A HAUNTED HOUSE IN A REAL HAUNTED HOUSE IN NEW ORLEANS!
INSANELY SCARY... A MIND BLOWING THRILL RIDE!
“In the heart of New Orleans, Cities of the Dead, lies The Mortuary…where if you’re not screaming, you’re already dead!"
At the very “dead” end of world famous Canal Street, The Mortuary is a 140 year old Grand Victorian Mansion, former funeral parlor, and crematorium… surrounded by New Orleans’ famed “Cities of the Dead” and sits among more than a million graves in a one-square-mile radius. “Between 1930 and 2003, more than 20,000 funerals took place within its walls, the blood and bodily fluids of the dead swirling into a drain in the embalming room deep in the basement catacombs.” For many years, people from near and far journeyed to this breathtaking building to pay their last respects to dear departed loved ones.
Originally built in 1872 by Mary Slattery, the original mansion was intended to be a home for generations of her family. By 1880, John and Mary Slattery had six children living with them in the home. Their son, John Jr, was listed as a Stone Cutter and sexton for the cemetery next door. In October of 1905, the Slattery home was sold to Mrs. Marie Lafontear and William Klein. Marie maintained possession of the home until May 15th, 1923, where the home passed into the custody of PJ McMahon & Sons who turned the property into a grand funeral home.
In 1930, the first advertising booklet of the PJ McMahon & Sons Undertaking Company began to circulate. In 1959, a expansion of the mortuary added a specially designed elevator for the discrete delivery of the dead, additional viewing rooms and offices. At its height, the building featured amenities found in only the grandest of mansions such as smoking parlors for the men, private bedrooms and apartments with separate baths for the bereaved, maid service, an on-site cook, dining facilities, chaise lounges for the ladies in their private bathrooms and private drawing rooms. The funeral home was designed to mimic the comforts of home and rivaled all but a few of the grandest of residences of New Orleans. Yet all was not “Victorian Splendor.” It was a full-service funeral home. There was an autopsy room and an embalming room. There was a crematorium onsite, cold storage for the dead, casket storage, casket sales and a flower sales facility. The property was designed to anticipate and take care of every aspect of the funeral business. The mortuary was massively successful.
The property was sold again in 1996 to Alderwoods. During this time, many of the amenities of the funeral home were done away with in cost-cutting maneuvers. Business suffered. The cost of the massive upkeep of the 130+ year old building began to take its toll. On March 23, 2004, Alderwoods sold the property to Neil Corporation which owns Aveda’s Spas. Their first task was to gut the property due to its poor condition. All that was left was the wood framing, doors and the staircases of the building. In this process, the CEO of Neil Corp died surrounded by somewhat mysterious circumstances and their board decided to sell the property. The gutted building was listed for sale in 2004 and remained empty and abandoned for three years. During this period, disaster struck. Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans in late August 2005 and laid waste to the city. Windows were blown out, the roof destroyed, some water poured into the basement’s lowest areas, but the bones of the structure survived.
On July 2nd, 2007, Jeff Borne, the owner of PSX Worldwide Audiovisual Technologies, purchased the property to turn the decaying funeral home into the Mortuary Haunted House, a multi-million dollar haunted attraction designed to flood the senses with pulse-pounding terror and excitement. His dream was to turn the facility into a showcase of fear during the 2007 Halloween season. Little did he know what tales already lay in wait in this “Palace of the Dead!”
The Real Ghosts:
During this time he was approached by a paranormal investigative unit based out of Los Angeles. They hoped to investigate the PJ McMahon & Sons Funeral Home due to its hundreds of reports of strange occurrences over its long history. It seems that many of the souls that passed through the old PJ McMahon building… never left. A phantom woman in white was often seen on the top floor crying for her husband who had long since passed on. Legends told of a tall well-dressed man who appears when he believes people are disrespecting the cemeteries that lie beyond the walls of the home, admonishing the offenders to silence. The spectral forms of two rambunctious children, a boy and a girl, had been known to play pranks on the unsuspecting living. A former enraged mortician was often seen by employees, continuing his bloody work in the bowels of the basement. Footsteps and whispering voices supposedly carried throughout the building when no one was there. Guests of the Mortuary Haunted House have come up to management asking “how did they do that?” after seeing what they called the coolest special effect of a ghost in a tall top hat that disappearing right before their eyes leaving the management just shaking their heads knowing they didn’t do it. Tales traveled far and wide of poltergeist activity, of pieces of furniture moving on their own, while shocked eyewitnesses stared in disbelief. These were just a few of the stories that had reached the ears of paranormal investigators over the historic mansion’s life. This is an actively-haunted, 14,000 square foot, 3-story mansion and is reported to have nine known resident ghosts and documented ghost stories that originate over 125 years ago. Formal successful ghost investigations have been conducted by the Ghost Lab team from the Discovery Channel as well as Dustin Pari from SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunter’s/GHI just to name a few.
The Haunted Attraction:
“It’s not your typical Haunted House,” says Jeff Borne owner of The Mortuary. “Ghost Hunters from around the world have come to The Mortuary to experience unearthly entities throughout the property year round. Now add to what is undoubtedly a very scary environment to begin with, state of the art animatronics, theatrical sets, movie quality actors in makeup, and unbelievable Fog Screen ghostly special effects and you get to experience one of the most terrifying Halloween haunts ever.” The Mortuary has been featured on The Travel Channel’s "America's Scariest Attractions” and FUSE TV’s Voodoo Music Experience special as a “must see” during the Halloween season. And USA Today says that “Hollywood thrillers can’t beat this haunted house!” The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau touts The Mortuary as the center of all the city’s Halloween activities in the most haunted city in America!
The Mortuary is unique because of the realism of the property. “We build sets and bring in props, but 90% of what guests see and experience is real. It is the true nature of the property. It’s beautiful and at the same time, intensely scary.” Location, location, location as they say. The property is on World Famous Canal Street in a real mortuary, surrounded by real cemeteries. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
Upon entering through the front doors of The Mortuary, you are instantly taken into a haunted world that looks fantastic. The former funeral home is decorated incredibly everywhere you go so as to make you totally believe you are truly in a haunted house and not just a normal place designed to look like one. “We teleport our guests into a whole new world where we create and control the entire guest environment and experience. It’s about the guest’s complete suspension of disbelief.”
The Mortuary Haunted House seasonal Halloween event represents themed interactive entertainment featuring some of the most cutting edge animatronics and special effects offered today in a haunted attraction. But what brings the fear to life really are the actors. Think of The Mortuary as a theater that is presenting a play. In ordinary theaters, the audience is seated while the action continuously unfolds on the stage in front of them. The Mortuary, however, is a bit like going to a theater in the round with the stage that encompasses the entire theater and having the action sporadically occur all around you, even to the extent of your functioning as an extra in the play. You are the star of the horror movie.
One of the really outstanding features of the Mortuary is that though the theme of the haunt remains true to its vampiric roots each year, the story continues to evolve each year, chapter by chapter. To accomplish this, more than two-thirds of the experience is different each year. The main and top floors of the attraction are recreated as completely new rooms each year. And the basement gets increasingly more intense. The twisted imaginers at the Mortuary dream up and create some of the mind blowing, interactive experiences in the industry. Guests experience this story live.
The Mortuary is a MUST-SEE haunted house with some great jump-scares, plenty of fantastic atmosphere, a well organized production, a top-notch troupe of actors/haunters, and just a fantastic overall experience. So take a classic streetcar ride from the enchanting French Quarter to the portal of the world famous New Orleans Cemeteries, delivering you right to the steps of The Haunted Mortuary, one of the Scariest Places On Earth!