From grisly executions to ax-murdering jazz enthusiasts, the history of New Orleans has seen its share of the macabre and spine-tingling. For 2020's virtual Halloween season, we were frightfully excited to present the most chilling true tales from our vaults. The Historic New Orleans Collection debuted new videos on our Facebook page throughout the month of October for “La Danse Macabre: The Nightmare of History.” 

Relive these tales (any time of the year) below!

Epidemic!: For centuries, the citizens of New Orleans feared the summer heat, but it wasn’t because of hurricanes. When this mystery ailment visited town, it always came with death in tow.

A Cold Case from Hell: In a changing New Orleans, a killer prowled the streets. Who was the mysterious, musically savvy Axeman who stalked the city striking terror and stoking tensions amidst the delights of New Orleans's Jazz Age?

Battlefield Butchery: War has always been hell, but for the wounded, a visit from the doctor could seem worse. Join us as we get our hands dirty and delve into the gory details of battlefield medicine at the Battle of New Orleans.


The Creole Revolt and the Singing Monk: When upstart New Orleanians rejected Spanish rule, the consequences were dire indeed. Learn how Governor Alejandro “Bloody” O’Reilly earned his nickname, and the legend of one fearless monk who dared to defy him.


Finale Q & A The Historic New Orleans Collection's La Danse Macabre series concluded with a live Zoom finale on October 30, 2020. This video includes all of the previous four tales, plus a round of Q & A, during which Interpretation Assistants answer the public's darkest, most grisly questions.