The “Sausage Ghost” of Ursuline Avenue

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Haunted Block “The Sausage Ghost” – Ursuline Street, Between Royal and Bourbon Streets
This short block of Ursaline Avenue, located between Royal and Bourbon Streets is said to be haunted by “The Sausage Ghost’, with 4 murders taking place between 3 homes all within 4 houses apart. It started with Hans Mueller in the 1800’s, with the second murder in the 1920’s and the last murder in 2002. All three murderers were either butchers or worked in the meat/deli industry and all claim to have seen a mysterious spirit or figure who told them to commit the murders.

The Mad Butcher – Hans Mueller
In the mid 1800’s, Hans Mueller immigrated to the United States from Germany with his wife. A butcher by trade, Mueller established a sausage factory at 725 Ursaline Avenue. The factory and store were on the first floor, with the living quarters on the second level. The couple was quite successful and very popular in the neighborhood, but the success took a toll on their marriage. According to some stories, Mueller hired a young woman, a much younger and more attractive woman, to assist his wife with the day-to-day duties of running a household, and eventually Mueller began to have an affair with the woman which made his wife angry. When she threatened to fire the younger woman, Mueller murdered his wife to keep his mistress. Other stories say that the hard work took a toll on his wife’s physical appearance and he no longer found her attractive. Since divorce was unheard of during this time, his only option of getting out of the marriage was to murder his wife. Either way, the result was that he strangled the woman. If you’ve been to New Orleans, then you know that it’s not easy to dispose of a body. Mueller used the tools that were available to him at the time….his sausage grinder. Yep….that’s right. Mueller dismembered his wife’s body and ground the remains up, making her into sausage and then selling that sausage to his customers. Neighbors were suspicious of the wife’s disappearance and even more disturbed by the behavior of Mueller, who was said to be wandering at night, wringing his hands and seeming to be hiding from some invisible being. Allegedly, a customer found a gold ring in the sausage and reported it to the police, who made a visit to Mueller’s sausage factory. They found him hiding in a corner, screaming and crying in terror as if he had gone completely mad. He is said to have spent the rest of his days, hiding from some mysterious being, who he said is the one who made him kill his wife.

The Trunk Murders – The murders of Theresa and Leonida Moity
In the 1920’s, Theresa and Leonida shared the crowded living quarters of the second floor of 715 Ursaline Avenue (that’s right….next door to the former home of the Mueller Sausage Factory) with their husbands and 3 small children. Theresa and Leonida’s husbands were said to be shiftless and often drunk and unemployed. According to some stories, the men often found work as butchers. Rumors began to spread that the women were having affairs with other men, and after Leonida left her husband, Theresa’s husband began to worry that his wife might leave him as well. On the morning of October 27, 1927, a housekeeper for the couples made a grisly discovery. The dismembered bodies of two women were found in a trunk in one room, while fingers and other body parts were found in a bloody pile on a bed in another room. Theresa’s husband was found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, he is allegedly overheard frequently talking about a mysterious figure who told him that he needed to kill and dismember his wife and her friend.

John Henry Morgan and Polly Pastori
Jump ahead to 2005. Hurricane Katrina has left much of New Orleans in ruins and under water. A landlady for an abandoned apartment on Elysian Fields Avenue is investigating the damage to the property. The property had been inhabited by a John Henry Morgan and his girlfriend. Both had received FEMA money and fled the city after the hurricane. The landlady noticed a horrible smell. Upon opening a trunk that was left behind by the previous tenants, she sees the decomposed body of a woman. The woman is identified as Polly Pastori, a previous girlfriend of Morgan, and who was last seen at 735 Ursaline Avenue in 2002 (Yes, that address is two doors down from Mueller’s Sausage Factory). Pastori and Morgan met while working at the Quartermaster…..wait for it…..a deli where fresh meat was sliced up for patrons. At the time of Pastori’s disappearance, the couple was known for their drug use and violent fighting. When Pastori disappeared, Morgan claimed that she was tired of New Orleans and left him and the city to start a new life. What really happened is that Morgan killed Pastori, dismembered her body, and stuffed her into a trunk. He then moved around the city, toting this trunk with him until he left it behind following Katrina (assuming that in the chaos, her death would be attributed to the hurricane). When he was arrested, he claimed that a drug dealer killed her. Following his trial and conviction in 2009, Morgan displayed unusual behavior, such as smiling and laughing when talking about the murder. He is also said to have talked about a mysterious spirit who told him to dismember Pastori’s body and store it in a trunk.

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