19th Century Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Sometimes referred to as the Widow Paris, Marie's life is shrouded in legend. Once a hairdresser, Marie rose in power and influence to become one of the most feared women in antebellum New Orleans.
One of the more common legends tells how Marie got her house on Rue St. Anne in the Vieux Carré (Now called the French Quarter). When a young Creole stood trial for murder, his father begged Marie for her aid and promised her a house if their son went free. Marie said that he would go free. On the day of the trial Marie spent the morning at St. Louis Cathedral in prayer holding three Guinea peppers in her mouth. Then she entered the Cabildo, the seat of government and courthouse adjacent to the Cathedral. Marie persuaded a worker there to give her access to the then empty courtroom. Then Marie hid the peppers under the judge's chair and departed. After some time, the Creole gentleman exited the Cabildo with his son at his side; the young man had been found innocent and released.
Marie was known in her later years as a devout Catholic who spent much of her time working with the sick in Church hospitals. She is buried in St. Louis Cemetary #1, where even today the faithful leave her offerings and mark her tomb with hex marks.
Marie's life was the subject of a Historical Novel by Jewell P. Rhodes entitled Voodoo Dreams.