Voodoo Museum, New Orleans
The Voodoo Museum was a real disappointment.
This place charged us $5 to take a less than 10 minute walk thru two junk filled rooms they claimed were a museum.
Kentbein reacted on this tip and wrote me the next email. He was born in Nola and has a better understanding of Voodoo than me, I think what he wrote is just the extra you'll need to know to appreciate this museum.
"...My only slight debate with your observations would be about the Voodoo museum. I certainly agree with you that it's a junkie, messy, cramped, small, little place. I would also add that it smells bad, too! Realy bad, in fact.
Where I disagree with you though, is that the junk, in context, isn't really such a bad thing. It's weird in its way, that I do agree with. On the other hand though, junky, cramped, messy, unusual, is an intergral part of what these people are. The museum is small, which also is an integral, indicative, historical part of the religion. Voodoo (and Hoodoo) was practiced primarily by the poorest class of people throughout the New Orleans and surrounding regions.
These practioners typicaly lived in small, junky, smelly little places, just like the museum.
From that point of view, what you visited was authentic. Very authentic in fact, as that museum is still an active "church" for these people. It is one of their oldest "churches", and is actually one of their largest buildings. All in all, what you saw there was the real voodoo thing, small and messy though it was...."
I left my visit to the New Orleans's Historic Voodoo Museum to my last day. It is virtually one of the last things I visited in New Orleans because I like to the leave the worst of last. I would not even think of going here unless I had time to kill, which I did the morning I visited this horrific tourist trap.
The museum is supposedly run by real life voodoo faithful and there is reportedly a real voodoo priest on site. Really all it has is two room full of artifacts that are suppose to be voodoo related, many of which belonged to "the legendary'" Marie Laveau, To be honest it struck me as being just two rooms full of junk. This gives me an idea, I have lots of junk in my den at home.........
The New Orleans's Historic Voodoo Museum is located 724 Dumaine St at Bourbon Street (that should be a warning there) it is open daily from 10am to 6pm and cost $7 to visit. Save your money!
This "museum" was definetely not worth the price of admission. It's only a couple of rooms with a few artifacts strewn around. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes.
Fun Alternatives: Marie Leveau's House of Voodoo is a crazy must-see shop. It's packed with magic items for sale, and there's even a real voodoo altar inside. Touristy, yes, but lots of fun. At 739 Bourbon Street.
Je crois que je ne suis pas la seule à avoir écrit que s'était un Tourist Trap! Pour le prix, c'est ridicule ce qu'il y a à voir et on en a vite fait le tour... Quelques grigri disparate sans aucune explication. Allez dans une boutique de souvenirs ça fera pareil!
Fun Alternatives: Je recommande plutôt le Calbido qui est vraiment un beau musée qui traite de tout les aspects de la vie de la Nouvelle-Orléans et de son histoire!
The House of Voodoo is a classic tourist trap on Bourbon Street. I admit I was interested and wanted to look around (which we did), but it was pretty boring. The people watch over you like hawks and don't allow any pictures to be taken inside. They don't let you look through the books (can only read the back). The people working there weren't too helpful. Take a look and walk around for 5 minutes, but you will see everything else they sell in other stores for less prices.
Unique Suggestions: If you need to buy something, buy some incense.
Fun Alternatives: Check out the smaller places that are not so "famous". As always, ask a local about Voodoo. The theme is very big in NO.
I have been to this place on more than one occasion and I would just like to say you get what you pay for. $5.00 is not a huge price to pay for a little "taste" of the spiritual culture of New Orleans. You are not visiting the Metropolitian Museum of Art or the Smithsonian. It is what it is. I found it to be interesting to say the least and as for the person who commented that they don't let you delve into their books without buying- well it is not Barnes and Noble either. It takes money to keep the place open and for some people it is a place of worship. You would not be allowed to touch displays at a regular museum and it is not appropriate behavior at a church or synagogue so why would you expect to do so in this place? I have taken several groups of friends to New Orleans for trips and we always stop at the VooDoo museum as I feel it to be a big part of New Orleans culture and history.
Unique Suggestions: I think when you go to a place of this nature you must go with an open mind or not at all. As for the "mess" as described by others. In what movie or other depiction have you seen voodoo neatly organized as if you were looking at a spice rack? You don't usually so be a little adventurous and not so judgemental and try to just observe some of the interesting bits of culture and information being presented. I find the comments about the smell hilarious and smacking of ignorance when you consider several of the other smells you often will encounter in the French Quarter in comparison.
Fun Alternatives: For some real fun an excitement you could always wait at the crossroads a few miles outside the city at midnight. Then you might see some real action. :)