Things are about to get groovy as we visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 with our special tour guide, "The Witch Queen of New Orleans," Mary Oneida Toups! Follow us as we venture through New Orleans's oldest and most haunted cemetery while socializing with the spirits that dwell there, including "Voodoo Queen" herself, Madam Marie Laveau. We also have a run-in with the Devil of Algiers, so look out!
Born in Mississippi in 1928, Mary Oneida married a Cajun Freemason, Albert Toups. In 1968, Mary and Albert moved to New Orleans where Mary's love and passion for witchcraft and the occult blossomed to such heights that she chartered the Religious Order of Witchcraft in 1972, the first coven to be registered as an official religious organization within the state of Louisiana.
Mary Toups said, "the dead walk the alleys of St. Louis No. 1 more than the living. And when I pass over, I’ll certainly be one of them.” Her cause of death is a mystery, with historians speculating that she was either poisoned or suffered a brain tumor. While it is believed that Mary and Albert Toups are buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in a deliberately unmarked tomb, this has never been confirmed.
The most famous spirit said to roam the cemetery is that of "Voodoo Queen," Madam Marie Laveau. Born in 1801, Marie was a free woman of color with African, Native American, and French decency. Laveau was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo, herbalist and midwife who made a lucrative life for herself in New Orleans. Renowned for her healing and wisdom, many naysayers believe she acquired her knowledge from the help of New Orleans elite, and not always by kind tactics. She died in 1881 at 79 years old, peacefully in her bed.
The tomb of Marie Laveau is often marked with the "X"s by hopefuls requesting good fortune from her spirit. If their wishes are met, they are to return to her tomb with an offering in repayment. While this is a long tradition of St. Louis, defacing the tomb today will get you fined (just write the "X"s with your fingers).
While St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of New Orleans's most popular haunted attractions, NOLA is haunted by more than just ghosts. The "Devil-Man" had Algiers in a panic in 1938. Terrorizing drivers, shouting sexist & racist comments to residents, and storming bars demanding free beer to evade eternal damnation. The Devil-Man was an unstoppable nuisance. When police went to shoot the Devil-Man, their bullets were said to have been returned to them by a summoned set of furry hands.
Police apprehended a man who called himself, "Lord Herold." Later identified as Clark Carlton, a black man who had traveled to NOLA all the way from Arkansas. He claimed all of the chaos in Algiers was his doing and that he was sent to New Orleans by the ancient Roman god of the sea, Neptune. Despite admitting to the crime spree, the PD kept getting reports of devil sightings. After that night, the devil made one last appearance in Algiers, as a woman was said to have given birth to a "Baby-Devil."
For photos, cast info, updates, and more, follow us on Instagram @thetalegatepodcast and share YOUR encounters to email@example.com.
See you later, Talegaters!
“Cheese Head” & “Paul Morphy” played by Aaron Sherry
“Florida Man” & “Bernard de Bore” played by Harrison Foreman
“Mary Oneida Toups” played by Kathryn Baker (check out her HP short film)
“Ernest Nathan Morial” played by Greg Hernandez
“Maria Laveau” played by Zemelis Samuel
“Dev” played by Tommy Schwanfelder
"Groovy Retro 70's Vibe Police Theme Music" by Studio Rodent
"Talegate Theme" by Mat Jones
Written & Edited by Harrison Foreman
Support the show
THE TALEGATE PODCAST
EP 15: THE SPIRITS OF ST. LOUIS CEMETERY AND THE DEVIL OF ALGIERS
FLORIDA MAN: Howdy folks, and welcome to The Talegate!
CHEESEHEAD: For those of you just joining us, we’re on a roadtrip across America to uncover the mysteries behind tall tales, fairy tales, folktales, fishtales, & urban legends, one interview at a time.
FM: We inherited a truck from our late Granny May only to discover that the crystal hanging off the rearview mirror was more than decorative. It is a Dowsing Pendulum leading us to the good folks behind the tales we all grew up with.
CH: Today we return to you from the French Quarter, New Orleans. Where the beads are as plentiful as the mosquitos. Also, home of Saint Germain from our previous episode.
FM: That’s right! And for those of you joinin’ us for the first time, we’ve been cursed by the
Mummy of an ancient pharaoh after unsealing his canopic jar.
CH: Yah, kind of a bummer.
FM: We’re also being pursued by the MIB following an alien abduction that landed Cheesehead a hot date with a freaky alien.
CH: First part’s a bummer. Second part is a dream come true! Plus, the restaurant I take her too
won’t even need to provide us flatware… because she comes with her own saucer!
FM: That’s pretty terrible. And with that, I’m Harrison the Florida Man.
CH: And I’m Aaron the Cheesehead. Today we come to you from gates of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: one of three of these Roman Catholic cemeteries here in Nawleens. Did I say that right?
CH: St. Louis Cemetery 1 and 2 are among the National Register of Historic Places alongside Spook Hill, Castillo de San Marco, King’s Tavern, and other places we’ve visited in prior episodes. So you haven’t listened to those, hop to it!
FM: Speakin’ of hops, what we drinkin’ today, Cheesehead?
CH: Tonight’s brewskis come from NOLA Brewery. It’s called “Mecha Pale Ale” and will slap your brain with a monstrous 8.8 ABV.
FM: Monsterous is right, it’s even got a giant red dragon scaling the city like King Kong and chompin’ down on a giant hop on the can art. I love me some good beer can and bottle art.
CH: Ah shoot, our guide just arrived.
FM: Ah shoot? Weren’t that supposed to happen?
CH: Sure. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is only accessible via licensed guided tour, unless you’re a ghost, of course. Unfortunately, there’s no alcohol allowed aloud on the premises, so chug it fast. I don’t want to get arrested again.
CH: Don’t worry about it. The real reason you can only visit via guided tour is because tourists kept defacing the property.
FM: Man, Vandals and legend-tippers gotta ruin everything. Welp, cheers.
[Clink; Chugs beers]
FM: So here’s the deal, Cheesehead and I both got our lapel mics on and are about to enter the graveyard now. With any luck, our mics will pick up the tour guide clear enough to share with y’all at home!
CH: Shhh, she’s starting.
TOUR GUIDE: Hi everyone, my name is Kay Davver and I’ll be your tour guide for the evening. Welcome to the oldest and most haunted cemetery in town!
[Some “woo”s and claps]
TOUR GUIDE: Now St Louis Cemetery No 1 was built in 1789. Now, believe it or not, as remarkable as that is, it actually replaced the even older, St. Peter Cemetery, after the fire of 1788. This cemetery takes up a full block of New Orleans real estate and houses some famous and even infamous historical figures. Now while this cemetery is procured by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Orleans, the northwestern most section of this cemetery is Prodestant and you won’t belieeeeeeeeeeeve...[fades out]
TOUPS: [hush like] Hey, psst! You two.
FM: [hush like] Hey ma’am. What you doing way on back there creepin’ ‘round like that? We’re supposed to stay with the group.
CH: [hush like] Yea, we were told to follow that tour guide there. We don’t want any trouble
TOUPS: I’ll give you the skinny, you dig?
CH: Wait, you want to be our tour guide?
TOUPS: Totally! I’m a super secret tour guide that gives special tours to randomly selected tourists. Just boot it over here before the rest of the tour sees you.
CH: Whatcha think, Florida Man? Stay with our guided tour or believe whis random whispering bohemian lady-- oh, you’re already over there.
FM: Sorry! I want that special tour though, don’t you?
CH: Sure do!
TOUPS: Shh, don’t let those the others hear you leave.
FM: Right, because they weren’t randomly-selected like us.
CH: Must be our lucky day. An exclusive tour all to ourselves? Hot damn, yes ma’am!
FM: I’m tellin’ ya. Wait--why am I “ma’am?” Don’t matter, just duck ‘round the corner like I did, and get in the clear!
CH: Okay, here I go [panting & trekking sounds]
FM: Yelp, here we are, ma’am! Happy to be selected!
TOUPS: Stoked to have you! First off, I’d like to introduce you boys to your groovy, new tour guide, Mary Oneida Toups. But you cool cats can just call me Mary.
FM: Heck yea, Mary! Let’s do it!.
TOUPS: Rock’n’Roll. Follow me.
[Gravel footsteps; men talking fades in]
CH: Whoa, who’s that?
TOUPS: Oh just some bomb friends of mine. Nearby residents, catch my drift? Over on the left there is Paul Morphy, hey dude!
PAUL: Mary. Your move, Bernard.
TOUPS: Across the chess board there is holding the deck of cards in one hand and sword in the other is Bernard de Bore.
BERNARD: Bonswa. How about we play a real game, like craps?
PAUL: Come now, don’t be a sore loser. Check.
TOUPS: I’m out for lunch when it comes to Chess, but we all got our own groove here at St Lou’s.
FM: Sweet! Atmospheric actors! Look at Bernard there, Cheeshead! All in that 19th century french garb and what not.
CH: Uh, Florida Man, a word?
FM: Sure. Hit me.
CH: [Whisper] I don’t think these guys are actors. That’s Paul Morphy. The real Paul Morphy.
FM: Look me in face. I’m supposed to know who the hell that is?
CH: Cripes, Paul Morphy? "The Pride and Sorrow of Chess?"
FM: I don’t follow chess, man. And heck, since when did you?
CH: Since I binged Queens Gambit on Netflix.
FM: Only Nawlin’s Gambit I know is an X-Men.
CH: Well, Paul Morphy was a chess prodigy called “the sorrow” due to retiring from competitive chess at a very young age, despite being Second World Chess Champion.
FM: Awesome, man. Want me to ask him for an autograph for you or something?
CH: Paul Morphy died in 1884. He must be buried here. I bet his buddy across the table setting up craps is buried somewhere in this cemetery, too.
TOUPS: Oh, Bernard de Bore? Yes, he’s a famed craps player and Creole aristocrat.
FM: Holy shit, is Bernard lighting up a cigar with a hundred dollar bill?
TOUPS: Yea man, it’s pretty far out. While he’s most famous as a swashbuckling gambler, patrician, and Bogart, he is actually the very same bon vivant who built New Orlean’s first suburbs.
CH: Oh wow, sounds like an amazing man. What other fun facts can you tell us about him?
TOUPS: He was the first major of New Orleans.
TOUPS: Ahead of the game in the sugar industry.
TOUPS: And a big ol’ slave owner.
CH: Ah geez. Nevermind.
FM: Womp womp.
TOUPS: Shall we continue the tour?
FM: Sounds good.
TOUPS: Narly. There is a great guy here I’d like to introduce you to.
CH: This one a winner like your friend, Bernard?
ERNEST: Forget that fool.
TOUPS: This here is Ernest Nathan Morial.
FM: Why does that sound familiar?
ERNEST: Call me Dutch.
TOUPS: His son, Marc, was Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 through 2002. But, more importantly, Earnest here is was the first African-American mayor, serving from 1978 to 1986.
ERNEST: Had the ten-block-spanning convention center here named in my honor. I’m proud to have had a structure in my name serve as an evacuation center during Hurricane Katrina. Did a lot of people good.
CH: Wowzers, I don’t even know where to start. First off, that’s amazing-you’re amazing! Second off…
ERNEST: I appreciate all you’re saying, but I’m a ghost. What’s done is done. I made life better in the past. You make it better in the future.
CH: You betcha, Mr. Dutch!
TOUPS: So is this you boys’s first time in New Orleans?
[Together:] CH: Yah.
[Together:] FM: Nah.
TOUPS: Have you taken in any other sights? Maybe a witch shop or two?
CH: Witch's shop? Sure haven’t.
TOUPS: No need to be rude about it.
CH: Ah geez, didn’t mean any offense. Are you into witchcraft and stuff like that?
TOUPS: One might say I’m the godmother of witchcraft here in NOLA, but I’ll give you the low down on that later on in the tour.
CH: Ah, well, while we haven’t visited any witch shops yet, we have been to Cafe Du Monte for beignets…
FM: Mother’s Restaurant for Po’Boys…
CH: Gumbo from The Gumbo Shop...
FM: Crawfish from Daisy Dukes… did you know you got to bite off the heads of them lil’ lobsters?
TOUPS: Wow, has your entire tour of this magnificent city so far been entirely food-based?
FM: Nah. I’ll have you know we also drank pints at The Avenue Pub…
CH: And long islands at The Carousel!
TOUPS: Just food and alcohol, then? Jeeper Creepers. Let me assure you that you are standing in one of the richest cultural centers in the entirety of the United States. Haven’t you taken in at least one museum or historical site besides this one?
CH: We were going to do a tour of Mardi Gras World.
TOUPS. Ooo, good call on that one. Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday…
FM: Not very body-positive of Tuesday, but aight.
TOUPS: ...falls between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. A way to get all the vices out of your system before Lent. New Oreans, after all, was first established by Catholic colonists.
While Mardi Gras is obviously a big to-do in New Orleans, it is celebrated in Catholic-centric communities all around the world. It was introduced here by the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre and Jean-Baptist, who were sent here in the charge of King Louis XIV to defend the then-French-owned Louisiana Territory.
FM: Guessin’ the ghost of ol’ Louis ain’t be a big fan of Napoleon.
TOUPS: Almost certainly not. Any other bomb museums you plan to soak in?
CH: Ah, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum sounds hella neat! We were thinking about touring that one tomorrow, time permitted. I heard that one’s pretty haunted.
FM: Heck yea, can’t wait to pharma-see it!
FM: So far most of the ghosts we met are the friendly type. Jóse Gaspar, Railroad Bill, Huggin’ Molly…
CH: Yah, but that Three-Legged Lady was something nasty.
FM: Oh yea. Tried to block that one out of my memory.
TOUPS: Oh, there’s a good deal of ghosts at the Pharmacy Museum: some of them friendly, others, well. There's the infamous Dr. Dupas for example. Still seen wearing his old brown suit and hat, from what I hear.
CH: What’s he infamous for? Placebos? Extra coke in his sodas?
TOUPS: Performing a series of horrendous experiments on pregnant women.
CH: Woof. Maybe we ought to steer clear.
TOUPS: You have beer belly, not a pregnant belly, so I think you’re in the clear. But alas, the damned soul of Dr. Dupas is still at large. An angry spirit infamous more these days for setting off alarms and wrecking the facility after hours.
CH: Is his first name “Tom? Because he sounds Petty as fuck.
TOUPS: Rumor has it that he always had a get-away carriage ready out back in case those poor pregnant girls died under his care.
FM: Was his driver’s name Richard? Cause that’s still Petty as fuck.
TOUPS: Not all the spirits at the Pharmacy Museum are petty and malevolent. Two children are said to wander the corridors and courtyard of the property, believed to belong to Louis Dufilho Jr, who owned the pharmacy before selling it to the devious Dr. Dupas. You can still pick up a handful of useful goods at the Pharmacy for witchcraft, and I suppose for voo-doo, too, if that’s your dish.
CH: It’s not. I don’t know the first thing about Voo-Doo other than it’s apparently evil as shit.
MARIE LAVEAU: I would like to correct that misguided misstatement.
CH: Wowzers, hey there, Miss!
MARIE: Miss? I am Madam Marie Laveau, Voo Doo Queen of New Oreleans!
FM: Uh, Madam Laveau, you got a da-Damn big snake on your shoulders, ‘case you ain’t know.
MARIE: Snake? You mean ol’ Zombi here? [Hiss] Who’s a good girl? Yes, you are. Yes you are!
CH: Wowzers, Miss Lavaeu, we didn’t mean to offend you just now! We just don’t know much about Voo Doo besides the scary things we see on TV and in movies.
MARIE: There’s a lot of conjecture about me from those vultures who attack my credibility as a Spiritualist and spoil the reputation of Louisiana VooDoo.
TOUPS: Good grief, here we go again.
MARIE: Give it a rest, you new-aged, antiquated rogue. Despite what SOME people say about me and my practices, VooDoo isn’t evil. There is a dark side to it, that I will concede, but it’s just the same as any other religion. You have your light figures and you have your dark.
CH: Yea but horror movies always show voodoo as a wicked dark art that inflicts pain through black magic, voodoo dolls, and other creepy tactics!
MARIE: And horror films portraying Chrirtianity usually focus on demons and possessions. Hollywood rarely showcases the light sides of religion because that doesn’t make for very good horror.
FM: Good point.
CH: Yah, yanno, I never thought of it that way.
MARIE: How about take a seat here and let ol Marie Laveau teach you boys a thing or two? My story began as a freed woman of color and humble hairdresser of the New Orleans elite.
TOUPS: Humble indeed. Isn’t hairdressing for the elite where you *ahem* “magically” obtained your information on the wealthy? That and the bullying and exploiting of their help, of course.
MARIE: It is true that I had relationships within certain prominent households, and many a whisper found my ear. But that doesn’t make me a charlatan. It’s humorous that you’d try to condemn me for my practices. What is it you did with yours again? That’s right, you opened shops in the French Quarter to peddle your grass clipping and profit off the ignorance of tourists like some cheap old trotter.
TOUPS: I’ll have you know that I, a woman no less, chartered The Religious Order of Witchcraft in 1972; the first coven to be registered as a religious organization in the state of Louisiana. It might not be the African and Caribbean-rooted practices you’re used to, but that doesn’t make my craft any less authentic.
MARIE: “Woman no less” [laughs]. Try being a religious leader AND a woman of color in the 19th century.
CH: Oooo, she’s gotcha there.
TOUPS: Woman of color, right. How many slaves did you own again? It recall it was seven, at least.
MARIE: Get her, Zombie!
FM: Whoa whoa whoa, break it up ladies! Y’all both made strides for womankind and your own religious beliefs, respectively.
MARIE: Well, boys if you want to learn more about Louisiana Voodoo, return to my mausoleum here and--
CH: Write “X”s on your grave? Because wowzers, if your grave here isn’t covered in them!
MARIE: Word got around that if you pay my grave a visit and compliment me as Voodoo Queen, draw three crosses on my tomb, and make a wish, I may help it come true. Should your wish be granted, you are meant to return here with offerings such as flowers as a token of gratitude.
FM: Sounds a whole lot like legend tipping--a right of passage where people travel to perform rituals or acts of vandalism on supposedly haunted or abandoned points of interest. We encountered something similar with the Devil’s Chair in Cassadaga, Florida.
CH: And again with the Mausoleum of Mary Bibb at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.
MARIE: Knocking three times or simply making “X”s with your fingers is a much preferred alternative to defacing my mausoleum. Plus, writing on it these days will get you served a hefty fine. Go ahead, make a wish.
CH: Sure! Er… that okay with you, Mrs. Mary?
TOUPS: If you must.
CH: Okie dokie then! Three “X”s with my fingers there…
FM: Aight, and now making a wish’ for a…
MARIE: Not out loud!
FM: Whoops, my bad, my bad. Aaaaand, boom. Think we’re good.
CH: Yah, we’re good now.
MARIE: Good luck boys, especially with that curse… [haunting laugh that fades out]
CH: Well that laugh will haunt my dreams tonight.
FM: You know, that’s the second person in New Orleans to comment on our Mummy’s Curse. We are going to break that curse, right?
CH: Oh absolutely. Our plan is 100% fool-proof, doncha know! We’ll be fine.
TOUPS: Shall we continue our little tour?
CH: You betcha!
FM: Man, got many graves out here… whoa, is that a giant pyramid? Whoever’s buried there must be super important.
TOUPS: [Laughs] Sure, a real National Treasure, one might say. This pyramidal tomb is 9ft tall and one of the newest residential plots here at St Louis Cemetery, being built as recently as 2010.
FM: Wait a sec… ain’t no name on it. No dates. No nothin’ but some words I can’t pronounce.
TOUPS: This tomb sits empty for now. It belongs to American actor, Nicolas Cage.
CH: Nic Cage built himself a 9ft pyramid in the middle of the oldest, most haunted cemetery in New Orleans? Yah, he would do that.
FM: Think I’d be more surprised if he didn’t some somethin’ like that. I am however surprised by the numerous lipstick kissed all over his gravesite. What’s that all about?
TOUPS: Despite the public outcry and sheer ludicracy of its existence, it’s already developed its own unique lore and traditions. Oddly enough involving lipstick and kissing stone.
CH: The only words on it say “Omnia Ab Uno.”
TOUPS: Latin for “Everything From One.”
CH: Pretty deep for an above-ground tomb.
TOUR GUIDE: Hey did you guys see where those two weird boys ran off too? The ones wearing the ball cap and the other what appeared to be a giant block of cheese?
FM: [hush like] Hey! You said you were a sanctioned, super special tour guide!
TOUPS: Sanctioned? What I said was “I’m a super secret tour guide that gives special tours to randomly selected tourists.” I never said it was an official, sanctioned tour. You flat leavers came up with that on your own.
CH: Okay, so your not wrong. But what are are gonna do now? This makes us trespassers!
TOUPS: You’re sound as a pound, man. Just stick with me and keep truckin’ because I have a one more important gravesite to show you.
CH: B-b-b-but what if we get caught? I don’t wanna go to jail again!
FM: Scared to drop the soap?
CH: Of course I am! Do you know how filthy those jail shower floors are? No thank you.
TOUPS: Are you jivin' yet, or are we just going to stand here all night? Take a chill pill and follow, will ya?
FM: [whisper] Sure thing ma’am.
Ghost: Evening, Mary.
Ghost2: Moon’s a beaut tonight, huh, Mrs. Toups?
TOUPS: Top of the night, gentleman.
CH: Ghost friends of yours?
TOUPS: Ghost friends? Alive or dead, doesn’t matter. Friends are friends. And… here we are!
FM: Huh. The tomb of Homer Plessy. Sounds familiar.
TOUPS: Homer Plessy is perhaps the most remarkable person buried here. Born 1862, his skin was fair but he was actually 1/8th black, and back then, 1/8th black meant you were not white no matter how fair you appeared. He was cleared to sit in the white section of the bus, the busdriver being none-the-wiser, until Homer declared his heritage loud and proud.
FM: Sure that sat well in times of them dirty Jim Crows.
CH: I’m guessing he was booted off the bus and jailed?
TOUPS: Yea, man. But it led to the landmark Supreme Court case, Plessy VS Ferguson, which established the separate but equal doctrine, also known as segregation. However, it did start a revolutionary ripple of change that led to formation of the NAACP and to Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.
FM: Damn. You weren’t kiddin’ when you said he was remarkable.
TOUPS: Indeed he was. Honestly, I could go all night telling you the history of this St Louis Cemetery No 1. and not even scratch the surface. But I should probably let you boys go before you get caught.
CH: Before you do that, hows about you tell us a little bit about yourself, Miss Toups?
TOUPS: Mrs., actually, and I would love to! Unlike a lot of the souls contained within these gates, I wasn’t born in the 19 century or prior. I was born in 1928 in Mississippi, not too awful far from here.
FM: Yea, we just drove through Mississippi. Interesting state, to say the least. Love that Barq’s Red Creme Soda.
TOUPS: I moved to New Orleans when I was forty, and married a handsome cajun and Freemason, Albert Toups.
CH: Freemason, huh? Wonder if he knows Saint Germain.
TOUPS: Undoubtedly. But as I mentioned earlier, I kinda chartered the Religious Order of Witchcraft in 1972, Lousisana’s first coven to be registered as an official religion. So, yanno, pretty big deal, you copy?
FM: I copy. So what then, you lead church sermons and such?
CH: More importantly, do you know The Witch in the Woods? We searched for her but came up short.
TOUPS: There are many witches throughout many woods, so I’m not sure how to help you going off of that alone. And yes, I would lead our practice of Western ceremonial magic with the coven in front of Popp Fountain in City Park.
I was also owner of two witch shops in the French Quarter and am author of the book, Magick High and Low. OH, I was also name-dropped in American Horror Story: Coven, so that was pretty rad.
FM: Can I ask how you died, Mrs Mary?
MARY: That is the real question, isn’t it? Some rumors say I was poisoned, others say I died of a brain tumor.
FM: Well, which was it?
MARY: That’s the beauty of rumors: they create an enduring air of mystery. And I wouldn’t end my legacy any other way.
CH: Couldn’t they just exhume and do an autopsy to find out the truth though? I mean, you and your husband are buried here, right?
FM: Come to think of it, you showed up a whole lot of graves, but ain’t a one of ‘em yours.
MARY: I always said, “the dead walk the alleys of St. Louis No. 1 more than the living. And when I pass over, I’ll certainly be one of them.” And I’ve made due on my word, as here I walk. As for the body of me and my husband, perhaps we’re buried here in a secret tomb, perhaps not.
TOUR GUIDE: Hey, I heard someone talking over there by Plessy! I think we found them!
CH: Yah, I think that’s our que to go.
FM: Hey, thanks for the special tour, Mary. Assuming, ‘course we don’t end up gettin’ arrested from it.
TOUPS: Don’t mention it! And for anyone interested in my life’s work, purchase my book, Magick High and Low, ya dig? Oh, and boys, if you’re passing through Algiers, be careful. And, whatever you do, don’t pick up hitchhikers.
CH: Whoa! She just up and disappeared.
FM: She is a ghost, reckon that’s pretty normal.
CH: True. Now let’s get out of here, Florida Man! Security is closing in!
FM: Ain’t gotta tell me twice. My record is stained enough without adding trespassing in a historic graveyard to the list.
FM: Oh hey, there’s Mary way across the yard.
CH: Did she just winkie-face at us?
TOUPS: [Yells] Catch you on the flip side, Talegaters! (Mary also readys Credits at the end)
TOUR GUIDES: Who was that? Get her!
[Gravel running sounds; squeaky gate open and close]
FM: Phew, made it back to the truck before security saw us. Wanna head to the hotel for some more beer?
CH: Oh, you betcha. Only… we are most definitely passing through Algiers according to GPS. Isn’t that where Mary Toups warned us not to go?
[Start truck and drive]
FM: Yea. Didn’t say why though. Reckon they just don’t take kindly to witchcraft in them parts. At any rate, her tour turned out way better than I thought! Never thought I’d meet so many historical ghosts in one spot!
CH: Sure was awfully swell of Mary Toups to show us around like that. Okie dokie, all we gotta do now is cross over the Mississippi River into Algiers Point.
FM: Let’s cross that bridge then. What’s the worst that could happen?
CH: The bridge collapsing.
FM: Well, I meant in Algiers.
CH: Oh. Maybe gas prices are higher?
FM: Or worse, the beers prices are higher!
CH: Ah geez, don’t even joke! Hey, what are you doing over there?
FM: Just a little last-minute research on Algiers while you drive. Apparently this part of New Orleans has a rich and devilish history.
CH: Oh, hey, who’s that fella there waving us down over ther?
FM: Looks like a hitchhiker, pull over right quick. [to Devil] Howdy, fella. You need help or somethin?
CH: What’d he say, Florida Man?
FM: Uh, ain’t say a damn thing. Just smilin’ at me all creepy-like and gesturing to our truck. [to Devil] Hey, reckon you need a ride or somrthin? [To cheesehead] He’s nodding yes. Should we let him hop in the truck bed?
CH: The good samaritan in me wants to say yes, but I’ll be real with you, I got a bad feeling about this. Like a dark sense in the pit of my stomach, I’m going to drive on. I’m sorry.
FM: Don’t be, I ain’t get the best feelin’ myself. Aight, we drive on. [Devil] Sorry pal, truck’s full!
CH: Yah, that was just creepy.
FM: Seriously, like… use your words. Anyway, back to my research here: Algiers seems to have a devil problem.
CH: Well I’ll be gosh darned.
FM: It all goes back to 1918 when a serial axeman murdered up and down these streets, only to disappear a year later. He left a letter behind before vanishing, claiming to be a demon. With the “Devil” lingering in the consciousness of these here residents, didn’t take long for the legend of the devil to resurface in Algier.
CH: Ya don’t say?
FM: A Devil-Man was first sighted in 1938 zippin’ ‘round town and shouting sexist insults to women and causing havoc in bars and homes. Scarier still, a married couple were driving home one night and spotted a suspicious lookin’ feller askin’ to bum a ride. The wife’s stranger-danger kicked in, and rightfully so, and the couple left his ass in the dust.
CH: Huh, just like we did back there, haha.
FM: Whoa whoa whoa, slow down.
CH: Huh? Why?
FM: Look over there, gas station on the left.
CH: Hey, that looks like the exact same hitchhiker from a few miles back! He’s yelling at us this time. Should I pull over or?
DEV: [shouting] Evening, fine gentleman, a ride for an old beggar? Nothing fishy going on here...
FM: No way in hell. Keep going, keep going!
CH: Okay, you sure?
FM: Man, listen, says here that further down the road a’ways the couple spotted the same man shoutin’ for a ride. ‘Course that was met with a big ol’ Hell-to-the-No, and the couple kept on truckin’, only to see the exact same man a further ten miles down.
CH: Ufda, I sure hope that don’t happen to us-- Ah shoot, spoke too soon! There he is again.
FM: Dude, hell no. Gun it!
CH: I can’t, it’s a red light! What do I do, he’s walking right at us and grinning ear-to-ear!
FM: Lock your doors, lock your doors! Green! Floor it, Cheesehead!
CH: Jesus Mary Joseph, he was RIGHT at your window!
FM: I’m tellin’ you! Closer he got, less he even looked human. In fact, according to this story here, the couple drivin’ hope saw the man reappear in a few more miles away, but this time the man revealed his true form--
CH: Fuck me! [screech of breaks] He’s ahead of us again, in the middle of the road! What does your little your story say about dat?
FM: He revealed his true form: as he was a devil in disguise! Scared as all get out, the couple sped for home, only to met a final time by the fiend. Shit, look, he’s ripping his human flesh off like it were some cheap Hallowen costume.
CH: The red skin!
FM: The horns!
CH: The tail!
FM: The pitchfork!
CH: The...fuck and we still doing here? [peelin out] I’m swerving around this mamajama. [Swerve; panting] So, you said he appeared to them a final time? And for the love of Frarve, tell me he doesn’t appear in the back seat.
FM: We don’t even have a back seat.
CH: Oh yah. True. So then, was he still trying to hitchhike?
FM: Not no more. Homeboy rode up on the couple ridin’ a brown steed. They managed to out maneuver the devil and made it home. They reported the innocent to the police and they not only searched for the devil, but apparently ran into him several times, though he was always a cloven hoof ahead of ‘em. By the time they landed some bullets on him, the bullets were apparently returned to the officers by a set of furry claws.
[Approaching hoof sounds]
CH: Holy shit! In the rearview… Look!
FM: The devil’s ridin’ up on us ona brown steed just like the story! Guess this is how it all ends.
CH: I love you, buddy.
FM: I love you, too, man.
DEV: Oh stop with the theatrics and pull over already, you knuckle-dragging simpletons! Don’t you recognize your dear old friend?
FM: Whoa, look, Cheeshead! It’s Dev! For y’all at home that skip episodes, we visited the Devil’s Chair in Cassadaga, FL, in Episode 4, and met the devil himself. Ain’t so bad a guy if you bring good booze as an offering.
CH: Well curd my cheese, had I known it was Dev this whole time, I’d definitely have picked him up way on back! Roll down the window.
FM: Got it.
CH: [Shouting] Hey Dev! We’re just heading to our hotel. Care to join?
DEV: Affirmative. I shall follow you on my hellsteed! Tally-Ho!
FM: In the mean time, let finish the story all quick-like. SO the rascally devil caused such a ruckus that night that the police station was overwhelmed with calls. In the end, there was only one arrest, a black fella named Clark Clarlton.
CH: Of course the white police would accuse a black man.
FM: I mean, sure bunch of them policemen were undoubtedly racist as hell. We’re talkin’ 1930’ Louisiana here. But oddly enough, they booked him because Clark, who went by “Lord Harold” according to this newspaper article, confessed that it were him behind all the chaos’. Said it weren’t the devil that sent him, but an entity more powerful. A god. Funny thing was, while they booked Clark Charlton, chaos was still being reported, meaning the culprit weren’t just him.
CH: Holy Fazollis.
FM: Now I got hankerin’ for complimentary breadsticks. Anyway, apparently over 200 more reports came in. Bartenders claimed the Devil appeared in their bars, scaring them into pouring free drinks.
CH: That’s probably what I’d do if I were the devil.
FM: Oh you know it. Free drinks? Yes pleeease.
CH: What did the police do then? They booked a guy claiming to be the cause of the havok, yet the havok persisted even with him in custody.
FM: Police sergeant grew tired of all that shit and declared, 'there isn't any Devil-Man, not even
the man we have arrested.”
CH: That’s the end of that then.
FM: Nope. Clark seemed to be in the clear but he weren’t havin’ none of that, he double-downed on his possession story. Claimed he was called here all the way from Arkansas by the ancient Roman god of the sea, Neptune.
CH: Ain’t that darnedest thing. We’re pulling up to the hotel now.
[parking/ open doors/ horse whiney]
CH: Hey there, Dev! Long time, no see!
DEV: Hah, for you maybe. But the Devil sees ALL! Well, the devil sees all he wishes to see. I don’t, like… see EVERYTHING at once. I’m not fucking Santa Claus, the cookie-theiving creep. But you catch my drift.
FM: You hear all, too?
DEV: What do you take me for, you ever-so-slightly-elevated baboon? Of course I heard you.
FM: Got anything you’d like to add to the story then?
DEV: I’m not one to embellish my own legend and grandeur… but, who am I kidding, of course I am! Shortly following my shenanigans in Algiers, a woman gave birth to a straight up demon infant. A “Baby Devil,” one might say. It sent the entire neighborhood into a panic all over again. Not long after, the alleged woman and the baby completely vanished from record and the story of the Devil of Algiers faded into obscurity.
CH: A baby-devil? Geez, did you knock up a mortal woman?
DEV: Pish posh, of course I did no such thing. A supernatural impregnation? What do you think this is, the Nativity?
DEV: So what does it take for a Devil to get a beer around here, pray tell?
FM: Got the cooler right there!
DEV: Better not be some plebeian bargain bin--Aaah… “Mecha Pale Ale” by NOLA Brewery. What a fine selection this is. [slurps] Not bad, not bad. I can always count on you Talegaters to deliver. Of course, if you were to come short, I’ll have to drag your miserable souls through the nine circles of the unholy abyss.
FM: Big yikes.
CH: Welp, I think this is a good place to stop.
FM: Wanna hear your story on our podcast? Got an inquiry, correction, or any other such shit? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Instagram @TheTalegatePodcast for photos, cast info, updates and more!
CH: Oh, and be sure to tune in every week for new content. We are on Spotify, Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, and literally every other podcast directory. OR visit us at www.thetalegatepodcast.com for our full library, deeper show notes, and transcripts.
DEV: Yes, and you visit me as well at www.INHELL.gov. Surprisingly less painful to navigate than Healthcare.gov.
CH: Shots fired.
FM: See ya later, Talegaters!
TOUPS: Thank you all for joining us on the latest episode of The Talegate Podcast! Mary Toups is played by Karthryn Baker. You can follow her on Instagram @thekathrynbaker (might want to spell out “Kathryn”), and check out her performance as Belatrix Lestrage in the short film, Neville Longbottom and the Black Witch, viewable on Youtube.
Earnest Nathan Morial is played by Greg Hernandez. Check him out on Instagram @VMPPhoto and www.vmpphoto.com. Marie Laveu is performed by Zemelis Samual. You can check out her creative side on Instagram @ladyzemi_cosplay or on Tik tok under the same handle. The Devil of Algiers is portrayed by Tommy Swanfelder. You can check him out on IG @spectropluto and on Tumblr MGMpluto.tumblr.com.
Aaron the Cheesehead is played by Aaron Sherry, you can check me out on my Youtube channel, So Can You and on Instagram @aaronunabridged. Harrison the Florida Man is played by Harrison Foreman. Theme Song is performed by Mat Jones. This episode is written and edited by Harrison Foreman.