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Craving a spooky road trip? Louisiana may be America’s favorite haunted place. Louis and Lestat moped stylishly around New Orleans in Interview With the Vampire. The True Blood crew got up to sinister shenanigans in the fictional Renard Parish. Even HP Lovecraft, who lived and died in the Northeast, stuck a Cthulhu cult down in the bayou. Drivers seeking similar spine-tingling Southern vibes can navigate to these four haunted roads in Louisiana.

Confederate soldiers reportedly haunt Highland Road in Baton Rouge

Haunted roads Louisiana, Baton Rouge 1861-1865
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, circa 1861–1865 | Corbis via Getty Images

Baton Rouge typically takes a backseat to its famous southern sibling, New Orleans, in Louisiana lore. But the state capital deserves better. The Land of the Red Stick has a wealth of local history dating back to the first French colonies in the area.

The haunts of Highland Road come straight out of that history. 1862 saw the sensibly named Battle of Baton Rouge, a small but savage Civil War struggle fought house to house in the city. Locals swear the Confederate dead rise to walk along this haunted byway. Supposedly, a kindhearted motorist on Highland Road filed a police report of a gaunt man wearing a strange uniform and bearing terrible wounds. But police searches found no sign of him.

Motorists hear disturbing sounds on Mona Lisa Drive in New Orleans

Haunted roads Louisiana, New Orleans
A dark New Orleans skyline | Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mona Lisa, the ghost of New Orleans’ City Park, is a decidedly hands-on apparition. According to the local lore, Mona moans, screams, and even claws at the windows of passing cars. No two New Orleans storytellers agree on what has kept Mona Lisa in City Park so far past her allotted span. Poor Mona might have drowned in one of the park’s many lagoons. Or she died of a broken heart, thanks to a Port NOLA sailor. Or she suffered ill treatment from her family in the nearby McFadden Mansion. Or all of the above or none.

However, all stories agree that Mona makes her expectations clear. Nighttime drivers on the haunted roads around City Park — particularly teen drivers intent on in-car romance — can apparently count on malicious visitations from Mona.

A werewolf supposedly stalks the haunted Manchac Swamp Bridge in Ponchatoula, Louisiana

Most ghost stories are just that — ghostly. These tales revolve around dead humans, usually ill-used by fate or their fellows. 

But not at Manchac Swamp Bridge. Storytellers in nearby Ponchatoula forgo the typical rattling-chains phantoms in favor of a lycanthropic claws-and-fangs nightmare called the “rougarou.” According to the urban legend, the rougarou — a Cajun spin on “loup-garou,” French for “werewolf” — is a sort of werewolf-plus. This huge humanoid figure has the head of a wolf and an insatiable appetite for human prey.

But horror-hungry visitors might run into other problems besides the rougarou. A voodoo priestess is said to have cursed the bridge’s construction. Though the hex was apparently powerful enough to summon a hurricane on the workers’ settlement, it didn’t destroy Manchac Swamp Bridge. The structure still stands and remains open to motorists.

A weeping woman wanders the haunted roads of Grady Hill in Zwolle, Louisiana

Ghost stories of a weeping woman, known in the United States and Mexico as “La Llorona,” are a global phenomenon. The tale of a wandering, sobbing specter punishing strangers for wrongs she suffered in life dates back to the Lamia of ancient Greece and as far afield as the Japanese onryo immortalized in The Ring and The Grudge.

For travelers enthralled by that kind of spook, Grady Hill, just outside the small town of Zwolle on Louisiana’s Texas border, is a perfect road trip destination. According to Only in Your State, locals tell tales of the Crying Woman of Grady Hill haunting roads in the area. The woman is invariably associated with that spot and the nearby Lake Loring. As to whether the lady in question drowned her children, lost her family in battle, or simply hunts strangers for sport, visitors will have to find out for themselves.

A polite reminder

Remember, these tales are often based on local legends, folklore, and anecdotes. Whether a traveler believes in ghosts or not, exploring these reportedly haunted roads in Louisiana can be an intriguing way to learn about the state’s history and culture. Please respect private property, and adhere to any posted regulations or restrictions when visiting these sites.