Throughout much of the 1700s and 1800s men of the Creole aristocracy would often take freed colored women as their mistresses, carrying on affairs that would often last a lifetime. These women would in return be given a home to live in, money, and education as part of their arrangement with the men. Julie, the spirit who still resides in this cottage at 734 Royal, was one of these women.
Julie was an octoroon, which was the name given at the time for a free person of color who was one-eighth black and seven-eighths white. Julie was said to be very beautiful with striking black hair and dark eyes that were said to be full of mystery.
Julie was taken as a mistress by a wealthy and charming young Frenchman. She fell madly in love with the Frenchman, begging him to marry her, but while he loved Julie as well, the laws at the time forbade marriage between people of different races.
Rather than hurt her feelings, however, he told Julie he would marry her if she would strip off her clothing, and remain naked on the rooftop of the cottage, whilst he played a card game downstairs with some of his friends, and there until he was finished. The Frenchman didn’t think Julie would take his request seriously however as it was a particularly cold night with an icy drizzle falling and continued to entertain his friends downstairs.
Julie, however, was desperate to show her undeniable love for the Frenchman, so she immediately undressed and waited on the rooftop for her lover to return, where she remained naked all night long. When the Frenchman finally made his way to bed, he realized that Julie was nowhere to be found.
He ran up to the rooftop to look for her, but when he got up there, he found only her naked, frozen body in a corner, having died waiting patiently for him to return. Legend has it that the death of Julie put the Frenchman into a deep depression because he really loved Julie. Some also say that he died a few months later of a broken heart.
The octoroon mistress is still said to haunt the house she once resided in. Some people say on a cold and damp December night you can see her naked figure pacing on the rooftop waiting for her lover to return. Her ghost is also said to roam the floors of the house but her presence is a friendly one. The house is now home to the Bottom of the Tea Cup Psychic Readings and many of the employees and customers have had many encounters with her.
They often note her as playful and energetic with lots of giggles being heard from room to room. The Frenchman is also said to roam the garden outside and people who have encountered him have said that his spirit seems sad.
By Paul Middleton, source: Ghosts, the paranormal, myths and legends