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‘Ghost’ photobombs couple’s selfie inside restaurant, expert claims she knows why

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Credit: Ian Wrin

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans is no stranger to hauntings.  A couple from West Virginia found this out during a visit last year.

Ian Wrin and April Russ were visiting New Orleans and ate at Tujague's, the city's second-oldest restaurant.

"(Ian and April) were dining here and they took a selfie," said Poppy Tooker, author and Radio Host of Louisiana Eats. "When they got home and looked through the photographs, they noticed something hovering over the diners behind them, with a glowing orb and thought...what is that?!"

In the Begue Room, there are no windows or doors for a reflection to appear, according to Tooker.

"That's Julian Eltinge!  That's Tujague's cross-dressing ghost," Tooker said.

Cross-dressing ghost

Credit: WGNO

According to Tooker, who spoke to WGNO:

This ghost story begins with famous actor of the stage and screen, Julian Eltinge.  Eltinge starred alongside Rudolph Valentino in the silent film, "Aisle of Love", and even had his own cosmetics line.  Tooker said that Eltinge was a cross-dresser, whose alter ego was Vesta Tilley.  He would dine at Begue's Restaurant, which later became Tujague's.  Eltinge autographed a picture and gave it to Madame Begue. The photo hung in the restaurant on the wall since 1917. In 2013, Mark Latter, the current owner of Tujague's, made some renovations to the restaurant.  Latter took down the framed photo of Julian Eltinge and put it in the attic. The couple was sitting near the wall where Eltinge's photo had been removed.

The couple shared the photo on Tujague's Facebook page and the owner contacted Tooker.

"I said, 'Mark, get the photo from out of the attic and hang it back on the wall! The ghost is angry and wants to be back in the room'," Tooker said.

The owner re-hung the photo of Julian Eltinge back on the wall.

"Ever since the photo went back up, the ghost is at peace," Tooker said.