|“||This here is hallowed ground, home to the nine covens of New Orleans. Y'all need to be on y'all's way.||”|
Lafayette Cemetery, also known as City of the Dead, is located in the Garden District. While the cemetery is the burial ground for many of the citizens of New Orleans, it is known specifically for being used by the New Orleans covens of witches, who require access to their ancestors' remains in order to practice the Ancestral Magic they have been practicing for centuries. Many notable spells by New Orleans witches have been performed at this location, including The Harvest ritual the coven performs in order to maintain the magical connection to their ancestors. It was also where the witches planned to sacrifice the recently-born Hope Mikaelson as an offering to their ancestors.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
In the backdoor pilot The Originals, Sophie Deveraux and her sister Jane-Anne went to the cemetery so Jane-Anne could perform a spell on Hayley. Their plan was to both link Sophie to the werewolf, Hayley Marshall, and confirm that Hayley was pregnant with Niklaus Mikaelson's child in order to gain leverage on him and the rest of the Originals and force them to help them in their plan to overthrow Marcel Gerard, the self-proclaimed King of New Orleans and the vampire progeny of Klaus. Jane-Anne successfully completed the spell, linking the two women and gaining the confirmation they needed to move forward with their plan, but she was ultimately killed for it by Marcel, as practicing magic in the Quarter without permission was a rule of Marcel's that was punishable by death if broken.
Later that night, Elijah Mikaelson, after having previously met with Sophie at Rousseau's, took his brother Klaus to a mausoleum in Lafayette Cemetery where he introduced him to Sophie and several other members of the French Quarter Coven. Sophie explained to the brothers that Marcel and the vampires were rigidly ruling the city to the point that the witches were essentially being held in subjugation, and admitted her plan to overthrow him by using Klaus to infiltrate his empire from within. Klaus was unconvinced of her scheme until she revealed her leverage and Klaus' potential motivation by bringing out Hayley, a werewolf with whom he had a one-night-stand several weeks earlier, and revealed to him that she was pregnant with his child. Klaus was clearly in shock and initially rejected this revelation, but after Elijah insisted that he listen to the heartbeat, he finally accepted that he had, in fact, conceived a child with Hayley. Sophie then revealed that since Jane-Anne died because she cast the spell to confirm Hayley's pregnancy and to link her to Sophie, the fate of Hayley and the unborn baby were in the hands of the witches, and if Klaus and Elijah didn't cooperate, she would kill them both through her magical link to Hayley. Klaus became so overwhelmed that he claimed he didn't care if they killed Hayley and the baby or not before he stormed away. Elijah left to chase after him and promised Hayley and the witches that he would fix this situation before he followed Klaus. The next day, Elijah returned to the cemetery to meet with Sophie and discuss how their plan would work, where Sophie informs him that their first step is getting Klaus to infiltrate Marcel's inner circle of daywalker vampires to bring down his empire from the inside.
Throughout The Originals Series
In Rebirth, Esther (possessing Cassie), Finn (possessing Vincent) and Kol Mikaelson (possessing Kaleb) met at the lycée, located in Lafayette Cemetery, where they confirmed the fact that they had been resurrected and were working together in order to reunite their family.
In Alive and Kicking, Klaus went to the cemetery to confront "Cassie" about the witches creating moonlight rings for the werewolves without his permission, not knowing that the Harvest girl was possessed by his mother. She invited him into the cemetery's lycée for tea so they could discuss the current state of the supernatural community of New Orleans. During their meeting, Cassie explained that the moonlight rings were meant to level the playing field between the vampires and the werewolves, and her description of vampires as being solitary, violent beings who have no humanity led Klaus to realize that Cassie was being possessed by Esther, who shared identical views on the undead beings she created. However, when he tried to attack her, the werewolves who were under her control surrounded him, and since Klaus didn't want to kill any of the wolves he hoped to someday lead himself, he left without any further physical altercations.
In Every Mother's Son, Finn kidnaps the witch Lenore and is tortured by Esther in the cemetery with Oliver guarding her body. Hayley rescues her only to find out back at the shop she was prepared to become Esther's next Vessel.
In Red Door, Esther now possessing Lenore, holds Elijah captive in the of the tombs of the cemetery.
In For the Next Millennium, Davina hosts the covens in front of the lycée to conduct official witch business.
In You Hung the Moon, Hayley is drawn to the Dubois tomb by Davina's magic who wants the hybrid to kill a rogue witch in exchange for lifting The Crescent Curse. Hayley does, but Davina later attends the consecration of witnesses who belonged to The Ninth Ward Coven who witnessed Hayley killing Kara Nguyen.
In The Axeman's Letter, Fete de Cadeau is hosted in the heart of City Of The Dead by the various cities covens.
In Out of the Easy, Davina's shunned from her community and is removed as Regent.
In A Ghost Along the Mississippi, Vincent is forced to do a spell for The Strix. Vincent is seen that night visiting the graveyard. He encounters Camille O'Connell, who is still refusing to embrace her vampirism. Vincent inspires her, telling her she can change the world with the good of her heart and that the world is a much better place with her in it. He ends up slitting his wrist and allowing Cami to feed on his blood, thus completing her transition.
In Dead Angels, Vincent casts a cloaking spell in Lafayette Cemetery so Cami won't be found by the Mikaelsons. He tries to explain to her that she stole the one thing that could kill the Mikaelsons and she's bargaining her own life as well, since others could come after the weapon.
Vincent is seen leaning against one of the tombs and Klaus lunges at him, but he is blocked by the boundary spell Vincent put up. While Cami and Klaus bicker, Vincent decides to leave, but tells them they might want to finish it up before someone finds out about the weapon. Cami is walking anxiously and Vincent says Klaus has a lot of witch weapons to pack and a lot of pride to swallow. Cami asks if he feels sorry for him, and Vincent tells her no, but she irritated the wrong person and it will be different for them. He tells her that Klaus trusted her and let her into his life, and that girl wouldn't ever have stolen the one thing that could kill him, which Cami declares that girl died.
While night has fallen, Vincent and Cami are still oblivious that Klaus is outside because of the spell Madison has cast. A strong wind blows and Vincent is concerned and decides to step out to see what is happening. Vincent tells Cami they aren't alone and that the boundary spell is to keep a vampire out. Vincent confronts the Sisters who use magic against him and Cami.
In The Devil Comes Here and Sighs, Despite being shunned and restricted by their Ancestors Davina & Vincent use magic in the cemetery to undo Van's spell on St. James Infirmary.
In Where Nothing Stays Buried, Vincent and Kol kidnapped Van to force him to do a Resurrection on Davina which fails. Later after knowing Davina's gone for good Kol kills Van in a tomb where he was performing another set of spells.
In Give 'Em Hell Kid, Davina's wake is held at her family tomb. That same night Davina activates the dark object given to her by Vincent and the Lafayette Cemetery begins shaking, implying the end of the Ancestors' presence among the living witches. As the process is completed, Davina is blinded by a white light (similar to that of the Other Side when it was collapsing) as the Ancestral Plane is untethered from the mortal plane.
- In Always and Forever, Sophie revealed to Elijah that vampires and hybrids were unable to enter the cemetery without an invitation, and suggested it was because their cemetery was hallowed ground.
- However, in Sinners and Saints, it was ultimately revealed via flashback that Sophie and Jane-Anne were the witches who cast the spell to seal the cemetery off from uninvited vampires and hybrids, before Marcel had restricted the use of magic in the French Quarter. Though it was not outright stated, it could be assumed that Sophie and Jane-Anne, the casters, were the only two with the ability to invite vampires in, as the only vampires who were able to enter the cemetery prior to the deaths of Sophie and Jane-Anne were Elijah and Rebekah, both of whom were invited in by Sophie.
- It also appears that, according to flashbacks from before the start of the series, vampires and werewolves were previously able to freely enter the cemetery as they pleased, which confirmed that the vampires' inability to access the cemetery was a result of Sophie and Jane-Anne's invitation spell. Now that both Sophie and Jane-Anne are dead, that the invitation spell on the cemetery has broken, allowing all vampires and hybrids to enter without invitation.
- Lafayette Cemetery has served as a base of operations for a number of important individuals. Esther used the Lycée located there as her home base and converted several different tombs into makeshift prison cells, while Kol used another one of the cemetery's tombs as a "playhouse" for him and his witches to experiment with Kemiya by creating dark objects.
- According to Kol, the majority of the Ancestors primarily hang out in Lafayette Cemetery as he knows this from living with them.
- The Lycée was revealed to be located in Lafayette Cemetery in Wheel Inside the Wheel.
- In Give 'Em Hell Kid, Vincent Griffith mentions how cemeteries in New Orleans such as the Lafayette Cemetery were designed to house the Ancestors and acts like a cell phone tower that helps them focus their energy so that they can access this world which is why it is considered sacred ground. They are described as the cornerstone of the link between the living and the dead where our world and the spirit world meet.