Julie on the Rooftop

This story first appeared in Ep. 001 – Rooftop Lady.

There’s a house on 734 Royal St. in New Orleans with a very peculiar ghost. She appears as a beautiful golden woman, sitting or walking in the building’s roof top, and apart from a pair of hoop earrings, she’s completely naked.

According to legend, the woman is named Julie, and she was madly in love with the building’s owner, a wealthy businessman by the name of Zachary. Depending on the telling, Julie is either a slave or a well-to-do lady, and is usually described as being of mixed-race, contributing to her golden hue.

The tale goes back to the 1850’s. Julie was in love with Zachary and wanted to be his wife, but to Zachary she was just a plaything, an object for a few moments of fun and nothing more. Their trysts would occur on the building’s third floor, and Julie was forbidden from visiting the lower levels. Zachary would often meet with her secretly on her floor, then return to the lower floor where he’d be having grand parties and or sometimes long chess games with his friends.

Eventually, one December night, Julie lays down an ultimatum, demanding that Zachary marries her. Hoping he can finally get her to drop the subject, he says he’ll only marry her if she strips naked, climbs out of the roof, and stays there all night to prove her love.

Zachary figured the notion was settled, and left downstairs to see to his other guests, but Julie was too determined to back out now. She stripped buck naked, climbed out onto the slanted roof, and spent the night out there, where she sadly died of exposure before the sun came up.

The next winter was the first time her ghost appeared. People reported a slender, naked, golden skinned woman wearing only hoop earrings, huddled up and pacing the roof trying to build up some body heat. Often times people even reported seeing her collapse up there.

Other apparitions associated with Julie include an ethereal chessboard in the third story windows seen on stormy nights, sometimes being played by a man or two. There have also been reports of Zachary being seen through the windows of the building or wandering in the garden below.

Witnesses to Julie’s appearances continue to this day, and local lore says if you write her a note on yellow paper with blue ink about your love problems and leave it next to the house, she may solve it for you.

Featured photo by KEN COOPER from Pexels. 734 Royal St. is a privately owned building today, so please don’t harass the residents about ghost hunting.

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