When you visit New Orleans you expect to find a little bit of weirdness. From Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo to the real-life house of horrors, the Lalaurie Haunted Mansion. But should you find yourself wandering around the famous St. Louis Cemetery #1 you'll stumble upon a particular grave that stands out in a very peculiar way.
Now, you probably don't make it a habit to visit a cemetery when you're traveling, but if you're in NOLA, you really should hit up the famous St. Louis Cemetery. The architecture, decoration, and history of the graveyard are absolutely worth a visit. The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau is buried there and it's also where actor Nicolas Cage plans to be buried. That fact in and of itself isn't what's so interesting. But, Nicolas Cage has actually built his tomb already!
In 2010, Nicolas Cage turned 50 and made the decision that he wanted his final resting place to be in the St. Louis Cemetery, and he wanted his tomb to be built in the shape of a pyramid. Because, Nicolas Cage is weird. And I'm not being mean when I say that. He also purchased the Lalaurie Mansion, where Madame LaLaurie tortured and brutally murdered slaves in the 19th century. It's believed to be the most haunted house in the city. Unfortunately, for Nicolas Cage, the mansion (and a chapel he purchased) were foreclosed, but not the tomb.
Back to the pyramid tomb. This thing is massive. It takes up about four normal-sized grave plots. It's 9-feet tall, gray and has the Latin motto "Omnia Ab Uno" engraved on it. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's because it was used in the Nicolas Cage action-adventure film National Treasure. It translates to "Everything From One."
If you visit the tomb today you'll notice it's covered in kisses. Yeah, people like to kiss the future gravesite of actor Nicolas Cage.
My favorite theories surrounding the tomb are that it's proof that Nicolas Cage is a member of the Illuminati. The Illuminati for the uninitiated is a quasi-mythical organization that controls politics and popular culture.
Another theory is that Nicolas Cage is into Voodoo. According to IMDb he had a Voodoo priest bless his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley (whom people theorize he married because he's had a lifelong obsession with Elvis Presley (as evidence by the fact that he's played the King in several different films).
According to WGNO:
"Many theories surround Cage’s tomb which reads, “Omni Ab Uno” which is Latin for “Everything From One”. “One of his most famous movies called ‘National Treasure’, well there’s a picture of a pyramid on the movie poster, but that seems far too simplistic as to why he built this tomb. Another theory is that he prescribes to the beliefs of the illuminati, that’s what some people have said. I’ve also heard he did it to shelter money inside the tomb too. I’m sure you could fit 3 full-size caskets in here.”
Unfortunately we may never know why Nicolas Cage built this weird tomb, but do we really need to? I mean, he's Nicolas Cage, I'm sure he does all sorts of weird stuff with his money.
According to the Mirror, some people believe that Nicolas Cage is a time traveler, or a vampire, or something: "That kind of speculation is so ridiculous you might as well suggest Cage built a pyramid because he's immortal, thousands of years old. And that he regenerates in a secret chamber at the heart of the towering tomb."
A little bit about the amazing history of St. Louis Cemetery #1
There are actually three Roman Catholic cemeteries that make up Saint Lous Cemetery in NOLA. The graves are all above-ground vaults and vary in architectural style. Most were built between the 18th and 19th centuries. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest of the three and was established in 1789. It takes up 8 blocks and is close to the French Quarter. Today tours are offered for a fee.
"The renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt. Other notable New Orleanians here include Bernard de Marigny, the French-Creole aristocrat and politician who founded both the Faubourg Marigny and Mandeville, Louisiana; Barthelemy Lafon, the architect and surveyor who allegedly became one of Jean Lafitte's pirates; and Paul Morphy, one of the earliest world champions of chess. Delphine LaLaurie, the notoriously cruel slave owner, is also believed to lie in rest here. Architect and engineer Benjamin Latrobe was buried at St. Louis No. 1 after dying from yellow fever in 1820, while doing engineering for the New Orleans water works. In 2010, actor Nicolas Cage purchased a pyramid-shaped tomb to be his future final resting place." - Wikipedia
In 1975 the cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Here are more weird and creepy jaunts to hit up, should you find yourself wandering around New Orleans....