The Provincial Hotel in New Orleans is said to be the rumored location of several sightings over the past century of ghosts and other signs of the paranormal. Figures that appear in the room are typically said to be related to the Civil War, but also several from more recent times. Regardless of their origin, guests at the Provincial commonly report interactions with mysterious beings.
During the Civil War, the Provincial was reportedly used as a military hospital for soldiers. Unfortunately for patients, this was a dangerous time to be injured or sick with some doctors only beginning to understand the foundation of what would eventually become modern medicine and most still using archaic techniques barely removed from medieval practices. Often injuries would result in painful amputations without anesthetic. Patients would die from the trauma or infection after the painful procedures far more often than they would survive a large amputation. And even worse the tools used would rarely be washed from one patient to another, often rusting after years of bone cutting use.
But to walk through the hallways today it would be hard to guess such a beautiful place had ever been the location of such suffering. But sometimes the past has its own way of coming back to life. And the ghosts of the Provincial Hotel have made several appearances, playing out their macabre last moments or pleading with visitors for help.
The curious will often find themselves standing face to face with people dressed in period garb reaching out to them from the hotel beds in the dark only to vanish when the lights are turned on or others are called to investigate. And several witnesses have some chilling and incredibly intense tales to go along with it.
An old story connected to the place tells of a groundskeeper who suddenly found himself caught in a vision of another time as he stepped off the elevator into the hallway on the second floor. Quickly the guard returned to the elevator and found as he looked behind him the scene had vanished and been replaced by the modern version of the hotel that stands today nestled in the historic French Quarter.
Other stories have been told of the Provincial, including a woman who claimed to have been dragged out of bed and across the room by an unseen force. Considering this is quite a different sort of paranormal manifestation than the visual and audible residual hauntings of soldiers, it may be a hint that something even more mysterious lies nestled beneath the surface at the Provincial Hotel. The building remains a testament to the unexplained forces binding all things to the darker mysteries of the universe even in a city that seems to have a long and intimate history with the paranormal.
And while not all guests report seeing or hearing ghosts, there is certainly no shortage of events that remain with visitors long after they have left. The haunted Provincial is two parts mystery for every one part history.