The building shown in this photograph is in fact the third building on the original site. The first courthouse served as the seat of Louisiana Government during the Civil War and, very briefly, as the Confederate Capital before its ultimate defeat in 1865. The monument before the front steps of the courthouse commemorates the spot where the last Confederate flag in the South was lowered, and sits on a small plot of private property owned and maintained by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The top floor of the current building also served as a jail in the early twentieth century, and seven executions by hanging are known to have occurred here. Court clerks have reported hearing the sounds of what they describe as “old negro spirituals” emanating from the walls connected to the old cells, even when they sit empty. Many of the courthouse employees refuse to stay on the top floor alone. Cold spots have also been reported on the top level, as well as poltergeist activity.
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