NEW ORLEANS — Halloween is a beloved tradition in New Orleans that leads to All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. For about a decade, the Marchand’s, a local family in New Orleans, have been making Halloween a family affair by decorating their adjoined family houses into a haunted house attraction.
Percy Marchand is a family member who thinks fondly of his childhood Halloween memories, saying, “this was an opportunity for us to give back and have something for our family and friends in the community. We wanted something in our neighborhood of Gert Town. We work together as a family to make it come alive. My brothers and sisters might have a bunch of tables and chairs and I have lights and music and sound equipment. My brother has the grills and we bring it all together and do it up pretty big!”
The Marchands are part of a American Haunted House tradition that can be traced back to after the Great Depression, when parents were looking for creative ways to keep their children out of mischief and from vandalizing the community during the Halloween Holliday.
Delight in the macabre has been in New Orleans’ blood since it’s inception and long before people had haunted house attractions elsewhere.
“Who doesn’t want to be scared? The sound of the heart beating faster, the darkness and the closeness are exhilarating.”
This year’s haunted house decorations included a graveyard of exercising skeletons inspired by a family member who is also a personal trainer, a Jeffrey Dahmer-inspired gruesome kitchen among other things. The backyard is a creepy carnival that leads to a gateway of the main haunted house.
Outside the front door is a second line procession of skeletons for uniquely New Orleans Halloween charm.
“Celebration throughout the year is important for our family. It’s an opportunity to reflect on life and to remember the happiness and good times we’ve had with our loved ones,” says Percy Marchand.