The Ghosts of the Beauregard-Keyes House
Commissioned by a confederate soldier, built by slaves, owned by gangsters, and eventually purchased by a poet, the Beauregard-Keyes House located at 1113 Charles St. in New Orleans, Louisiana is known by many as one of America’s most haunted houses. Over the years, visitors to this historic site have reported seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling a paranormal presence, and locals have been reporting regular hauntings for decades.
But, who (or what) could be residing within the walls of this French Quarter estate?
Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard:
The original owner of the home and property, Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was a confederate soldier when he commissioned the building of the estate. Pierre, who dedicated most of his career to fighting the Union and supporting the Confederate Army, did not reside in the home long, but that hasn’t stopped many from speculating that his ghost may still wander the property.
Some reports claim that Pierre’s spirit remains trapped within the home, reliving the battles fought in the Civil War over and over again with the ghosts of confederate soldiers. Some people have reported seeing full apparitions dressed in Civil War-era military regalia, or have claimed to hear gunshots coming from nowhere in the middle of the night. Others still have said that the home sometimes smells of cannon smoke and that the spirits practice fighting tactics nightly.
When the Beauregard-Keyes home was constructed in 1926, slavery was still widely accepted and entirely legal. Because of this, the workforce tasked with building the home was likely comprised of unpaid slave laborers. According to some, the suffering endured during the building process attached the spirits of these men to the home, and some visitors claim to be able to hear them scream inside the walls of the BK house at night.
When Pietro Giacona, a “liquor wholesaler” moved into the Beauregard-Keyes house with his family, they began to receive a lot of attention from the local mob. Making a pretty penny off illegal liquor sales was one thing, but when Giacona began infiltrating the territory run by the Mob, tensions began to rise. Rather than wait for the gangsters to take matters into their own hands, Pietro invited three high-ranking mobsters to his home for dinner, where he and his son ambushed the visitors, shooting them to death with their own guns. Some believe that the direct killing of three men in the home resulted in their souls attaching to the home where they still remain to this day.
Frances Parkinson Keyes
An author and poet with an eye for beauty, Frances Parkinson Keyes was the final owner of the Beauregard-Keyes House before turning it into a museum and historical site. Frances worked to restore the building, using the proceeds from her various novels and money earned from her late husbands to accomplish the task. A wealthy, social lady well into her old age, Frances spent winters in New Orleans at the BK house, eventually passing away in 1970. According to some, it is Frances that wanders the halls of the BK house, checking to be sure her home is being maintained, and keeping an eye on her garden.
A Mysterious Entity:
Though there are plenty of theories as to who the spirit connected to the Beauregard-Keyes House may be, there are some who believe that it is some mysterious and evil entity, capable of driving people insane. Besides the murders and somewhat strange behavior exhibited by some inhabitants of the Beauregard-Keyes House, the grandson (Paul Morphy) of original owner Pierre Toutant-Beauregard expressed firsthand that something within the home had made him lose his mind.
A world-renowned chess champion as a child, Paul was discovered by the police naked, terrified, and holding a hammer as he sprinted down the street in the middle of the New Orleans French Quarter. After spewing obscenities and threatening to hurt anyone in his path, Paul eventually returned to a sound state of mind but claimed that something in the house had possessed him.
It is still unclear who or what exactly haunts the halls of the Beauregard-Keyes House, but there is still plenty of time to solve the mystery. Visit the Beauregard-Keyes House yourself for a tour, and listen carefully to see if you can hear the screams, cries, and cursings of the home’s previous tenants.