New Orleans, — for each its reputation as “America’s most haunted city,” its voodoo traditions and its dedication to preserving various facets of its Creole culture (from architecture to cuisine to music) — is a city steeped in apparitions of the past.
Though, in the literal context of ghosts, with the city’s proliferation of ghost tours, New Orleans seems to err towards observation, there are folks who want specific answers about local spirits. Enter New Orleans Ghost Hunters.
Established in 2010, by David Laville and friend and business partner Keith Cassella, New Orleans Ghost Hunters is a local business that provides its customers with answers about mystical apparitions that may (or may not, as Laville is quick to say in certain cases) inhabit their home.
When I was very young [my brother and I] we saw stuff, heard stuff, in the house that my parents lived in, the house we grew up in,” says Laville of the origins of his ghost experiences. “It was so common that rethought it happened to everybody until we got older and we started talking to people and found out that it doesn’t happen to everybody “ After watching a televised ghost hunting program as an adult, Laville realized he could make use of his adolescent experiences and create a local business.
Ritchi Mendoza, a student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, speaks with Laville more about New Orleans Ghost Hunters, his experiences with ominous spirits and one rather anticlimactic scenario involving kitchen cabinets and the suction from a home’s front door.