When my friends Jacqueline and Joseph Russell were engaged, they planned to be married in New Orleans under the stunning Tree of Life. Located in Audubon Park, the massive De Bore Oak, was planted in 1740 making it over 280 years old!

However, COVID had other plans.  The couple tied the knot in a lovely intimate ceremony in Owensboro, and when it came time to plan a nice little getaway this fall, they decided to head back to New Orleans for a visit to the tree and to experience the sights and sounds of one of the most culturally rich cities in the United States.

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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They hit up the French Market, enjoyed some awesome street performers while eating beignets, and explored the amazing historical architecture. Spooky season is a perfect time to visit New Orleans because of the incredible legends of haunted places, scary stories, and world-famous Louisiana voodoo.

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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What the Russells didn't expect was a haunted hotel stay that was um...interactive. Jacqueline wrote in a Facebook post, "We booked Hotel Provincial in The French Quarter because of the location and great rate we found. We didn’t really do any other research. First mistake."

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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I can totally see why though! The Hotel Provincial is absolutely gorgeous and has the iconic New Orleans feel with the intricate wrought iron and fountain in the quaint courtyard.

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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The first thing Jacqueline noticed was the chandelier in their room swaying. She said she figured it was just an air vent or something moving it. Until other unexplained events kept piling up.

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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Paranormal activity can present itself in the form of temperature changes. That night, the thermostat was set to 65 degrees. Jacqueline was absolutely freezing, but her husband Joseph told her he was miserably hot and feverishly sweating. Claiming it was the hottest he had "ever been."

Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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After getting comfortable enough to catch some beauty sleep, they wake up the next morning to explore the city. Jacqueline sees what looks like drops of blood on the other bed in the room.  It was perfectly made other than that. Now, she has a side hustle as a photographer. Her eyes are naturally sensitive to details like this yet she hadn't noticed them the first day they were there. It was like they appeared overnight. When they returned to the room later, the spots were done. Jacqueline assumed the housekeeper had changed the bed.

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What happened next, you have to read in her own words. I swear, it gave me chills!

"The night before we leave, I have an uneasy feeling when we get back to the room. It feels like someone is in the room with me when I’m alone in our bathroom. At one point, I hear a man’s voice say something, but I shrug it off as someone in the hall or room next door.

We both woke up several times that night for no reason. At 3:30, we’re awoken by some kind of siren. We wonder if it’s a fire alarm, but it stops quickly and we go back to sleep.
At checkout, I asked the clerk about the fire alarm that went off and he said, “Oh yeah, false alarm,” and changed the subject."
Jacqueline Russell
Jacqueline Russell
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Jacqueline and Joseph left completely creeped out. I know Jacqueline is a very logical and credible person. She was always skeptical when it came to ghosts and hauntings, so she was trying to make sense of what she had encountered. On the way home, they agreed to look up the hotel on Google.  Maybe someone had left a review or something with similar experiences.
Sure enough, when typing "Hotel Provincial New Orleans" into the search bar, Google generates a search for "Is Hotel Provincial in New Orleans haunted?"  That's because it is on countless lists as being one of the most haunted places in America. USA Today has even listed it as one of the most haunted hotels in the world!
CANVA
CANVA
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 Come to find out the hotel had a past life as a military hospital.  Soldiers in the Civil War suffered and died there. Visitors often report seeing blood stains on bedding, towels suddenly looking like bloody bandages and even apparition sightings of men in uniform or doctors. Only for it all to disappear. As well as the fire alarm they heard. There have been accounts of multiple people in the same room where one hears it and the other doesn't. One of the wildest things the Russells discovered was that other guests have also experienced symptoms of infection like fevers and weakness. Just like Joseph did.
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CANVA
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You want to know what really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up? In everything I have read about Hotel Provincial, the most active part of the property is Building 5. I texted Jacqueline to ask her where their room was. They stayed in Building 5.
Needless to say, Jacqueline is now a believer in the paranormal. I have to say, knowing her like I do, I am now too.

LOOK: 25 reportedly haunted places across America

Stacker has assembled 25 haunted places across America—from hotels and theaters to murder scenes and cemeteries—based on reported ghost sightings and haunted histories.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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