What Does Gina Lainer
Do When She Sees A Ghost?
seen on hauntedamericatours.com
Lanier Paranormal Investigator
took the exterior Ghost photos of this New
Orleans Haunted Mardi Gras Den all with my
Pentex k1000 35mm camera." Says Gaina
Lanier, And I am not suprised with any of
these Ghost Photo results.
Lanier plans to document all the hauntings
associated with the New Orleans Mardi Gras
season. It's Mardi Gras Krewes, Parades and
Haunted History in her upcoming book.
New Paranormal Investigation of a Local Haunted Mardi
Gras Parade Warehouse Shows Just a Sampling of the
True Haunted Mardi Gras Spirits of New Orleans!
Story by Lisa Hart
Ghost Photos by Gina Lanier
are people, too." " Perhaps very unhappy really
dead people, or just dead people with unfinished business,
but people nonetheless,"
"That is the attitude that I have always stood
by, and will always, until I become a ghost myself."---
Lanier is a well-known ghost hunter and investigator
of the paranormal. "I have investigated numerous
very haunted houses, cemeteries, churches, hotels,
Federal Prisons, Amusment Parks and other haunted
cases across this Nation, including furniture and
personal possessions," she says. Gina also maintains
that even though she has spent years pursuing her
unusual avocation, not to mention an invested small
fortune in ghost detection equipment, she is still
skeptical? on the subject of ghosts.
we caught up with Gina as she was about to tackle
the investigation of the "Carnival Krewe den"
of a Haunted Mardi Gras Parade. For those who don't
know New Orleans or much about Mardi Gras, the "den"
is the warehouse or Large building where the parade
floats are kept over the months between parading at
New Orleans Mardi Gras. The buildings are usually
Large warehouse, as most of a Mardi Gras Krewe's budget
goes into planning and paying for the following year's
Mardi Gras extravaganza, and there's generally a lot
of "haunted history" in the old den walls.
streak across the film blocking the door way.
Solid White orb appeared on the film. Some
I could actually see with my naked eye. Says
Investigator Gina Lanier, says she see's the
Ghostly image of a man with his back to the
camera at the Uptown New Orleans most ...
Haunted Mardi Gras Den!
consider this to be an ectoplasmic appartion,
Said Gina" " The ghost Photos above
and below were taken at 7am. central standard
time May 12th 2003"
parade Krewe housed in this purportedly haunted building
is an old line Mardi Gras Krewe with more than 60
years of parading history behind it. The den is located
just blocks from the Mississippi River and not far
from famous St. Charles Avenue, the great thoroughfare
where most of the big name Mardi Gras Krewe parades
march each year.
investigation into the history of this building's
recent history has turned up nothing spectacular,
in other words, no apparent recent cause or explanation
for the manifestations and activity that have been
reported from this location. So ruling out that the
actual Mardi Gras Parade is haunted. Un- like The
Krewe Of Mid City which is said to be the most haunted
parade at Mardi Gras. It is said to attract Mardi
Gras Parade goers and Ghost to it's magnificent multi-colored
Foil covered floats. Ghost Photos of this spectacular
Best New Orleans Day Parade have been documented for
there is a tragic history associated with the location
of this particular Haunted Mardi Gras Den as well,
and Lanier speculates that the occurrences in the
den may be a residual effect of these events that
happened several generations ago that might still
linger and have imprinted themselves on the building.
building, a familiar sight to native New Orleanians,
once served as a police headquarters building and
jail serving the area of Uptown New Orleans known
as the Irish Channel. It is reported that on March
17-18, 1891, near this very location, over 100 Italian
American immigrant workers were arrested during a
riot over pay and work conditions on nearby urban
projects. For their protection, the Italian immigrants
were held in what is now the Mardi Gras den, the police
at the time thinking that they would be more manageable
and less troublesome if kept in the Irish district
as opposed to the Italian district nearer the French
because the workers' gripes had suspended a major
work project, it affected other immigrant workers,
the Irish in particular, who, when they heard the
culprits were being held in their own backyard, began
to assemble angrily outside the police station. It
little helped that most of the Irishmen had been imbibing
heavily in celebration of St. Patrick's Day just hours
before. The assemblage turned into a full-scale riot
with the Irish immigrants storming the police station
with guns and clubs.
mob brutally murdered most of the police in the building
as they ferreted out the cells holding the Italian
miscreants. A wild and brutal melee then broke out
between the Irish and the Italians with several dead
on both sides.
from other districts were summoned into the Irish
Channel to quell the rioting and the survivors, both
Italian and Irish, were hauled away to be held in
the more-secure Jackson Barracks under the watchful
eyes of the US Army. But the story is told that there
weren't many left alive to move and the police station
in the Irish Channel soon became an impromptu hospital
and morgue as physicians converged on the building,
responding to pleas to help the dying officers and
the hapless others who had fallen in the fray. It
was one of the worst racial riots the city of New
Orleans had ever witnessed.
strange note on a survivor, Carlo Matranga who was
held there is one of the sole people who manages to
survive the incident and becomes "The recognized
head of New Orleans underworld" at the time.
police station and its attached jail cells were summarily
closed and remained abandoned for several generations
until a fledgling Mardi Gras Krewe needed a place
to meet and build its floats. The interior of the
building was gutted to provide building space, but
in the anterior and rear there are still walls of
metal bars, the only remnant of the jail cells.
hunter Gina Lanier proceeds in her investigation with
this tragic event as a likely scenario to cause the
hauntings. There have been reports of cold spots,
unexplainable noises, lights that turn on and off
by themselves, a haunted bathroom, and a shadowy form
that materializes near the old cell area.
of the activity is noticed during the building season
? from October through February or March depending
on the date of Mardi Gras (a moveable celebration
based upon the Catholic calendar?s dates for Lent
and Easter). These are the months when people are
working in the den most frequently. Sometimes crews
or individual designers can be found working 24-hour
shifts when the push to get the parade rolling is
initiates her investigation with interviews of those
employees and others who have had personal haunting
experiences in the old den. Several were at first
reluctant to come forward.
a strong wariness about dealing with ghost hunters
in many people," Lanier says offhandedly. "It's
kind of the fear of being taken in by the "PT
Barnum" syndrome, you know, "a sucker born
every minute." Well, nobody wants to be that
always gives the most reluctant eyewitnesses a lot
of time to get comfortable and to respond at their
own pace. She likes to meet individually and usually
at the location of the haunting, which can serve as
a sort of huge "visual aid" to the shy and
a stage to the not so mum.
always try to put people at ease," Lanier went
on. "It's not easy for everyone. Many people
have been downright terrified by their encounters;
for others, the problem has persisted so long that
all they want is for someone to listen to them who
won't write them off as crazy."
biggest monitor of the possible presence of ghostly
anomalies in any location is her own intuition. Because
of this, she often prefers to investigate haunted
sights completely alone, or with a single assistant
to help out. This method, she says, gives her the
best perception from which to proceed.
I don't care how many reports I get about a place,
person or object," she says, "if I don't
feel it, it just isn't there."
the case of this haunted location, Gina definitely
"feels it." Others have felt it, too.
Artisit and workers report the presence of cold spots
that move around the great Mardi Gras Parade warehouse
floor. Most are encountered in the narrow walkways
formed by the floats when they are placed side by
side in the building. There are also cold spots reported
on the floats as well.
angry "presence" is reported to manifest
itself near the side door of the den, (actually the
only other exit) adjacent to the old cell area. At
one time, employees were forced to use this door to
enter the building, rather than accessing the work
area through the building's front door. Several workers
report that on separate occasions they have each experienced
an encounter with a "suffocating feeling,"
a feeling of "being watched" when trying
to exit the door. Most exit in a hurry.
shadowy form is seen moving about the building and
and appear to be very solid bodies. Seen by more than
one employee and at least one Police officer, ( he
was called to investigate what one of the artist thought
was an intruder) the "solid" aparition's
presence is seen to walk back and forth between the
narrow passages between the Mardi Gras floats before
fading into the deeper shadows of the rear areas.
The Artist who worked on the parade for the 2004 parade
season who wishes to remain un named states. "
I was in the building Alone working, I saw a man walk
past me I was afraid somone had broken in and was
worried that I would be killed." Many who have
come forward all state the same felling that they
fear they are going to be killed."
one likes to use either of the two bathrooms, or so
Gina Lanier has been told. Located in the front right
of the building, in the area opposite the old cell
blocks, there is an oppressive feeling here as well,
as if someone is watching intently. No one lingers
any longer than necessary.
go on and off seemingly at will. The panel controlling
the fixtures is in the front of the building. Workers
report standing right beside the lighting panel and
watching the lights flicker on and off without anyone
touching the controls. Radios being unbluged as well
as compressors and extension cords.
are also reports of muffled voices and whispers just
out of earshot; doors that swing open and closed on
their own. And objects like paint buckets or brushes
disappearing as quick as one turns away. The most
frightening event that has been retold and wittnessed
is Mardi Gras beads and doubloons actually flung at
you from ghostly hands. The Mardi Gras Artist fear
that somone else is in the buliding, and fear that
they are under attack or worse. But when you inspect
the area you find that you are quite alone.
are very typical hauntings for a building of this age
and size," says Lanier. "So much activity
has taken place here over the years, including the renovations
to the building, that there is bound to be some effect,
some weakening of the border between the seen and unseen."
plans to document the reports and will use some of
the most sophisticated equipment available to ghost
hunters in her investigation of the den.