New Orleans is listed as one of the best travel destinations in the United States. But behind the buzzing streets, friendly locals, and epic Mardi Gras is a dark history that some people may not know about. The old slave auction and the tragic events of hurricane Katrina leave no doubt that this historical city could be enveloped with paranormal activity.
One of the most infamous stories in New Orleans centers around the Rampart Street Murder House located in the popular tourist stop called the French Quarter. The house in question happened to be the scene of a grisly crime and the final dwelling place of the ill-fated couple Addie Hall and Zack Bowen.
Addie Hall and Zack Bowen: A Story of Voodooism, Necrophilia, and Possession
In October of 2006, authorities responded to a frantic call from the Omni Hotel in New Orleans about a man leaping off the roof. The man in question was Zack Bowen. Bowen had just landed five stories down on the roof of the hotel’s parking garage. His death was ruled by the police as a suicide. But what drove Bowen to such actions? To the surprise of many, the answer was hidden in the front pocket of his jeans. In his final message to the world, Bowen wrote down the instructions on where to find the remaining pieces of his girlfriend.
Bowen was not just an average low life sprawling around the city of New Orleans. In fact, he was a war hero who received several awards for his service as a military policeman in Kosovo and Iraq. When Bowen moved to New Orleans in the mid-nineties to work as a bartender, he met and fell in love with his co-worker Addie Hall.
Not much is known about Hall and Bowen’s relationship. The couple chose to keep to themselves, holing up together in an apartment owned by Bowen when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. In the aftermath of Katrina, stories of a chaotic relationship began to surface. They fought, broke up, and got back together often.
Aside from the constant abuse they suffered from each other, both Zack Bowen and Addie Hall were said to be living destructive lives. In 2006, Bowen was arrested for marijuana possession and Hall for aggravated assault after she was caught pulling a weapon on a man walking in the French Quarter. According to one of the couple’s friends, Bowen constantly spoke about “getting rid” of Addie Hall. But despite belittling his girlfriend, he mysteriously remained in the relationship.
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“The Katrina Cannibal”
The couple’s tumultuous relationship exploded when they moved into their second apartment located above New Orleans’ famous Voodoo Spiritual Temple at 826 N. Rampart Street. By this time, Hall had stopped showing up at her bartending job and was continuously accusing Bowen of infidelity.
On the evening of October 16, 2006, Bowen was out drinking with a friend. He was said to be in good spirits and was even talking about taking a vacation to paradise the following night. But paradise was nowhere to be found when Bowen jumped to his death on the evening of October 17. His suicide note was riddled with guilt over the heinous crime he had just committed.
“This is not accidental,” Bowen’s note read. “I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took. If you send a patrol car to 826 N. Rampart, you will find the dismembered corpse of my girlfriend, Addie, in the oven, on the stove, and in the fridge and a full signed confession from myself . . . Zack Bowen.”
According to the official investigation, it was discovered that Bowen had strangled Hall when she accused him of cheating. But the gruesome events surrounding her murder did not end there. Bowen dismembered his lifeless girlfriend in the bathtub before deciding to cook the body parts. Some reports go as far as stating that the deranged man seasoned the body parts and cut up carrots and potatoes. Though the police found no concrete evidence of cannibalism in the autopsy, Bowen’s actions still earned him the nickname “Katrina Cannibal.”
So the next question here is why? How did someone, believed to be in their right mind, end up murdering another human being and cutting them to pieces after? A theory has suggested that the dark forces of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple eventually took hold on the couple, particularly Zack. But that could be unlikely as the temple has always been associated with positive energy, especially since it has long been protected by the well-respected Priestess Meriam.
Over the years, locals had renamed the scene of the crime to the Rampart Street Murder House. Not many tourists are aware of the horrible murder that occurred in the area ten years ago. But those who live in the neighborhood have reported a high number of ghostly activities, from the feeling of being watched to hearing disembodied voices.
It is worth noting that last February 2016, the temple was closed down after an electrical fire destroyed its premises. It has since been relocated to 1428 N. Rampart Street.