Three known gentle spirits, with impeccable southern
manners are sharing the mansion with the living.
This 1883, grand-looking Italianate mansion, is a glorious 3 storied, European-style Guest House, offering 20 rooms, from “very simple, to very grand decor”, rooms, that each have their own style; something for everyone’s budget! Besides offering warm southern hospitality, New Orleans style, The Columns’ guest rooms have lovely antiques, armoires unique fireplaces, old fashioned bath tubs to be enjoyed by their guests.
Lovely Italianate columns across the porch, and dentils along the roof line greet the visitor. A lovely wide veranda porch, called the grand front gallery, surrounds the mansion on two floors, making it perfect to eat outside on a warm evening, at their restaurant, which serves a delicious variety of the best of Creole, Cajun and Continental style cooking.
Going inside and touring the first floor is a glorious experience. Besides the glorious collection of antiques, the ceilings, walls and floors are quite impressive, in such rooms as Albertine’s Tea Room, (dining and event room), Drawing Room, Victorian Lounge and Side terrace. One sees great artistic detail from the Italianate, pre-Victorian era in the rooms found here.
Tea Room: Is graced with overhead fans, concave mirrors, Victorian fanciness and French-stained glass.
Victorian Lounge: The Victorian Lounge is the perfect gathering place. It’s decor is quite impressive, looking very much like a traditional European Pub. Besides a glorious dark wood bar and back, one is blown away with the glided bronze chandeliers, dark, carved woodwork. Such well known people who were guests on a holiday, enjoying good company and a drink here, include Cameron Diaz, John Goodman, Michael Jordan, Clint Eastwood, Rod Stewart, Michael Coustenu, Brooke Shields, and Harry Connick Junior.
Most impressive is the massive central mahogany staircase which leads up to the other floors, in full view of the “extraordinary square domed stained glass skylight in a stylized sunburst motif,” found in the ceiling.
The downstairs is welcoming to all kinds of events, parties, celebrations and inspires a healthy night life at The Columns. Weekly musical entertainment ranges from traditional jazz to the swift beat of Brazilian samba. Restored period rooms are available for group events and dinners. Locals love to attend the Victorian and Christmas dinners, and other special holiday-theme buffets! Besides the other rooms already mentioned, there is also the Avenue Room and the ballroom area as well that are popular for a variety of events.
The Columns was the dream home of tobacco merchant, Simon Hernsheim, who spared no expense to create this beautiful abode in 1883, that was also built for entertaining friends and guests. In 1898, this mansion passed from the Hernsheim family, to a series of several other owners, who also used it as a family home. Probably in the early 20th century, it became an upscale boarding house, to help with the upkeep of this large property. From a boarding house for the well-to-do, it eventually was transformed into a small hotel.
The current owners, Claire and Jacques Creppel, have owned it and loved it since they purchased it in 1980, as a fixer-upper opportunity. In 1982, the property was chosen and listed on the prestigious National Registry of Historic Places. To fund their continuing restoration efforts, they have made the most of all the mansion’s features and strong points; having fun serving the locals and visitor’s alike, while making money at the same time!
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
One can speculate that the entities who stay here once lived here themselves over the mansion’s long history.
Restoration of an old home can please the original entities, bringing energy to their beings, who are enjoying the building, and helping the living on occasion. Perhaps some spirits have attached themselves to some of their former possessions; perhaps antiques found in the mansion.
Three known gentle spirits, with impeccable southern manners seem to be sharing the mansion with the living.
A Male Entity
Described as a well-dressed gentleman, becomes the kindly spectral host, checking up on the guests.
A Female Entity
Likes to float happily around in a white attire, being noticed by the living in the ballroom, and garden area; two places a lady of the house would love to visit, watch the current activities, and remember her own wonderful experiences she lived there while alive…
Little Girl Entity
Perhaps the victim of disease or a dumb kid accident, has been seen walking around the third floor, in the area near the balcony.
It seems to be, according to many eye witnesses. Three known entities exist peaceably with the living.
3811 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
The Columns can be found in the Upper Garden District, close to the trolley line. Turn from Canal Street onto St. Charles Avenue. The Columns is located in the 3000 block of St. Charles Avenue, between Louisiana Avenue and Napoleon Avenue.
- The Columns Promotional Pamphlet
- “Haunted Hotels in New Orleans” on HauntedNewOrleansTours.com
- “Haunted Hotels in New Orleans” on About.com
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr