|Might, might, might have had a few walking Sazeracs before we visited.|
What the wizened old white man was implying was that the voodoo outside was for tourists. What was in the museum was the real deal.
It’s an arguable assertion with no need to argue it.
The Voodoo Museum was opened by brothers Jerry and Charles Gandolfo in the 1970s. Their cypress roots went a few generations deep into the swampy Creole life, and due to their interest in the hodgepodge brew of African, Caribbean, and European religions known as voodoo, they amassed a collection of artifacts of varying levels of authenticity and stuck ’em in a museum.
But those rooms are packed. Like old attic packed. Little of it is labeled, nor is there any apparent organization to the exhibits themselves. It looks more like a private collection of the sort where the collector is more into the act of collecting than of having a collection. Like the second he gets his hands on a prized item, he just chucks it into a back room and then heads off on a quest for the next piece.
But all the boxes I was looking for were checked. A collection of voodoo dolls, human skulls, masks, macabre objects of a wide variety. Everything I expected from a voodoo museum except for a cardboard cutout of Bill Pullman with a cross painted on his forehead.
Speaking of which, though I don’t remember any rainbows, there was a serpent. Or at least a memorial to one. An empty tank stood as a testament to the long-deceased mascot of the museum, the “spiritual python” Jolie Blonde, who died in 2004, robbing me of the opportunity to write, “wizened old white man wearing an albino python.”
I’ve always known that beastie as a swamp werewolf—head of a wolf, body of a human. For some reason, probably because they had it around, they topped their mannequin with an alligator head instead of a wolf’s. I assume that there is that version of the monster floating around, as well, somewhere. I gotta say, though, I find it less scary than an actual alligator. And I’m going to blame for that the Geico commercial where the alligator in business attire can’t pick up the check because he has short arms and is a jerk.
Finally, we left through the same hallway we entered, dodging new visitors as they came in. Honestly, I didn’t learn to much about voodoo at the Voodoo Museum, but man, it sure felt like voodoo in there. Which is exactly what I was after.
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