In the eerie St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, one particular mausoleum wears its sterile image uneasily. Now hidden beneath a thick coat of plaster are hundreds of X’s marking secret prayers for love, death, and revenge — fervent supplications to Marie Laveau, a free woman of color widely recognized as New Orleans’s Voodoo Queen. Who was this extraordinary woman who still attracts such veneration? What powers did she possess in her lifetime and what powers does she still possess today?

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