A wedding photographer in New Orleans, attempting to capture an aerial shot of the entire congregation, noticed something odd in the background of the picture and zoomed in...
Who - or what - were those hooded figures?
The pictures made the round on the internet. People referred to them as the "ejdallim witches", ejdallim being the photobucket account from which the originals were posted.
A member of the Fortean Times community found out that the courtyard in question is that of to the Brulatour House in the French Quarter, built in 1816. The French Quarter is the oldest part of New Orleand, rich with legends... and perhaps hauntings.
Today, the Brulatour house belongs to the HNOC museum and serves as an art gallery which was housing an installation by Dawn DeDeaux at the time.
The moment the sky turns dark is transformative. In the Brulatour Courtyard, it’s the time when Dawn DeDeaux’s perverted portrait of Ignatius Reilly comes to life, converting the romanticism of the historic courtyard into the dark imaginings of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.
(I would never have made the connection.)
Those familiar with the iconic New Orleans novel will recognize central elements from the narrative in this installation. The Levy Pants revolution, the Lucky Dog cart, and Reilly’s hunting cap all make appearances; while Reilly’s slovenly bed occupies center stage of the courtyard, fountain spewing from its center.
DeDeaux pairs Toole’s famous imagery with a rich symbolic language of her own: white death masks and red pantaloons figure prominently. Robert E. Lee’s Civil War boots and white camellias recall the Confederate South. Robed mannequins in dunce caps on the surrounding balcony—a disturbing confederacy of dunces—bring to mind visions of the occult, looming with a sinister Klan-like presence... a one-of-a-kind sensory experience, extracting viewers’ own latent sexuality and fear, and heightening them to haunting effect. —Taylor Murrow (source linked.)
Whatever you think of the connection of the art installation to the novel - these images are fascinating, haunting and atmospheric in their own right.
All images found via Google Image Search.