Marie Laveau’s tomb regularly vandalized

Voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s tomb is regularly vandalized by those who think their wishes will be granted by painting an ‘X’. Now someone has gone beyond that, and painted it all pink, highlighting the problem with cemetery maintenance in NOLA.

Marie Laveau’s tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 painted pink by mysterious vandal |

Two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, someone sneaked into the cemetery and painted the tomb, Dodge said, but she didn’t think the person had any malicious intent.

“The person really came in to paint over the thousands of thousands of “X”‘s all over this tomb,” she said. “And that’s the real desecration.”

Decades ago, someone started a rumor that if people wanted Laveau to grant them a wish, they had to draw an “X” on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish, and if it was granted, come back, circle their “X,” and leave Laveau an offering, Dodge said.

The desecration of the tomb is sad. People believe in the superstition that she will grant them their wishes. The article notes that painting the porous marble traps moisture and heat and ruins it. An attempt to clean the paint off is being assessed. Many cemeteries in New Orleans have been abandoned.

Laveau x

Tip: Jeb Card

  3 comments for “Marie Laveau’s tomb regularly vandalized

  1. December 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    If people want wishes granted they should vandalize djinni’s tombs. So illogical.

  2. spookyparadigm
    December 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Is the x activity vandalism? Obviously at one point it was. But by now, it is a standard part of the lore around her grave, and a major cultural tourism spot for New Orleans. The question becomes, when and in what cases do we accept secondary behavior at such a site as part of the meaning of a site? This is obviously context specific. Laveau was an occult figure, so this seems in keeping with the appeal of her image. By contrast, the ghost hunters at Gettysburg I would suspect/hope are seen by most people to be in poor taste. The Salem tourism and entrepreneurship seems to be somewhere in between.

  3. January 6, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    As of my visit to St Louis No. 1 two years ago, the ongoing “decoration” of tombs is definitely considered vandalism, subject to hefty fines and/or jail time. That’s still a family cemetery, and a catholic one to boot. Considerable time and money are expended in cleaning one tomb in particular, and the people scrubbing stone seem to take it pretty seriously.

    While I agree it can seem like an appropriate sort of local color, St Louis No. 1 is a beautifully picturesque locale, and if control isn’t kept, it could slip quickly into a shitty tourist attraction.

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