Red wine that is!
In America’s most haunted city, our restaurant, Tableau has had its fair share of paranormal activity. Doors blowing open without even a shred of wind, TV’s turning on with no one in sight, items disappearing then reappearing. Everyone from cooks to waiters to outside maintenance crews has their own ghostly story to tell. Now, we caught this other-worldly occurrence on film. This unsuspecting waiter was preparing our private dining room on the third floor of Tableau for guests, and apparently our ghost didn’t approve of a specific red wine, maybe they didn’t think it was a particularly good year for Bordeaux’s….or maybe they’re more of a cocktail kind of ghost, or possibly they didn’t like competing with other ‘spirits.’ Regardless, they definitely sent our waiter running for safety.
After this undeniable proof, we had to dig a little deeper into our ghostly past…
Noted architect Richard Koch designed the building that houses Tableau in the authentic Spanish Colonial and built it on the remains of an even older structure dating from 1789. This older building was destroyed in the Great Fire of New Orleans (1794) and rebuilt in 1797 as a residence for the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemas.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the building passed through numerous owners and saw many uses; it was even used as a barracks for occupying Union soldiers in the Civil War. Union General Benjamin Butler kept rooms in the building within sight of Jackson Square. As the 19th century dawned and the depression era hit, the building and the surrounding Quarter fell into disrepair. In 1922, when the Drawing Room Players acquired the building it quickly became the centerpiece of an urban and artistic revival in New Orleans.
Many of the reported ghostly sightings stem from the period of Union occupation during the Civil War. Soldiers have been seen in the hallways all around the building, including a meticulously dressed Union officer sighted primping in front of a now-blank wall where presumably a mirror once hanged. He is said to adjust his gloves and turn his head from side to side before disappearing completely.
One well-known account tells of an older actress who worked with the theatre briefly in its early years and who still haunts the building today. The story goes that the actress, while involved in an intimate moment with a male companion, fell from the interior balcony, into the courtyard. She is reported to have died on impact of a broken neck and related injuries. The man was never located; a supposed drifter who had no family, he disappeared from the theatre after the horrid event. This has led many to speculate over the years whether the fall was accidental or a deliberate act of violence, but this seems of little consequence to those who have encountered what they believe is the anguished spirit of the dead woman. Her earthbound spirit has been sighted around the restaurant. It is said by many that an icy cold precedes these sightings.
Dine with Tableau and see what your sixth sense says!