Friday, October 21, 2011

I Shall Return

Blog entries will be on hold for the next week.

The fun will be over the top when posting begins again, so hang in there!  Good things come to those who wait! ;)

I'll be back in action again before the big day ;)

Until then, keep haunting!  Only 10 days left!!!

"I will see you all a little later"

Hauntingly Yours,
Countess VonRauber

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pictures of LeBeau Plantation

My visit to the LeBeau Plantation was not as long as I had hoped that it would be and not at the most ideal time of day for pictures, but it was still exhilerating!   I had NEVER been this close to the house before and I felt like an ant standing next to this towering giant.  This house is huge.

It's surrounded by a chain link fence and posted with many No Trespassing signs, so I wasn't able to get right on top of it, but I was pretty close. :)  The windows are all boarded up now, which was so disappointing.  Even if there was a ghostly light lingering around, I wouldn't have seen it.   There were signs of vandelism, some of which were on the roof... which in my opinion, whoever got up there was crazy.  That roof is steep.

Anyway, I didn't see or hear or feel anything out of the ordinary, but still in all, it was exciting to finally be able to stand right next to this monster of my childhood.  

Creepy outdoor stair case.  There was an opening above it, which was consumed in vast darkness.  I kept taking shots of this, hoping to see something peering out at me in one of them... no luck though =(

Apologies for my lack of posting this week... it's been a busy one. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo Shoot

Yesterday, 2nd Street Cemetery became the back drop for my neighbor's very special baby's Halloween photo shoot.  I couldn't be a happier haunter or neighbor =)  This child is truly a miracle and he's so stinkin' cute!

Photo by: Jennifer Buck
(See more pictures of Dylan in 2nd Street Cemetery at

To learn more about Dylan and his special condition, please visit:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Retroween Delivers!

If you remember the days of paper Halloween decorations, before yard inflatables and ground breakers ever existed, then you might be interested in checking out the merchandise at

I received my order about a week ago, and I could not have been happier with my purchase!  My husband was amazed by my glowing reaction to these paper things, amid the stock pile of high tech Halloween effects that have invaded our house this year.  

There is just something about these Halloween decorations from my childhood that really drives that Halloween feeling home :)  I guess it brings back memories of my dad pulling them from the mysterious depths of our attic, the way that the boxes smelled as I unpacked them, my mom helping me tape them around the house, the fun nights with my brother of holding the glow-in-the-dark ghosts up to a light, then running around the house with them in total darkness... the good ol' days :)

He's a few kinda blurry shots of my treasures.  Now, go order your own!!! ;)

Neighborhood Antics

I had a really good laugh at the latest antics performed by the countdown stone poltergeist:

My neighbors love me ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've finally acquired 100 followers!  I am a very happy ghoul!

Thank you all for checking out my blog and chiming in on my posts.

Ya'll really make my day :)

-Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The LeBeau Plantation

On of my fondly very remembered Halloween traditions was visiting the LeBeau plantation after a long night of trick r' treating.

Here's a little bit of history about the plantaion:

The LeBeau Plantation was build in 1854 by Francois Barthelemy LeBeau.  Francois died that same year, only a few months after the plantation was completed.  The plantation remained under the ownership of the LeBeau family until 1905, when it was purchased by Friscoville Realty.  For 20 years, the plantation was converted into the Friscoville Hotel, during the time when gambling houses had become extremely popular.  During the decline of legal gambling, in 1920's the plantation was sold yet again in 1928. The plantation was renamed the Cardone Hotel by the buyer, Jai Alai Realty, and used as an illegal gambling house.  Evidence of the plantation's time as an underground casino are the gun turrets which were built into the closets.  From the late 1930's until 1967, ownership of the plantation turned over many times.  In 1967 Joseph Meraux purchased the house.  During his ownership the house remained empty and was never kept up.. 

There was a massive effort for restoration in 2003, before Hurrican Katrina devastated the area.  Many of St. Bernard Parish's residents had pledged generous donations of money toward the restoration, but the efforts were lost when the storm hit.

Once again, the LeBeau Plantation is quickly deteriorating, while some local groups are still trying to pull together to have the place restored to it's original state and made into a historic landmark/tourist attraction.

Aside from the interesting changes of venue and ownership that the plantation has had over it's existence, there are many local tales of ghostly happenings inside it's deteriorating rafters.

Most of the stories center around a mysterious light that can be seen some nights in the plantation's cupola.  The story is always the same, people go to see the house, because they have heard stories of the mysterious lights and usually end up seeing them, themselves.

Sadly, I cannot say that I have seen the mysterious lights of the LeBeau Plantation.  When I used to visit, the land was completely fenced in and the only way to view it was from a very narrow street, that didn't lend room for parking.  We never stayed long, but it was always the highlight of my night.  Seeing the old dilapidated giant standing in the middle of a darkened field, surrounded by mystery, especially since it was surrounded by a barrier, filled me with excitement and made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

I will be making a visit to my old home town this weekend and luckily I will be right down the street from where this Goliath still stands.  It is no longer surrounded by fence >=)... I will be armed with my camera. ;)

Photo source:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Edgar Allan Poe

I've long been a fan of this writer of the macabre.  As a kid, I fondly remember the Simpson's Halloween special that featured Homer as the main character in "The Raven".  In middle school, I read the entire poem for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the creepy mystery of it.  From then on, I read many of his works in and out of school, studying the imagery that he painted with his words, and imagining what made this mysterious and melancholy man tick.

About three years ago, I started working with a government agency, which means that I get off of work for every holiday imaginable, including Columbus Day which is recognized/celebrated around the 12th of October. Since Poe's death day was October 7th, I usually spend my Columbus holiday day reading Poe's poetry or stories or about Poe's life.

This year, I decided to reenact my version of the mysterious "Poe Toaster's" yearly tradition, since I have my very own Poe tombstone.

The Poe Toaster has kept his tradition of visiting Poe's grave on Poe's birthday (January 19th) every year since 1949 and up till 2009.  It's been recorded that he would show up around midnight, in a specific black hat and attire, leaving three red roses (arranged in a particular fashion) and a half full bottle of Cognac at Poe's grave site in Baltimore.

Jeff Jerome, who is the curator of the Poe House in Baltimore, has witness the Poe Toaster's tradition since 1977.  Jerome watches for the Poe Toaster from Westminster Hall, confirming the toaster's arrival by a signal that the toaster gives (which only Jerome knows), the arrangement of  the roses that he leaves and the attire that he wears. Sadly since 2009, the Poe Toaster seems to have stopped the tradition. It has been speculated that the toaster may have passed away or, that whoever took up the tradition from the original toaster (speculated to be a family member) decided to stop the tradition on the year of Poe's bicentennial birthday, which was in 2009.  This will be Jerome's final year watching for the toaster.  He has stated that if the toaster does not show up this year, that he will take that as a sign that the tradition is officially over.  The toaster's identity has never been discovered.

Although the true Poe Toaster seems to have disappeared, many look alikes have shown up at Poe's grave site in the toaster's likeness, to carry on the tradition. Other Poe fans visit the grave on that night to hold a vigil of sorts and to celebrate Poe's life and works... and of course, to hopefully catch a glimpse of the toaster.

I would love to make a pilgrimage to Baltimore to take part in this tradition, but since I won't be going  anytime soon, here is my contribution to Poe's memorial.

May you rest in peace.

Friday, October 7, 2011


At the request of Pensive, I'm going to dedicate this post to the art of "Booing" =)

Booing is a Halloween tradition that is quite new to me.  I don't know if this is a regional thing, I'm not sure where it started, but it has Halloween written all over it! 

The first time that I heard about Booing, was about 4 years ago.  A co-worker came to work and announced that she had been "Boo-ed".  Now, as a former classical dancer, I assumed being booed was not a positive thing, yet this girl seemed very excited and pleased that she had been booed, so of course, I interrogated her about it.

She explained that an unidentified person secretly leaves a poem, a picture of a ghost and a treat on the doorstep of the person being booed.

A treat?  A surprise?  A poem? A mysterious gifter?  Why haven't I heard of this before?!?!

She graciously brought me the version of the poem that was left on her door and a copy of the picture that accompanied it.  I bought a small pumpkin that evening, carved it out and left it on my parents doorstep along with the poem and the picture.  It was SO MUCH FUN! I felt like a Halloween secret agent, sneaking around waiting for them to leave so that I could "plant" the "package" ;)  Then I couldn't wait till they got home and found their surprise!  I highly recommend it! 

There are different versions of the poem out there, but they all seem to be some variation of this:

The air is cool, the season fall,
Soon Halloween will come to all.
Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore...
Tricky witches at your door.
The spooks are after things to do,
In fact a spook brought this "Boo" to you!
The excitement comes when friends like you,
Copy this note and make it two.
We'll all have smiles upon our faces,
No one will know who "BOO"ed who's places!
Just two short days to work your spell,
Keep it secret, hide it well.
Please join the fun, the seasons here .
Just spread these "BOO's" and Halloween cheer.
Include a sheet of paper that says:
You have been BOOED!
Please keep it going by following these directions:

1. Enjoy your treat .
2. Place the BOO sign on your front door or visible in a window.
3. Within 2 days, make 2 copies of this note, make 2 treats & 2 BOO signs.
4. Secretly deliver to 2 neighbors/friends without a BOO.
5. Keep an eye on nearby front doors to see how far and fast it spreads by Halloween.

Over the years, I've changed up the poem and made it my own.  Mine is from the Great Pumpkin, instead of from a spirit.  I figured that since the Jack O' Lantern is supposed to ward off evil spirits, he would be a good guy to have displayed on your door or in your window, to keep the mischievous spirits (or other booers) away ;) So, I include a picture of a JOL along with my "Great Pumpkin" boo poem.  Plus, my gift of choice is usually a small pie pumpkin, with either carved or drawn face on it.

Now that you all know what it's all about, get out there and BOO your neighborhood!  I promise, you will have great fun!

Happy Haunting!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If I Could Turn Back Time...

or, A Funny Thing Happened to the Halloween Countdown Stone....

Yesterday morning, at the twilightish hour of 6AM, I went outside to change the numbers on the countdown stone.  When I reached down to grab the 8, I realized that instead of "28" the stone was displaying 82 days left till Halloween.

Now, I am innocent in this matter, because my husband changed it the day before. I confronted him about it yesterday, laughing that he must have changed the numbers with his eyes closed.  Well, he denied doing it wrong and I just figured that he didn't want to admit it, until yesterday afternoon when I pulled into the driveway and to my surprise, the stone was now displaying 72 days till Halloween. 

Apparently, we have a comedian in our neighborhood ;)  Oh, if only they knew how helpful it would be if turning back time were that easy!!!

I'm having a great laugh about this one!  A little Halloweenish prank on us!  That's what Halloween is all about.  I'm glad that someone in the neighborhood has gotten into the spirit of the holiday :) Plus, I like to imagine that it's some mischievous little spirit, that snickers as he/she is pulling the old switch-a-roo on us=)

Now I'm inspired to formulate some fun neighborhood mischief of my own.  I'm aware of the tradition of "Booing" people, so I may take that route, but if I can come up with something else, that would be fun too. 

Which makes me wonder, do any of you have unique Halloween prank traditions in your neck of the woods?  Do you take part in these light hearted little acts of Halloween fun?

Happy Haunting!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Night Shots

Just thought that I'd share two night shots as well.  The cemetery always looks better at night.  I just love playing with the lighting :) I feel like the lighting really sets the mood of a haunt.  Blue and green are my choices for my very classic, non-gore setting.

 Photographing it is difficult in the low light, but when I get a good shot, it makes me really happy.  I think that I need to get a tripod this year before we get everything set up.  I'd like to do a trial run with all of the lights and fog and other cool effects, so that I can get some great pictures without feeling like I'm ignoring the TOT's and guests.

Only 27 days left!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy October!

It was a busy weekend here at 2nd Street Cemetery!  Here are a few pics of what we have set up so far! =)

Much more to come.  Hope you all had a great 1st weekend of October!!!