Doctor John’s Voodoo Practices
Doctor John was a witch doctor in New Orleans in the 1800s. As most witch doctors did during Voodoo ceremonies, he left most of the dancing to the queens and acted more as a bystander. His specialization was in healing and the sale of gris gris. He was also known to tell the fortunes of people. Thousands of people would visit his cottage on Bayou Street where he would place and remove curses on people for a price. He allegedly combined pseudo medical practices, astrology, and divination with pebbles. White ladies would go visit him with a veil to cover their face.
These women would purchase a small bottle of love potion from Doctor John. Many others also bought a shell wrapped in the twist of human hair to be used in gaining the love of someone who was beautiful and desirable. Sick people would go to him for health, and older people would go to him for youth. There were even people who paid him on a regular basis simply due to the fact that they were afraid of his power and knowledge. Most of these people did not know that Doctor John was employing a number of slaves to some of the most wealthiest families in New Orleans.
These slaves would then give the Doctor information because of the power he had over them. He knew more about the private affairs of these families than any other person in the city. This was his secret as to how he knew everything that people came to ask him about. It was all a big scam, and people never questioned his sources for knowing all this information about other people. The other names he was referred to as were: Bayou John and Jean Montaigne. The Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau was said to have even learned quite a few tricks from Doctor John.
(Source: Tallant, Robert. Voodoo in New Orleans. 1994)