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Is The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Haunted?

Is The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Haunted?
This was a sponsored trip by the City of New Orleans, however, as always, all opinions are my own :)   I may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay, it helps me keep the blog up :) Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

When we think of pharmacies, we picture our ancestors hunched over cauldrons or science labs, blending potions of curative herbs, yet what if it was different and you could visit a pharmacy from the 1800 – more specifically, the rumored haunted New Orleans Pharmacy Museum?  

One doesn’t necessarily have to study medicine to visit the ca. 1823 New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.  The museum showcases not only potions, remedies, and tools that were used during the 19th century but also potential hauntings with a rather dark past. What once was a pharmacist’s home has now become a museum to be explored . . 

This begs the question, is it haunted? If yes, by whom?

Apothecary in New Orleans 

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Located at 514 Chartres Street, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is considered a historic building in the Vieux Carre Historic District and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Along with experiencing the first two levels of the property, you also get to visit its gorgeous backyard. Plus it can even be rented for events and celebrations. However, before we get into the juicy stuff, let me give you some more logistical info. 

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Tickets

The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, costs $10 for adults, is discounted $7 for seniors, students, and the military, and is free for children under 18. Next to the register, you will also find the unique apothecary shop displaying alchemy-style prints and more – totally worth checking out!

Get your tickets here on TripAdvisor!

Self-Guided Tours

The tickets grant you access to both floors of the building, allowing you to explore at your own pace. At the register, you may pick up a paper detailing the pharmacy’s history. Then throughout the store, you’ll find detailed labeling explaining what each cabinet and room contains. 

Everything from voodoo brews to surgical tools to medication to prescriptions may be found on the first level. While located on the second level, next to the doctor’s office and the sick room, are occasional or special displays.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum History 

Now . . let’s get into the juicy stuff: History. 

After finishing his studies at the College of Pharmacy in Paris, Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. moved back to New Orleans to take the state test and begin working in his brother’s pharmacy. You may imagine that in those days, when standards of medicine were in their infancy, many people were given incorrect prescriptions. This was due to the fact that anybody who passed a 6-month apprenticeship could give them out. It wasn’t until 1804 that Louisianians adopted a rule to remedy this. It required a three-hour oral test for pharmacists as part of their effort to improve the industry.

With that, Louis, J. Jr became the first licensed pharmacist after passing the lengthy oral exam in 1816. Not only is the first licensed pharmacist, but it also became America’s first apothecary shop. 

Louis practiced along his family, who lived on the property until 1855 when he sold it to Dr. Joseph Dupas for $18,000, who was also known as the mad doctor, who occupied the property until he passed from Syphilis in 1867 – a great start, isn’t it? But wait, there’s more. . 

Looking for you next haunting thrill but not sure where to go. Well, then you need to check out the 3 most haunted places in Savannah, GA here.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Hauntings at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

It has been said that the mad Dr. Dupas himself haunts the pharmacy. He is unable to rest in the dead and continues to wander his former home. However, the key point is why others thought he was mad and why you may want to rethink your plans to visit (just kidding, you should totally go and see if you can feel his presence!). Some observed and described him as a middle-aged man with a mustache, a brown suit, and a matching brown hat, occasionally triggering the security alarm in the middle of the night. 

Here’s the kicker . . Dr. Dupas supposedly experimented on pregnant enslaved women, which explains why some pregnant women who wander the property experience sensations. Given the random nature of the tests, many of the victims did not make it, while those who did were left with permanent impairments.

It’s unknown how many women died or what happened to their remains. 

Objects have been seen to shift position on their own, and random book throws have been witnessed. Though it’s not clear if it was Dr. Dupas or one of the other spirits supposedly staying there. Specifically, there have been 2 sightings of children. They are believed to be the children of Dufilho Jr, who passed away while living there. 

Since the pharmacy was often the first stop for those seeking treatment for deadly diseases like cholera, smallpox, malaria, or yellow fever in the summer of 1853, there may be many more ghosts than are now believed to exist.

Tip: If you’re curious to hear more about the pharmacy, don’t be afraid to ask the front desk about some of their ghost stories – you may be surprised by what you hear that they experienced . . 

Want more haunting? Check out my map by NanoWhat with 24 haunted houses, restaurants, and bars! 

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Have A Pharmacy Museum New Orleans Wedding – Why Not?

Despite its dark history (common in New Orleans), it’s a great place to have a wedding, anniversary party, business meeting, or other special events. Even though you can’t have your party inside the building, you are able to rent out the courtyard. It has a stunning garden and is sure to wow your guests.

For that, just schedule an appointment ahead of time.

You may just have an additional guest join you . . I have a feeling Dr. Dupas wouldn’t want to miss it, ha. 

If you are planning on visiting New Orleans but have no idea where to stay, there is no need to worry. Here are some of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans you have to experience to believe. 

Final Thoughts

This haunted New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a hidden treasure amid other more touristy sights in New Orleans. It should not be missed whether you are on a budget or simply want to make the most of your trip there. The vast part of the property is authentic to the historical period. Visitors feel as if they have been transported to another era just by setting foot inside.

If you’re pregnant, make use of your five senses to detect any changes in your environment, and if you notice anything unusual, please let me know – I’m just dying to know, ha. 



P.S. With all the adrenaline pumping and fear inducing adventure you are bound to have in New Orleans, don’t forget to practice some self-care. Here are my top tips for practicing self-care while traveling.

This was a sponsored trip by the City of New Orleans, however, as always, all opinions are my own :)   I may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay, it helps me keep the blog up :) Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Anna is a traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur who can’t keep herself still. She’s always on the move, whether working hard on a new passion project or exploring a new city as a part-time digital nomad. Dare to keep up? Check out The Tatted Nomad for everything digital nomad, social media marketing, mental health, and travel (and to see her latest addition, Novah, her service dog and travel companion). As a psychotherapist (to be) she also offers insights about your mental health related questions – anything you see that isn’t covered but you have questions about? Let her know!

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