April in Glenwood: Out of this world wedding | PostIndependent.com

April in Glenwood: Out of this world wedding

While in New Orleans recently, I heard Louisiana’s largest city described as paranormal gumbo. It just so happens I’m a big believer in spirits.

And spicy seafood stew.

I loved everything about the idea of traveling to New Orleans, especially enjoying the local fare, meeting people, and exploring diverse places while learning about their histories. So it only made sense to get married in the French Quarter, where we could both experience a new destination together as a newlywed couple. Plus there’s a nice port of call within reasonable driving distance from the midwest. Traveling by boat to new lands from the Port of New Orleans is as easy as eating two pieces of homemade pecan praline pie in one sitting. And saying it right.

Proper pronunciation down south is “prah-lean.”

I specifically wanted to exchange vows in the French Quarter because it’s New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, and it has plenty of charm and character. Folks down there are already gearing up for the 300th birthday, a rather impressive milestone.

That calls for a really big Bourbon Street party.

The Quarter has so much passion and romance ingrained in its deep history, it nearly busts from the old brick facades of the Spanish and French-inspired architecture. Every structure seems to have a story of its own involving intrigue and romance.

Including the good, the bad and the ugly.

After hearing stories behind many of New Orleans’ most famous paranormal occurrences, Pat Benatar’s ’80s hit “Love is a Battlefield” comes to mind. Several of the French Quarter fables feature forlorn lovers meeting their final resting places after falling from balconies or rooftops. Such tragedy has left a lot of spirits in limbo over the last three centuries. Add in a multitude of deaths by hurricane, fire and yellow fever, and the believers in the paranormal routinely report that the French Quarter is chock-full of ghosts.

We even had a little haunting experience happen to us.

The Dauphine New Orleans is a popular hotel hotspot for ghostly behavior, and of course we honeymooned there. The history of the building dates back to the days of brothels in the French Quarter. As part of the wild, wild west, Glenwood Springs, formerly known as Defiance, shares in that history.

I have some Glenwood ghost stories that make the hair stand up on the arms.

The Dauphine’s lore goes something like this: The brothel that once provided unlawful services where the hotel now operates was run by a woman named May Bailey. The hotel bar is appropriately named for her and has been known for strange happenings, such as objects being hidden or moved without explanation. May’s little sister was an employee of the brothel, not exactly by choice, and had hoped to escape the life by getting married to a soldier. Her beau was unfortunately killed in a gambling dispute and never showed. So her sad, yearning spirit is known around those parts as the Lost Bride.

Considering I’m a new bride, she might not have been real happy to have me around.

People claim to have seen images of the jilted bride, or a confederate soldier, and sometimes a little girl playing and dancing around the bar, pool area and rooms. We never actually saw a ghost, but we did have a couple nights of unexplainable technical difficulties.

I think the Lost Bride was definitely playing with us.

The first night we were in our room, Steve went up to head to bed and I stayed down to visit with many of our Colorado friends who came in for the wedding. He was about to fall asleep when the TV came on by itself, loudly, with the remote clearly resting several feet from the bed. He’s not really into ghosts, but even that creeped him out. It happened again the next night, when I was there, and for some reason I didn’t feel all that scared. A little amused — maybe that was the Lost Bride’s intention. The funny part is, the commercials playing both times were for escort services.

Now that’s some spicy French Quarter paranormal gumbo.

April E. Allford is married! And can’t wait to visit New Orleans again. She can be reached at aprilallford@gmail.com.

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