A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton: New Orleans voodoo

Adorning every door, railing, and gate were beads, flowers, votive candles, gris-gris pouches, handmade dolls, beautiful scarves, trinkets, and effigies of saints.”

–Darkness Becomes Her, p. 78 

In Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton, Ari gets a crash course in New Orleans voodoo when Sabastian introduces her to voodoo priest Jean Solomon, and later, when they venture into the cemetery to look for the remains of (the fictitious) Alice Cromley.

While Cromley came from Keaton’s imagination, she has a real-life doppelganger named Marie Laveau, New Orleans’ most notable voodoo queen, who rose to fame in the 1830s. Voodoo was brought to Louisiana while it was still a French colony from Africa and from Haitian exiles. By the time Laveau was born, it was a well-established religious blend of African rituals and Catholic traditions.

Voodoo is largly misunderstood, but the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum tries to dispell much of that. Click through to find out more. For a history of Marie Laveau, visit The Mystic Voodoo.

And finally, below is a great video shot by the History Channel’s “Weird U.S.” when they visited a voodoo priest in New Orleans. There’s also some great information on the unique cemetery practices in a city that sits below sea level. (Ew.)

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