The Dauphine Orleans Hotel is a notoriously haunted location that sits only a stone’s throw away from Bourbon Street. Located in the center of the French Quarter, this hotel has over a hundred rooms where guests regularly report ghost sightings, disembodied voices and more. But why is this location so infested with spirits?
In the late eighteenth century, a man named Don Andres Almonester y Roxas owned the Dauphine Orleans Hotel’s plot of land. He also owned most of the surrounding real estate as well, and eventually donated part of the hotel’s land to the local Charity Hospital. For a time, the land was used to treat the various ill citizens of the city.
But it wasn’t until 1857 that the building’s use took a darker turn.
It was in 1857 that May Baily’s Place opened. Technically referred to as a “sporting house,” May Baily’s was a brothel. This business was a brothel, which was a location where people of ill-repute would often gather and participate in illicit activities. May Baily opened this establishment after her father died during the yellow fever epidemic, hoping to strike rich during hard times. With the help of a family friend, the business soon opened its doors. Luckily for Baily, she also received a license from the city deeming all activities within as legal.
While May Baily ran this fine establishment, her younger sister Millie allegedly hated everything that the fine brothel stood for: subjugation to a life with little choice.
Millie wanted nothing to do with the red-light district. As the story goes, Millie got her chance to escape the sordid life she’d always known in 1861, when she met a nice Confederate soldier. Against all the odds stacked against the couple, they fell in love and Millie’s beau proposed.
Her happiness was short-lived.
On the very day of the wedding, Millie’s betrothed was shot dead. Gambling was the cause; the brawl that took her young soldier’s life, the end result. Her wedding dress that she had sewn so meticulously, caressed so lovingly, never made it to the altar, although Millie apparently took the opportunity to wear it around the sporting house whenever she could.
Guests have spotted Millie’s ghost in her lace wedding gown standing forlornly near May Baily’s, as if still half-hoping that her loved one might return for her.
Guests have reported seeing the spirit of a man dressed in dark Confederate uniform—is it too much to ask that it might be poor Millie’s long lost love?
Many of the people who have witnessed ghosts claim that some are simply patrons from the past. Men visiting their favorite brothel, even after death. There are also reports of the ghosts of prostitutes, still roaming the old building in search of their next customer