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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS-- Halloween in New Orleans is second only to Mardi Gras in the sights and sounds you will see and hear in the French Quarter and Marigny.

In recent years, the night has started to rival some of the city's other signature events in terms of attendance, creativity and ghost sightings.

Visitors are drawn in part to the haunted history of the city.

In New Orleans, people not only honor the dead. They turn their final resting places into popular tourist attractions.

From St. Louis Cemetery number one in Treme to the Civil War-era hotels in the French Quarter, the city has the reputation as the most haunted in the country.

The Hotel Provincial on Chartres Street is known for its ghosts. Bill Prudence and his wife from New Jersey book a room at the hotel every Halloween.

Four years ago, Prudence said he woke up to a spirit kicking his bed post.

'My wife and I were laying down in bed and I felt the bed being kicked and shaken and rocked, and I thought it was my wife. Apparently I woke her up because she was sleeping and it was just being bounced around, kicked around,' said Prudence. 'There was no one else around, so you tell me.'

Legend has it the Provincial was a soldier's hospital during the Civil War.

'I wonder if it was a soldier,' said Prudence. 'I would like to meet up with him again, actually.'

Sherlene Montgomery said she's seen two ghosts during the seven years she's worked at the hotel.

'I looked, I said oh my God it was a young girl, she had to be between 18 and 25,' said Montgomery. 'She was in a white satin lace dress with the long blond hair and she had a bow and she was just smiling.'

Montgomery said she also saw a more masculine spirit.

'When I looked towards my left they had this gentleman, the door didn't open or anything. He was dressed like in the 1800s.'

If you're into spirits of a different kind, the Faubourg Marigny is the place to be. Ten clubs along a two block stretch of Frenchman Street will have the bars flowing and continuous live music on Halloween.

Tuesday, The Spotted Cat was stocking up for the night.

'We just have a great time on Frenchmen Street for Halloween,' said Spotted Car owner Douglas Emmer. 'It's larger than Mardi Gras for us. It's great.'

Emmer says on this night in particular, art and culture collide in the Marigny.

'We get international visitors, people from all over the country come here, everyone gets dressed up, everyone just has a great time with no problems,' said Emmer. 'Probably 90 percent of the people that come down here are in costume. The other 10 percent are taking pictures.'

Back at the Provincial, Bill Prudence said in a town where the paranormal is normal, where else would you rather spend All Hallows Eve?

'Another wonder of the world,' said Prudence. 'Honestly. It's great. Everybody should at least do it once in their life time.'

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