Voodoo. How much of its mysterious traditions are hokey hype and how much is genuine religious practice? There’s no better place to find out for yourself than in New Orleans, where the legend, kitsch, and reality of Voodoo collide.
Here’s a list of eight of the city’s most famous voodoo shops—mostly in or nearby the city’s super accessible French Quarter—for you to explore. But when you do, just keep in mind that for many people, Voodoo is a living religion and a major part of their lives. As when visiting any religious site as a tourist, be sure to do so respectfully—it’s easy to tell the tourist traps apart from the real deal the instant you enter an establishment—and with an open mind. Most shop owners and employees, as well as many practicing local folks, would be more than pleased to discuss their beliefs with you, so long as you approach them politely and without judgement.
Now get out there and start exploring!
Erzulie’s Authentic Voodoo
807 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
“Honoring the Great Vodou Goddess of Passion, Pleasure and Prosperity” since 1999, Erzulie’s Authentic Voodoo offers handcrafted spiritual products and services for all “seeking genuine spiritual assistance and guidance.” Putting a 21st century spin on all things Voodoo, Erzulie’s has its own app for iPhone and Android. Seriously cool!
F&F Botanica Spiritual Supply
801 North Broad Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Located in the neighborhood of Tremé near the famed Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club headquarters, this small shop is jam packed with candles, “curios and charms,” herbs and spices, gift baskets, and much more. It was originally called The Kingdom of Yoruba Religion and has been a spiritual supply store since 1981.
Island of Salvation Botanica
2372 St Claude Avenue #100, New Orleans, Louisiana 70117
Owner and “initiated Vodou priestess” Sallie Ann Glassman is one of the best known and most highly revered voodoo practitioners in town. Whether your visiting her shop for a reading or a healing, to pick up a few intriguing candles, or to simply browse the esoteric shelves, you’ll soon realize this trendy shop is among the city’s most popular for religious locals.
Marie Laveau House of Voodoo
739 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Kitschy souvenirs in the front, spiritual advice and palm readings in the back – Marie Laveau is one part tourist trap, one part museum and one part shrine—and 100% New Orleans! Whether you’re looking to learn about Louisiana’s most famous Voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau, find out about your future, or add to your collection of talismans and charms, the Marie Laveau House of Voodoo is well worth a visit.
Mystic Tea Leaves
638 1/2 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
“A professional authentic establishment for the psychic arts” with a teacup galleria featuring more than 800 teacups from around the world, several of which are autographed by the celebrities, Mystic Tea Leaves is your one-stop shop for “tarot-tea-voodoo,” where the wacky and the esoterica blend to cast a memorably enchanting spell.
Reverend Zombie’s House of Voodoo
723 St Peter Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Just around the corner from Marie Laveau’s Bourbon Street mecca, Reverend Zombie’s House of Voodoo offers a more relaxed yet just as fascinating opportunity for occult shopping and psychic readers. Also, the name of this shop is intriguing, am I right?
Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans Cultural Center & Collection
612 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Providing a “complete line of locally handmade” Voodoo dolls, gris-gris bags, potion, oils, and more, alongside spiritual work and consultations by an “experienced team of in-house practitioners,” Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans is also home to the annual Voodoofest every October 31st. This year’s fest marks 15 years of Halloween fun with free events from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m with a closing ancestral ritual ceremony.
VooDoo Spiritual Temple
828 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Established in 1990 by Priestess Miriam and Priest Oswan Chamani, the VooDoo Spiritual Temple’s main focus is on “traditional West African spiritual and herbal healing practices.” Located near historic Congo Square, services here include consultations, rituals, potions, tours, and lectures to “touch the soul of all people.”
Have you explored New Orleans‘ rich voodoo culture? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!