Marie Laveau was said to have been born to an African woman named Marguerite Darcantel, and Charles Laveau. There is no telling when Laveau was born. Some reports say she was born in 1801, while others say she was born in 1794. Laveau was a Creole voodoo practitioner, and married a Creole man from Sante-Domingue named Jaques Paris. He ceaselessly disappeared until he was reported dead. After the death of her husband, she began referring to herself “Widow Paris”. She also went into a relationship with Jean Louise, with whom she had several children with. Laveau became a hairdresser to create economic stability for herself and her family.
Through interaction with her black clients who were house servants, she was exposed to personal information about her wealthy white clients, who often sought her counsel. Laveau used this information to give informed counsel to the people who sought advice from her concerning their personal affairs. Many wealthy and politically affluent individuals, both white and black, paid Laveau for personal advice, intervention in some situation, and protection against any evil energy that might have been placed against them. Marie Laveau continuously had familial background in African spirituality. After the death of her mother, she started getting drawn to religion.
It did not take long for the the great voodoo queen to dominate the culture of New Orleans. People came to Laveau for advice for marital affairs, domestic disputes, judicial issues, finances childbearing, health, finances, and good luck. She had three main sites were she would begin her rituals: her home, Congo Square, and Lake Pontchartrain. At her home she would talk to her clients regarding any problem they were having. She would also have ceremonies in her back yard that conjured the Great Zombi, the deity Damballah Wedo who would manifest through a snake. At Congo Square she would bring her followers to dance and worship. Major ceremonies would take place at Lake Pontchartrain. Laveau
would often be escorted by her “King” or second ranking male official. At these rituals singing, drumming and spirit possession would often take place. White people would often spy on Laveau and her followers from the woods, and reported extreme tales about them for fun. Marie Laveau died June 15, 1881 from natural causes. She is buried in St. Louise No.1.