves and their men slaughtered).

Beauregard Keyes House Museum, LA (Some of the spirits of Confederate soldiers who were led while alive by General Beauregard in various Civil War battles still are attached to him even if he is in spirit-form. When the spirit of General Beauregard moved into this house, either because he loved this place while alive, or because his most favorite possessions are on display, the spirits of soldiers who were connected to him came along for the ride. He relives the battles in hopes of giving these restless spirits time to heal through re-experiencing their deaths).

Spirits who while alive bonded together because of the work they did for the Mafia, sometimes still stay together where they died; especially if they all were murdered at the same time. They may also be restless and resentful about their death; thinking it unfair).

Wabasha Street Caves, MN (Four mob soldiers who were playing cards here, were executed by a big Louie type hit man).

Brumder Mansion Bed and Breakfast, WI (When the mob closed down the speakeasy that is now the basement theater space of Brumder Mansion, Sam Pick’s enforcer; Joe, and the rest of Sam’s crew, were all slaughtered by a hail of bullets by sent hitmen from Chicago because these fellas knew too much. This was a common practice in the Mob culture).

Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago IL (Seven fellas who worked for a rival Mafia gang were slaughtered in a garage by Al Capone’s soldiers. These spirits still haunt the land where they died as the garage was torn down and made into a park). 

Beauregard Keyes House Museum, LA (Four Sicilian “Black Hand” Mafia New Orleans members were invited to dinner by Mr. Giacona and his son in the guise of coming up with an agreement to pay their dues to this heavy-handed organization. Half-way through the dinner, both Giacona men drew their guns and shot all four to death. Uh Oh! The Black Hand members didn’t see this coming and were lured into complacency and off their guard).

Becoming a spirit doesn’t improve or make worse the temperament, the motives and the character of the spirit. Spirits are the same as when they were alive. 

Lucky’s Tavern, FL (The gangster who was shot by a rival just outside the door of this structure, has moved inside as a spirit and tries to help being the spectral manager in a rough way!).

USS Hornet, CA (Navy men who were loyal and brave and dedicated to their mission while alive, continue to be as spirits, being helpful for the living and taking on new duties).

Del Frisco Steakhouse, TX (A spirit bent on revenge still looks for his killer).

Beauregard Keyes House Museum, LA (General Pierre Beauregard was a brave and positive person, willing to do his duty to help. His soldier spirits remain loyal to him alive or dead. The four Mafia Black Hand mobsters were not of the best character, believing that “Might made Right” and must be mad as hell at being shot dead; providing potential negative energy to this place).

 
 
 

MANIFESTATIONS

Oh My! This place is jumping with spectral activity! There following are the known spirits though there could be others as well.

Spirits of Soldiers

They appear inside and outside in the garden. 

They are wearing their grey or butternut colored uniforms.

They are not a lively bunch. They just stand there, staring at space. After awhile, they melt into the air.

These spirits are still traumatized by their violent deaths on the Civil War Battlefield.

They perhaps guard the premises under the order of their General Beauregard to try to find peace in doing something again.

Early Morning Revelry

Perhaps General Pierre Beauregard wants to help his men let go of their trauma by reenacting the battles where they died.

At 2:00 in the morning, on foggy, or moonlit nights, General Beauregard and his troops materialize out of the wood paneled walls along the hallway near the ballroom.

The living are treated to the clattering footsteps of his entire phantom troops.

All the soldier apparitions and the General appear in full Confederate dress uniform, and then slowly turn bloody and tattered, as if they are revisiting their bloody battle.

The living also experience according to Victor Klein’s book, NEW ORLEANS GHOSTS, “Men with mangled limbs and blown-away faces swirl in a confused dance of death . . . Horses and mules appear and are slaughtered by grapeshot and cannon.” (Reported by Ghost City Tours Article)

Olfactory and Auditory

People who pass by this house hear gun shots, and other sounds of battle: groans, shouts.

People inside have also experienced “The pungent smell of blood and decay permeated the restless atmosphere.” (Victor Klein’s book, NEW ORLEANS GHOSTS)

Spirit of General Pierre Beauregard

The spirit of General Beauregard has been seen by the living walking around the museum at night when it is closed to the public, visiting his personal stuff on display).

Arthur Frances Keys explains why she thinks that he is here. 

She wrote her theory: “Beauregard’s ghost pokes around at night looking for his boots. It seems they buried the poor man in his stocking feet and, being a meticulous dresser, especially in uniform, he cannot rest until he finds them.”

Spectral Dance Party!

An apparition fiddler player and dancing spirits have their own dance party in the ballroom, complete with fiddle music, perhaps reenacting a happier time.

Perhaps General Beauregard joins in with the fun, being a rather sociable fellow!

Spirits of the Black Hand Mobsters

Possibly, they may be lurking around the property looking for the men who killed them with negative energy attached. While there have been no known interaction with them, perhaps they are trying to be secret residents as they don’t want to be found out staying here.

Perhaps the spirits of General Beauregard and his soldiers protect the living from these negative characters. This would give them a new purpose in this world.

Possibly Frances Parkinson Keyes

The spirit of the author Frances Parkinson Keyes may visit from time to time.

She may visit to see how the living are managing the house museum and to see her desks and writing areas.

She may be enjoying her memories of writing here.

As every thing is going very well, she has no cause to contact the living, and may just enjoy the restored property.

Spirit of Anais Merle

The spirit of Anais Merle possibly may be a resident as well.

Since her tombstone was moved and hung in the gardens she helped to originally plan, she may like to visit her tombstone and take a stroll around the large garden.

The apparition of a woman in a long dress has been seen walking the hallway and entering the ballroom in Beauregard-Keyes House.

It would be rude to impose herself on the living, so she has fun remembering all the good times she had here with her family.

PARANORMAL FINDINGS

Frances Parkinson Keyes  wrote about her paranormal experiences while living in this house.

Docents, visitors and security guards  of this museum as well as people on the street passing by have been treated to the full paranormal sports package.

I couldn’t find any hard evidence posted on line. I doubt the museum allows ghost hunters in for an investigation. there are so many spirits here who seem to tolerate each other, they don’t want to upset the apple cart.

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STILL HAUNTED?

Yes Indeed!

Despite the lack of hard evidence, apparently a boatload of spirits all get along here, thanks to the work of General Beauregard and his men. Gentile, southern manners are the order of the day and night.

 

LOCATION

1113 Charles Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Can be found across from the Convent of Ursula in the French Quarter.

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SOURCES INCLUDE

bkhouse.org
ghostcitytours.com
New Orleans Ghosts, by Victor Klein, Publisher:Professional Pr (June 1, 1993)

 
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in New Orleans Haunts in Louisiana