Read on for a short conversation with Bloody Mary about her book, Bloody Mary’s Guide to Hauntings, Horrors and Dancing with the Dead.
What made you decide to write this book?
It seems like everyone is fascinated by the ghosts of New Orleans. Over the years I have been the spokesperson, the researcher and the local expert for the New Orleans spirit world. It seems like most paranormal related books, articles, TV shows and tours, reduce the facts into little sound bites and my goal with this book is to share the in-depth knowledge that I have through my long-standing relationships with the city and her spirits.
How long have you known about the spirit world?
As a child growing up in New Orleans, supernatural occurrences surrounded me. My whole life has been filled with spirits and dream visions, and I worked at growing and developing my psychic abilities. I love to research and begun as a young girl to understand these occurrences. As a spiritualist, I was so immersed in the spirit world that they led me to this vocation and to become a priestess.
What do you tell the non-believers?
I like to say the same thing to non-believers that I say to believers. I’m not here to convert anyone but to plant a seed of the countless possibilities all around us. The healing and respect I try to model will heal both the living and the dead. My goal is to spark a little something from deep inside every person, no matter age, experience, psychic ability or belief system.
Why are you an advocate for spirit rights?
I believe that many TV shows, horror movies and most mainstream religions have demonized the spirit worlds. There could be a few misunderstood spirits, and even fewer true evil ones, all spirits can be worked with and healed. The scare tactics and abnormal fears that are apparent in horror movies and similar TV shows are why people are afraid of so many things that they shouldn’t be afraid of. Fear, in fact, will call more negative energy their way. Spirits were here before many of us were. They have rights, wisdom, and a protective ability that is crucial to our wellbeing. They built the world in which we live and they deserve credit. It is time we wake up, thank and work with our ancestors. They deserve respect.
How did Hurricane Katrina effect the spirit world in New Orleans?
This could be an entire book on its own! We had far less spirits in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina than we did before. For three years following the storm, there was a giant void. We became a ghost town of a different type. The dark side was very present during those years, especially with many of the other spirits gone; there was no balance. Slowly, and with guidance, the other spirits returned. We were vulnerable and afraid. What crept in during that time was a true nightmare. Since then, order has been restored.
Bloody Mary runs ‘Bloody Mary’s Tours’ and lectures at Loyola and Tulane Universities. She has been featured on hundreds of television and radio broadcasts, both national and international, including the SyFy, BBC, CNN, The History Channel, and Ghost Adventurers. An 11th generation Creole New Orleanian, she is hell-bent on preserving the important mystical traditions and magical customs that are in danger of becoming extinct in her hometown. Visit her at www.bloodymarystours.com